Long runs for marathon training

Long runs

Today marks 10 weeks to go before the marathon day. It’s also the week where I tried to evaluate the work done and find any flaws I might have. Overall, I would say I’m somewhere where I expected myself to be around this time, yet it’s hard to predict how my body will react to something I haven’t tried out before.

This brings me to my main concern. Last year when preparing for half marathon I did quite a lot of mileage to accustom my legs and body to the distance (also having several easy workouts exceeding HM distance). This week I noticed that I haven’t had any workout of over 2 hours and my overall weekly mileage was around 40km throughout last months (even less than I did for half marathon).

I did focus more on improving my speed and speed endurance this year and did pretty good on that. I feel more confident now about completing a half marathon with a good time (better than my previous year’s 1:27), but it’s also twice the distance this time. Having those extra long runs included in my training regime is critical to prepare muscles and accustom for the whole distance.

This week I didn’t do cycling at all and focused on running and kayaking for a change. I boosted my weekly mileage to 60km which I plan to sustain for the next 2 months. I also plan to change the schedule of my long runs a bit and make it more structured – one week a run of 2.5-3 hours and then a step back to 2 hours the week after (keeping steady and interval runs in the middle of the week to sustain pressure). This should provide the needed mileage and let my body understand what it’s about to embark on. I still have solid 2 months left before the run, so I think I will manage to close that gap.

Finally, what I think I really need to get into the habit of doing is stretching. I know it’s super beneficaial and when the race comes closer it becomes more important to leave no tight muscle, but I admit I’m not that great at it. With several workouts per day it’s hard to do it always – you basically need to stretch every couple of hours or so.

Finally, this week I also did a 6km at faster than HM pace to see how well I’m doing in keeping the pace. It went pretty well and I wasn’t tired that much – just what I wanted. It’s important to include control runs now and then to evaluate where you are, especially in a long preparation timeline like this. For me, for instance, it helped to understand current flaws and draw conclusions to improve them.

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