How many long runs?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 14 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1371


    In typical marathon training, how many and how far are your long runs?

    Mine was something like 10, 14, 10race, 16, 16, 19, 10race, 22, 17mp. Before this I was in my base building phase and did something like 2 14s and 2 15s. This is my first marathon so everything from 15 up has been my longest run ever. With only 3 weeks to go, I guess what Im getting at here is will I be prepared having run only 2 really long runs, ie 19 and 22? Yesterday I did 17 at mp relatively effortlessly, but I know the marathon is 9 long miles more.

  • #14043


    When I was seriously training for a “Boston qualifier” I would already be doing “long runs” in the 12-14 range before marathon training. Then I would begin with a 16 miler and move up a mile or two every two weeks, with a shorter long run between. I would run as long as 26, which I would do twice. So about 10-12 longs runs between 16-26 miles.

    Back to your question [which I’m sure you understand better now after your race] it depends on your profile, present condition and your goals. If you’re just looking to finish than a couple of 20 milers are fine for most. But RACING 26 is a different matter completely. I felt my marathon success was dependant prinicipally on two elements; quality long runs and race pace runs. By quality I mean I would run some of my long runs at a good pace, not LSD. And I would work on PICKING up the pace the last 1-4 miles of them. Example: Averaging 7:20 for the marathon I would do these “pickups” at race pace or faster. For me that mattered alot as, like many runners, I had to fight the screaming urge to pull off the pace those last 5 miles of the marathon. This workout showed me I could not only hold my pace but run faster. Of course, in the actual race you are running hard the whole time – huge difference. The other key workout were race pace runs starting out at 5 consecutive miles and working up to 10-12 miles at race pace. That proved to me I could hold my projected pace for an extended distance. Another great confidence booster!


  • #14044


    It really depends on your goals. If your goal is to finish, you have done enough. If your goal is to race, you probably haven’t.

    One thing I would say, though, is that there is no single key component of training. If there were, I think some of what I saw and heard this weekend would suggest that it would be weekly mileage. As an example, Deeja Youngquist stated that her breakthrough was directly related to her going from 50 mpw to 100+ mpw over time. That said, in order to be able to race a marathon, you have to be comfortable with running 20 miles, no matter how many 20 milers that takes. As Double says, before you can be ready to race a marathon, you have to be capable of running 20 at the drop of a hat.

  • #14045


    Just wrapped up my training. I followed the Pfitzinger / Douglas advanaced marathon program (not to a tee but close enough). Ideally, would have had an additional 22 miler which I missed due to illness.

    here are my long runs:

    1/11 15 lsd

    1/18 17 lsd

    1/25 18 lsd

    2/1 15 lsd

    2/8 18 lsd

    2/15 20 half at MP

    3/7 21 lsd

    3/14 18 last 4 at MP

    3/21 18 lsd

    3/28 20 – 15 at MP

    4/4 20 last 4 at MP

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