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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those who don't know me. I am training to do my first Marathon in October and I am going to follow Hal Higdons guide for novices.

In his training schedule the longest run you have is 20 miles. (I thought it would be slightly further)


So my question is.... When I come to do the 20 mile run, if I feel ok should I try and go to maybe 22 miles or stop at 20.

It's just that psychologically if I only do 20 miles in training I know that I would still have the distance of 10K to do on top of that on the day of the Marathon. Where as if I did 22 miles in training, come that point during the Marathon I would know I would only have 4.2 miles left to do, which I think would be easier mentally.

Hope this makes sense :confused:

Richard
 

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Most people training for a marathon, I think, will not do more than 20 miles in a single session. The reason is that you tend to hit the wall around this distance and use up all your body's glycogen reserves, so any more mileage is just too tough on the body. It's ok to do once in a while when racing, but not recommended for training purposes. If you are doing a sufficient weekly mileage and doing a 16-20 mile run once a week, you should have no problem completing the marathon. I don't think (marathon runners will be able to better advise) adding a few miles on top of the 20 in a session is going to prove beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply JBBury. What you are saying makes total sense to me.

I've just checked how much training I will have to do during the week that I have to do the 20 mile run. I have two runs of 5 miles and one of 10. So yes, there is a fair bit of mileage that week.

Looks like I will be stopping at 20 miles for training purposes.

Cheers
Richard
 

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However, my schedule takes me up to 21-22 miles, which I do once. It works for me, probably more on a psychological way than anything else

So long as you run at an easy pace, and get your nutrition and hydration right before and during the run then you should be fine to extend one of the 20's if you want to
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Trinity.

Guess I will see how I feel towards the end of the run and take it from there.

It's still a few months away anyway.:d
 

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I did 18.5 miles as my long run before my marathon in edinburgh there. I would have liked to have done more but my training didnt go well as planned and it was a very warm day when i did the 18.5.

I wouldnt recommend doing less but what im saying is dont worry about not doing over 20miles. You have to be careful of injury as well. Dont worry about that unknown realm of never having run the distance before once your through the pain barrier or 'the wall' then your laughing :eek:

As Trinity states just make sure you get your nutrition right, especially in the build up to the marathon, night before, the morning and during.
 

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Just bear in mind that the saying goes that half way in a marathon is 20 miles... the last 6 can be just as hard as the first 20.

And as a veteran of almost 30 marathons I would tend to agree
 

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I always aim to do at least one of 20+ miles but just going to 20 shouldn't prevent you completing the course.
 

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Hi Richard,

I've only run one marathion to date but I followed a training plan that had one run of 20 miles as the biggest run I did. I think this was more of a milestone for the head than anything else. I finished the coure and felt OK but if I did another marathon (and hope I do) I would definately like to do at least one 22 mile run (maybe more).
 

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As most of you know, I ran the Edinburgh marathon not that long ago and my longest run was only 17miles. I felt comfortable doing this but I think if I did another marathon (trying to get in to London for next year) I would like to do 20miles in my training, as Granty said, its more a mile stone in your head than anything, if you know you can run for 20miles then the last 6 is just down to determination :d


O.
 

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Owain said:
As most of you know, I ran the Edinburgh marathon not that long ago and my longest run was only 17miles. I felt comfortable doing this but I think if I did another marathon (trying to get in to London for next year) I would like to do 20miles in my training, as Granty said, its more a mile stone in your head than anything, if you know you can run for 20miles then the last 6 is just down to determination :d


O.
I agree, the last 10km is down to shee determination. I would think that a 20-miler would be a long enough run, especially for your first marathon.

I know a few folk at my club go up to 22-23miles, but they have completed several marathons already and are aiming to get around the course in three hours (or less in a couple of cases)
 

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I have to be honest I'm quiet suprised at this. I would have thought it best to run beyond 'the wall' to get your body used to the loss of glycogen. But then again I guess weekly millage is more important and the number of marathons I currently have to my name is zero :embarrassed:
 

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fandango said:
I would have thought it best to run beyond 'the wall' to get your body used to the loss of glycogen.
I agree with fandango... but if you run longer than 20 in training you can guage more how it feels, how your body feels, and then know what to do so you don't hit the wall during the race itself
 

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This is all very useful info.. I've spoken to a lot of experienced marathon runners and they have all said 20 miles is enough

i'm up to 17 miles so far, was going to do 18 today but it's 27C out there so i'm going to do that run tomorrow, plan to run back from work then out... i'm planning on the Robin Hood marathon on Sept 14th so i have a bit of time, 5 good training weeks left after this one (for long runs), maybe six at a push so my current plan is to try for 22/23 miles
 

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I'm following the get me round method on training for Rome marathon in March. This sets your schedule by time rather than miles. The longest run is 4 hours. Given that I am aiming for sub 5 hours in the race, I reckon to do 20-21 miles 3 weeks before d-day
 

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I think there's definately going to be a huge psychological advantage from running over 20 miles... though physically I doubt there's much difference in benefit to be gained from it - training is all about putting miles in the bank and preparing your body for the intensities of a race - racing is where you withdraw all your training miles from the bank and give it everything you've got... I can imagine there would be some argument to say that extending your training runs beyond the wall will take a lot out of you physically, and ideally require longer rest periods afterwards, which in turn means you train less... e.g. taking an extra day off where you're usually run 6-8miles for the sake of running an extra 2 miles on the end of your long run ;)

Personally I'd probably push for the extra 2 miles as to me the psychological advantage would be a lot more beneficial - you just need to decide what is going to be most advantageous for you come race day ;)
 

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i think the key is around recovery though, you could also do psychological harm there by taking more than 1 day to fully recover and thus putting in some bad runs..

i'm having a tooth out today so will be (not literally) chomping at the bit come thursday as you're not supposed to exercise hard for a few days after this (wound can burst apparently) :(
 

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I think there's definately going to be a huge psychological advantage from running over 20 miles... though physically I doubt there's much difference in benefit to be gained from it - training is all about putting miles in the bank and preparing your body for the intensities of a race - racing is where you withdraw all your training miles from the bank and give it everything you've got... I can imagine there would be some argument to say that extending your training runs beyond the wall will take a lot out of you physically, and ideally require longer rest periods afterwards, which in turn means you train less... e.g. taking an extra day off where you're usually run 6-8miles for the sake of running an extra 2 miles on the end of your long run ;)

Personally I'd probably push for the extra 2 miles as to me the psychological advantage would be a lot more beneficial - you just need to decide what is going to be most advantageous for you come race day ;)
You're right about the psychological advantage, and it does also help to train further physiologically. But I've never needed to add another rest day for doing an extra couple of miles above 20. The following day is usually either a recovery run or a rest day anyway.

Plus the post long run cold bath sorts out most problems ;)
 

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Hi Richard / everyone!

When I trained for my forst Marathon I did several longruns ie: an 18 miler - 2 x 20 milers and a 22 miler.

I had plenty of time to get these runs in before the big day but in hindsight I realised that I had overdone it. By the time I actually ran the marathon I had already punished my knee joints more then they liked. The result was that by mile 16 of the race I was feeling it and by mile 20 I was in real pain.

My advice (and everyone is different) would be that if this is your first Marathon then take it easy. Maybe get in one real long run ie: an 18 or 20 miler, but don't over do it.

With your first Marathon your testing new limits, so the most important thing is enjoying the experience and crossing the finishing line in one piece. The running bug has already caught you and after this forst race you'll know what suits you best going forward!

The very best of luck and enjoy it!:d
 
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