I've done 3:37-3:41-ish for my three marathons on relatively low mileage. Last time, I upped my mileage, but it didn't seem to help, since I fared in the middle (3:39ish). I debated whether I wanted to follow the Furman FIRST Run Less Run Faster plan, which emphasizes 3 quality runs per week, with cross-training. Those runs are crazy difficult, like race pace stuff. I don't know if I could've handled that. Long runs were in the usual 20 range. Another option was the Hansons Method, which caps LRs at 16 miles and makes up for it by having another decent run right next to it, and by having a pretty high volume overall.
Right now, I'm planning on going with the Hansons plan. Mileage goes up to 57mpw. My max was maybe 39 on a week where I happened to have two long runs within the same week, I think. So that'll be a stretch. We'll see. I'll play it by ear.
Here's the plan:
So far, so good. But it starts easy. So much for the 10% rule!!!
Jun 5, Wednesday: 4.4 @ 7:57.
Jun 7, Friday: 1 hr strength session.
Jun 8, Saturday: 6.8 @ 8:54.
Jun 9, Sunday: 4.2 @ 8:28.
Jun 10, Monday: 4.0 @ 8:11... third day in a row of running! Originally planned on catching up on sleep, but figured why not run, b/c I felt ok. I breathed through my nose from mile 1.25->2.25... good lung exercise.
Jun 11, Tuesday: 50 min Biking session.
Jun 13, Thursday: 4.9 @ 8:46 outside at sunset... I got in 2x0.75 mi laps before I had to start using a headlamp, which I held in my hand... the risks of producing imbalances and injuring myself on unsteady footing are probably outweigh the gains of the run... know it for next time.
Jun 14, Friday: 1 hr strength session.
Jun 15, Saturday: 9.2 @ 8:48 outside. Went by easily and quickly. Sprained ankle @ mile 5 and limped for 100m before stabilizing and continuing on. Didn't stop my watch.
Jun 16, Sunday: 4.5 @ 8:54 outside. Ran on tired body, to build up endurance. The run beat me up. I rolled the right ankle again, in mile 4, but it wasn't as bad this time.