First one this year – and for this marathon training – done this morning. And did I forget how hilly Richmond Park actually is or what? Slightly different route to the last long runs in Richmond Park – pretty much going the other way round the park. Which turned out to be the hillier way round (is that a real word?).
It seems such a nice park when you get in and start running round, but there are many killer hills. Elevation changes of over 50m along route and some very quick changes, i.e. short steep hills. And then some long not as steep ones thrown in. All good training.
Pace was around 10% slower than planned marathon pace – which is good – but just found out it was a slower pace than back in 2009 (though the route was different and hillier as mentioned, and I did a 10 mile run yesterday, so little time to recover). Do need to leave longer gaps before the long runs.
Early start this morning – out for 8am – but then back before 11am and the rest of the day still ahead (and you’ve done a 20 mile run already). Great way to start the weekend. Hunger levels have been something else today!
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”…