Plan 6: Run Longer Tempo Runs
We admire runners who refuse to give up on their goals and who keep trying various methods to reach them. By this standard, Patrick Noble, a career Army man who's now retired and living in South Korea, deserves a lifetime achievement award. In 1986 Noble finished his first marathon in 3:17, feeling both proud and ambitious. "Let's go for a sub-3," he told himself.
Thus began the journey. Noble increased his training, and before long he had run 3:04, 3:01, 3:05, and 3:02. You can quickly see what's missing from this list. A less-determined runner might have given up. Not Noble.
He kept running marathons-dozens of them. In the last 2 years, he ran his 49th marathon. No luck. His 50th. Ditto. His 51st. Nope, sorry. But last May, in his 52nd marathon, Noble broke through the 3-hour barrier with a 2:58:23 at the Camp Casey U.S. Army base in South Korea. And it was a new approach to tempo runs, Noble believes, that helped him dip below 3:00.