Refer a Friend. Get $15

What your mile PB means for your marathon

Many would assume that the top speed you can run a mile at has little impact on how fast you can run a marathon or even an ultra marathon.

However your top end speed does indeed affect how comfortable you are at longer distances.

The 100m and 200m events are considered maximal efforts. That is about as long as a person can sustain their highest power output and speed. Anything longer is considered sub-maximal.

In a 1500m event you may average 60% of your maximal stride power of a 100m race.

In a marathon, that number is closer to 40%.

Lets say at maximum speed you can run 10 meters per second, but you improve that to 9 meters per second. A 10% improvement. That speed increase will also benefit every run from the 200m to the 100 mile event.

Max King has won the JFK 50 miler, and the 100k Ultra Race of Champions, but also has a 2:14 marathon PB, an 8:30 3000 meter Steeplechase, and a 4:30 mile. In an interview for Trail Runner Magazine, he said, "Because I've got a top-end speed of a 4:30 mile means that a six-minute pace is much more comfortable."

The same applies to you and whatever your goals may be. Perhaps during the winter, take a few months and work on your mile time. Lets say you drop your mile personal best to 7:00. That will make an 8:00 pace feel quite comfortable for your 5k/10k races!

You may also like:
Why and How Cadence is Important
All about Strides
Your 5 New Favorite Speed Workouts

Previous post Next post


  • By admin

    David, thanks for the recommendation. Arnstein is a great speaker, and I'm more than happy to watch or listen to him ;) Here's that video you mentioned:

  • By David

    If you want to know more, you should watch Michael Arnstein's third lecture on his youtube channel.
    He goes in a bit deeper and tells you how to train for your best mile, he also tells you how much to add per mile for your astimated times for various distances. Search for "the fruitarian".

Leave A Comment


  • Leg elevation may help increase blood flow post workout. #recovery

    23 min ago

  • If you're serious about running, there is no detail in your life which is too minor to be considered in relation to your training schedule.

    1 hour ago

  • Cool study coming out of @humboldtstate that found the metabolic cost of older joggers was similar to 20 year olds.

    1 hours ago