Even at 80 miles a week, how much do you need to depend on the long run for a marathon? Now at 50 miles a week it becomes a lot higher priority.
Which creates an interesting paradox. At 80 miles a week, the long run isn't that big of a deal. It's a very manageable run when your average run outside of the long run is already 10 miles or so. At 50 miles a week, the long run is a major challenge. It can be close to half of your weekly mileage and is an incredible strain.
However, as valuable as the long run is, you tend to question if some runners are putting to high of a value on it in relationship to the other training. Speaking of runners who are planning on meeting specific time goals in the marathon.
I don't think I'm the only one around here who would say some runners most definitely are putting too high of a value on the long run at the cost of the other training.