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Marathon Foundation Run

Brian Kondas Marathon Foundation Run

Get answers to foundation run questions and learn about marathon training.

Foundation Run FAQs

What is a foundation run?

It’s NOT a charitable organization. It’s a heart rate zone 2 run over a moderate distance.

What is the purpose of foundation runs?

Foundation runs build your aerobic base. Running two or more weekly foundation runs can increase your weekly mileage.

Marathon Training Foundation Run

As you build your aerobic foundation, you can sustain faster running paces while maintaining your zone 2 heart rate.

Based on a new threshold heart rate of 155 bpm set in my age-group 15K race victory at Fort De Soto, my zone 2 heart rate is 126 bpm to 140 bpm. Your threshold heart rate is the highest average heart rate you can sustain for 60 minutes.

One Hour Foundation Run

With seven weeks until the Jacksonville Marathon, I perform a one-hour foundation run from the 80/20 Marathon Level 2 plan. The weather is a cool 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s my workout:

  • Warm-up 5 minutes in heart rate zone 1
  • Active 55 minutes in heart rate zone 2

Running Splits

TimeDistanceAvg Pace
5:000.519:44
8:441.008:44
8:441.008:44
8:371.008:37
8:471.008:47
8:491.008:49
8:511.008:51
2:270.2211:06

Running Assessment

Based on my running splits and self-assessment, I felt very strong for most of the foundation run. However, in the last five minutes, I felt weak. Probably because I did not drink or consume any gels during the run.

Garmin Running Stats

The following running stats are from my Garmin Forerunner 255 watch:

  • Distance and Time: 6.74 miles in 1 hour
  • Average Pace and Heart Rate: 8:55 /mile and 130 bpm
  • Average Power and Cadence: 351 W and 154 spm

After the 5-minute warmup, I ran 6.22 miles (10 kilometers) in 55 minutes. My active run pace was 8:50 /mile. My target marathon pace is 9 minutes per mile for a sub-4 hour marathon. Thus, based on this foundation run, I can run my marathon pace in heart rate zone 2.

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