How long is long? And the wall…

Now it’s time for the long runs – the staple of any marathon training programme.  But how long is long?  Lots of theories out there and most suggest not running the full 26.2 miles before the big day.  I’m not sure on this on yet – going from 23 to 26.2 last time was a huge huge jump (for me at least).

Back in 2009 I got up to 23 miles and felt great after.  3 runs over 20 miles in total.  This time the plan is 3 or maybe 4 over 20 miles and the longest as 24 or even 26 – TBC.  The added challenge with the long runs is where to go for that distance.  Richmond Park was a  favourite before – and is for others – but it has lots of  steep) hills.  Maybe a good thing.

Longish run tally for training so far is:

  • 1 x 15 miles
  • 2 x 16 miles
  • 1 x 17 miles

Tomorrow is the first longer one – 18 miles.  And the plan is to go at a slowish pace, up past Hampton Court.  Should be nice – that’s another great route with some top scenery.

The official word on long runs – care of Runners World – is…

“The long run is the staple of every distance runner’s diet. If you’re training for a marathon, it’s de rigeur. Novice runners use them as springboards to the finish line, and elite marathon runners do multiple long runs to improve their times.”

For more information on why, what and how – take a look at Runners’ World.

And it’s all about getting used to the distance and running for that length of time and your body adjusting to how it gets it’s energy and preparing for the dreaded “Wall”…

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