Twin Cities in Motion

Mile Motivation Monday

posted on Mon, Aug 11 2014 9:59 am by TCM Staff


If you’re running the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon this fall, you are probably about half way through your training. Hopefully you’re training so you can hit your goal time. Even if that goal is simply to finish (which is amazing by the way), you still need to run a 13:44 average pace (that will get you in under six hours - which is when they close the course).


With that in mind, how do you train to finish your race at your desired goal time? Whether that’s 7 or 13 minute miles, you should be training now for that race day pace.


Here is one suggestion.

Do Your Long Runs Faster


The long run is the quintessential training run of the marathon. It prepares your body to handle the rigors of the distance. No wonder there is an entire day dedicated to it. Most of us plan our entire weekends around this two, three or four hour event.


Most training plans tell you to do your long runs one - two minutes per mile slower than your goal race pace. How in the world are you supposed to finish a marathon at your goal time if all of your training runs are that much slower?


In addition to ramping up your miles and integrating regular speed work into your training, you can also make your long run into a workout.


Try this During your next long Run


Take the middle 5 miles of your next long run, and run them at your goal marathon pace.


For example: on a 15 mile long run, do the first five miles at a comfortable, easy pace (getting a little faster and closer to goal pace by the end). Take the next five miles and run them at your goal pace. Use the last five miles to ease back to your comfortable pace.


Add a mile to that middle section every other week until taper. Make sure you’re not forgetting these other essentials to marathon training.


While this alone certainly won’t guarantee you’ll hit your goal, it’s a great way to get a sense for what it feels like to run that pace on tired legs.


Whatever your goal is for your marathon this fall, be sure you’re training so you can achieve it!




Nathan Freeburg is the creator and co-author of, a group of Twin Cities runners focused on Motivating Minnesotans to become stronger runners while living happier lives. Connect with us: Twitter | Facebook|Google+ |Instagram