Difference between long run pace and marathon pace

What should be the difference between your long run pace and your marathon pace?  There is no simple answer . It all depends on your athletic ability.

When I was preparing for my first marathon, my long run pace was about 8:20/mile and the goal marathon pace was 8:00/mile. The difference was not very big there. At this point it was not about aerobic capacity, but about leg strength. For the first time I needed to hit pavement 40K+ times in rapid succession. I could have probably do all my runs with MP and will be OK.

Now my long run pace is 7:40 on average (varies from 8:00 to 7:20), which is not so far away from 3 years ago. But the target marathon pace is 6:50. And this is completely different effort. Now I’m looking at the long run for this weekend (16 miles total, 12 miles marathon pace) and preparing for a lot Type-2 fun.

 

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