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Hi there I’m Suzy!

I uplift other women in the areas of running, lifting, and motherhood

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What Paces Should You Run During Marathon Training?


Are you wondering what paces should you run during marathon training?

Let’s talk about how to establish a baseline and define five different marathon training paces, made popular by running coach Jack Daniels:

1: Time trial

Before you start your training program, test your current fitness level using a time trial or a race. Signing up for a local 5K or 10K is a great way to test your fitness.

In fact, my flexible training system begins the half marathon and marathon distances with a time trial built in.

Based on your result, you can calculate your current VDOT paces from running coach Jack Daniels for your training plan. One of my favorite calculators is here:

2: Learn the paces

Use this calculator to determine your training paces based on your performance in a recent race. 

The VDOT calculator will tell you:

  • easy pace: non-straining intensity is used for recovery runs, warm-up, cool-down and long runs

  • marathon pace: one at which the runner hopes to compete

  • threshold pace: aimed to raise the lactate threshold

  • interval pace: stresses the VO2max to raise the maximum oxygen uptake capacity

  • repetition pace: very fast training aimed to improve speed and running economy

A qualified running coach can help you understand when to use which pace if you aren’t sure what those pace description above mean.

3: Use the tool correctly

DO NOT use this calculator to input a goal race time or VDOT to run at the associated goal training paces.

First run a race, then enter the time into the calculator, then train at those paces.

That is how you get fast faster. 

Notes for success:

  • Train at your CURRENT fitness VDOT paces to get faster

  • Retest your VDOT every 6-12 weeks to ensure you are training at the right paces

  • Do NOT run more than 20% of your weekly mileage faster than easy pace

  • Make sure you are running at the correct pace on your easy days. You can go slower but you can’t go faster!

  • Focus more on aerobic workouts like tempos, steady states, medium long runs over speed work

Let’s connect

Have you used the VDOT calculator for Jack Daniels running? I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Drop me an audio note to tell me!

When I’m not recording the podcast, hanging on the beach with my Husband and four kids, I’m over here: