If you are familiar with my coaching style you know that I’m a firm believer of every workout having a specific purpose. I find that athletes who go into a run with a goal in mind perform much better than athletes that just run to run and log the miles. This is particularly important with long run training days, which for most of us typically falls on a Saturday.
For those athletes training for a marathon these long training days are critical not only for building endurance, but also simulating race day conditions. It is on these days when we can teach our bodies to become more efficient at burning fat, utilizing supplemental fuel and working harder on tired legs. This helps an athlete maintain pace in the later miles of a marathon when it really counts.
Depending on the athlete’s age, fitness and goals I typically include several 18 mile runs, some 22 mile runs and even a few 24 mile runs into a marathon training program. Again, this is all dependent upon the individual athlete’s ability to take on the stress. I utilize these key workouts to get the most of an athlete and showcase how their training is taking hold. During these sessions we deplete the body of glycogen, forcing it to utilize fat as fuel, work on efficiency and goal specific pace progressions. Most importantly we work on the mental part of a race.
One of my favorite long run workouts starts with a 10 mile easy run, followed by 8 miles at race pace, 2 miles at half marathon race pace and 2 miles at an easy cool down pace. This 22 mile workout is not only challenging, but also provides some very insightful data and as such, is a good marathon predictor. More advanced athletes putting in very high volume will do a similar workout twice in a day, lower mileage with higher intensity.
On your next long run, don’t just spin your wheels putting in “junk” miles. Make sure the time you spend running has a purpose and the workouts are paced for the distance you are running. If you need any help, I would be happy to share a few workouts you can incorporate into your training.
—- Did you find this information helpful? If so, pass it along to a friend by using the links below.
Also, as subscribers to my newsletter you should have all received a copy of your “Post Race Recovery Tips”. I have gotten great feedback and I’m very happy so many find the ebook helpful. As always, please email me directly at [email protected] with any comments, recommendations or questions you might have.