fbpx Skip to main content
PodcastSub 3

How to Run a Sub 3 Hour Marathon and Boston Qualifier – with Jay Motley

By January 11, 2019April 14th, 20222 Comments

“It was a great feeling. To come through and feel good at the end of a marathon and to be able to PR in that way. I give all the credit to the training method, it is just night and day from what I have done in the past.” – Jay Motley

Jay Motley, 38 years old, has dreamed for a long time to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He trained hard and long, but always fell short of the Boston Qualifying times. He was often injured and feeling drained. This all changes recently, when he tried a different approach to training and racing. Last month he improved from a 3:11 marathon to a 2:50 marathon, a huge PR and his dream of being able to run the Boston Marathon came through. 

In today’s episode of the Extramilest Show we discuss in detail about Jay’s learnings over the past 10 years of Marathon running, what changed he made to his training to qualify for Boston, his race strategy, race day execution and more.

The Extramilest Show on iTunes

Question of the day, what was one of your key takeaways from this conversation. Please let me know in the comments below!

This episode was brought to you by PATH projects, it is my favorite running clothing out there and the only shorts, liners, shirts and hats that I run in. Check them out at www.PATHprojects.com


  • How Jay started running to lose weight at age 20 [3:07]
  • How Jay lost 50 pounds in 12 months and maintained his weight ever since [4:30]
  • The first marathon Jay ran in 2008 in Nashville, TN, finishing in 3 hours 35 minutes [7:42]
  • His learnings from his first marathon training cycle [11:30]
  • Jay’s first marathon that he actually enjoyed running [13:35]
  • His experience with “Furman FIRST Program”, all high intensity hard runs [15:15]
  • His previous PR at the New York Marathon in 2014 in 3 hours 11 minutes [16:30]
  • What happened after Jay missed his race goals several marathons in a row [19:40] 
  • What Jay enjoys most about running [21:00] 
  • Jay’s journey to start thinking about qualifying for Boston again [23:22]
  • Jay describes coming across a Sub 3 Hour Marathon article by Floris which changed his training approach [24:55]
  • Jay’s initial experiences with Heart Rate Training and MAF [27:05]
  • How Jay decided the right Heart Rate to train with according to the MAF 180 formula [29:48]
  • Floris talks about more details of the 180 MAF formula [31:00]
  • Jay’s MAF test to measure aerobic progress on a monthly basis [32:00]
  • Importance of consistency and comparing apples to apples [34:35]
  • Flo’s thoughts on correct execution of the MAF test [34:50]
  • Jay’s progress with MAF tests over his training cycle to Sub 3 marathon [36:40]
  • Jay’s feeling of increasing training volume, while slowing down his pace on most runs [38:38]
  • How Jay added in speedwork after a few months of low heart rate runs only [40:00]
  • When Jay ran his MAF test with the Nike Vaperfly 4% shoes [42:38] 
  • The most amount of speedwork Jay ran the last 2 months before his Sub 3 Marathon [44:10]
  • How Jay trained on some downhill miles to get ready for his Marathon in Hawaii [46:20]
  • Jay describing his taper and what he would do different for his next training cycle [47:00]
  • Floris’s thoughts on the marathon taper [49:15]
  • Jay’s strategy going into his Sub 3 Marathon and how it worked out on race day [50:40]
  • How mile 18 – 20 felt during his Sub 3 marathon [56:08]
  • Some struggles Jay ran into during his Sub 3 marathon and how it overcame it [57:05] 
  • Jay describes the feeling of finishing in 2 hours 50 minutes, a 20 minute PR [59:06]
  • The importance of listening to the body and mind during training cycles [60:28]
  • Jay added yoga for strength, flexibility and mental training. Helped focus on his breathing 1:02:00
  • What Jay would do different for the training cycles + races [1:03:30]
  • Floris’s thoughts about the Boston Marathon [1:05:00]
  • Tips by Jay to qualify for the Boston Marathon, run a Sub 3 Hour Marathon or Marathon PR [1:06:38]  
  • How we learn from both good and bad runs [1:08:50]



You’ll get a weekly email from me with Strategies & Mindsets from best selling authors, world class athletes, coaches, and me, Floris Gierman.

No spam ever ⎯ and emails are never shared.

Follow me, Floris Gierman online:



  • Frank says:

    Excellent advice by Jay and you Floris, thank you for sharing. It’s my goal to go to Boston one day.

  • Philip King says:

    About to actually commit to a marathon training plan for a April race, so it was nice to hear how the slower paced runs will make you faster.

Leave a Reply