Predicting your Marathon Time

January 30, 2017

D3 Staff


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Have you ever wondered what your marathon time would be based on your current level of fitness without actually racing a marathon? Well here is a great marker set workout that can come real close to predicting your marathon time. This run session was created by running guru Bart Yasso. The workout is fairly simple. Run 10 x 800 meters with a rest interval of jogging equal in time to the work interval. So if you run 3:30 for the 800 the rest is 3:30 of jogging. The marathon time prediction is simply the average of the 10 efforts converted from minutes to hours. So an athlete that runs all 10 at an average of 3min 30sec pace then the predicted marathon time is 3hr 30min. In my opinion the more comfortable you can run this the more accurate the predicted time.

Not only is this marker set surprisingly accurate it makes for a great and interesting workout. Some runners swear by this workout. You can even make your own variations for more challenge. I like to make it a bit harder and add 2 to 4 more 800’s and shorten the rest interval to 2 minutes. I think it is safe to say that if you can complete 12 to 14 x 800 with an average time of 3:30 on a 2 min jog for rest interval you are set up well to run a 3:30 marathon. However, just completing this workout does not mean success at the marathon distance. A good marathon training plan will include long runs, tempo, and a variety of intervals.

For an Ironman marathon prediction you could do a Yasso workout for a marathon time prediction then add 15 to 30 minutes to the marathon time. This should get you close to a realistic Ironman run goal. Once you have this Ironman goal run time you can incorporate that pace into some of your brick workouts to simulate race day.

Even if you never plan to do a marathon this makes a great workout to track fitness and progression through the season. So get to the track and try some Yasso 800’s to see how you measure up and get in an awesome running workout.

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