I am currently running 22.0 miles with Megan, but here’s an interesting topic to discuss until I come back! 🙂
How long should your longest run before a marathon be?
You should ALWAYS train to run the race distance, of course, but does that mean you actually need to run the distance before the big day? My first race was a 10K, and the longest I ran before the race was 5.0 miles (so 1.2 miles short). When I ran a 15K, the longest I ran was a 8.0 miler (or 1.3 miles short). But, when I did my first Half Marathon, I ran 14.0 miles the weekend before. I wanted to “know” I could do it and then some.
Marathons, however, are different. Few people (especially people not training to qualify for Boston) run the entire 26.2 miles before race day, just because it’s so hard on your body.
Most plans max you out at 20 miles, which I ran a few weeks ago. Other plans suggest a maximum of 23 miles. But how is it possible to run only 20 – 23 miles in practice and then bust out 26.2 in race conditions?
- On January 10, I will have tapered for 3.5 long weeks, so I’ll be extremely rested and ready to go! I am currently not in a state of recovery.
- Race day makes you excited and gives you an extra boost.
- If I can run 22 miles, I can run 26.2 miles based on sheer will and determination.
Why am I running 22 miles this morning and not two 20’s? Well, I just want to feel “that much” closer to the big 26.2. I hope my 22 miler gives me a great experience to draw on when the going gets tough at the marathon.
For shorter races, do you run less than the race distance, the race distance, or plus some? If you’ve done a marathon, what was your longest long run and why?