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Long run distance (Read 2236 times)

giddy-yup


    This has been an interesting read.  I'm curious how these ideas translate to training for ultras. I would assume the general 'time on your feet' standard would not apply when training for a race 10, 20, 25+ hours long races. Do folks here run 30m+ or back to back days ~20 milers? How close to the event? And how often?

      This has been an interesting read.  I'm curious how these ideas translate to training for ultras. I would assume the general 'time on your feet' standard would not apply when training for a race 10, 20, 25+ hours long races. Do folks here run 30m+ or back to back days ~20 milers? How close to the event? And how often?

      Many people do 8+ hr long runs while others do b2b - maybe 5/4hr or 6/3 or whatever.

       

      The model that was suggested to me by an experienced ultra runner is to do your longest long run (8hr or whatever) about 5 wks out and a 4-hr run about 3 wks out. In the 3 months prior to that, do long or b2b every 2 wks, alternating. IOW, 8hr, then 2 wks later b2b, then 2 wks later another 8hr, etc so you have 3 8-hr runs and 3 b2b (say 5/3hr) in those 3 months.

       

      In my case, since my main race is early Aug/late July, those 3 months are April-June. It's still snowing in April, so 8hr runs in April don't help me with fluids, etc in heat of summer. So I tend to start with b2b, let the first day get longer, and maybe shorten the 2nd (or not), until in May I'm doing 8hr long runs. Through accidental experimentation, I've found I (slowpoke) do better with at least 3, preferably 4, runs in the 8ish hr range (for a 13-hr race).

       

      My races generally don't have aid stations, so need to carry food for 38mi but can refill bladder or bottle from streams. Weather changes in that time period, so some gear for cold, driving rains may be desirable.

       

      We frequently use time on feet rather than miles because most physiological adaptations are based on time and intensity. I've been told that the endocrine adaptations for running many hours doesn't really start getting trained until about 4 hrs.  Also, it's going to take a lot longer to run, say, 30mi with 6000ft of uphill and 6000ft of downhill on trail than it does to run 30mi on a flat road. Miles is a useful metric only if you're on similar terrain. While there are some ultras on non-mountain terrain, many are in the mountains.

       

      Purpose of long runs (besides physiological adaptations):

      Figure out hydration, electrolytes, and fuel for running that duration under those weather conditions. Yes, it changes, that's why the need for multiple runs to experiment. Some people near lots of races may just use races, rather than training runs, to figure out some of this.

       

      Figure out gear and how to use it. Do shoes that are comfortable for 2 hrs suddenly become painful as feet swell 8 hr into a race? What about chafing from clothes or packs? Blisters?

       

      Gear for weather. These aren't big city marathons with sag wagons, although some are fairly close to roads or on roads. You may be on your own with no cell phone reception, no roads, etc. Be prepared to deal with whatever nature dishes up across a many hour period in the mountains. Hypothermia can be dangerous, even for runners - or maybe especially for runners (I don't need no stinkin' rain gear). I've seen more than one runner DNF when they weren't prepared for weather. Practice getting gear out of pack and putting it back in as weather changes.

       

      (Sorry, but being unprepared for weather is a pet peeve of mine. Sounds like a few folks got surprised at UTMB this past weekend. A friend of mine collapsed in the last 5ish miles of a 100-mi race but fortunately was found by snow machiners in the area and brought to race headquarters.)

       

      How to refill bottles / bladders or whatever you're using from stream (purification) or aid station, depending on your race.

       

      For me, a 4-hr run doesn't help me that much with figuring out fluids, etc when you're going to be out there 10+ hrs. Tastes change, stomachs revolt, etc. Most days I can go 3-4 hr with only water or sports drink. You can't foresee everything and train for it, but the more experience you have, the better. And experience isn't measured by miles per week. At the very least, it includes differences in terrain and weather.

       

      So there are benefits to many hour long runs. They may not be the same types of benefits being discussed in a marathon training book.

      (note: I've only completed one 50k and one 50mi race, but have run 38mi a few times. Others with more experience will probably have other thoughts.)

      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


      I'm back!

        Some people near lots of races may just use races, rather than training runs, to figure out some of this.

         

        Yeah. Marathons on successive days is good training. Any marathon is enough training to at least complete a 50K, 50Ks are good training for 50 milers, etc.

          Yeah. Marathons on successive days is good training. Any marathon is enough training to at least complete a 50K, 50Ks are good training for 50 milers, etc.

           

          Are they good training for your first marathon?

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

            Just to add to this with my own personal training and a few questions.

             

            I plan to run/race a marathon in about 5 weeks.  I haven't run one in about 20 years (41 now) but in ramping up my training my goal was always to quality for Boston, which is currently 3:20 (7:38/mile) for me.

             

            Over the past few months my long runs have looked like this:

            14 miles    2:04:44     8:44/mile

            15 miles    2:04:24     8:17/mile

            16 miles    2:22:03     8:52/mile

            15 miles    2:06:23     8:25/mile

            17 miles    2:16:45     8:02/mile

            19 miles    2:42:18     8:32/mile

            20 miles    2:41:14     8:03/mile

            21 miles    3:30:16    10:00/mile

             

            You will notice on tonight's run that I drastically changed pace and ran more for "time on my feet" as opposed to strictly building miles.  Was that a good thing or would I have been better off doing the 21 miles in under 3 hours?  I think from a confidence perspective it helps because I know I can last 3.5 hours which is kind of my "worst case" goal.

             

            I'm still not even sure I am capable of a 3:20.  My most recent PR's are 34:15 for 8k and 43:44 for 10k.  I have another 10k this weekend that should tell me about how much my fitness level has changed in the past few months since I ramped up my mileage and training quality.  I am hoping for sub 43.

             

            Am I better off just shooting for a 3:30 pacing in the first marathon and then go for the 3:20 after I've got a little marathon experience?

             

            Thanks

            2014 Goals

            Weight - 200 lbs (stuck around 211)

            2000 miles (1190 as of July 1)

            Work on stretching and flexibility (doing so much better at this!)

            Stay healthy for Boston 2015 (have a BQ -9:00 time) - check!

            Marathon - 3:10 (Goal Race in October)

            HM 1:29:59 (Goal race in July)

            10k - 39:59 (no goal race yet)

            5k - 19:30 (goal race July 4)

             

              I've only gone over 20 miles twice, neither had anything to do with a race coming up, just kind of out for a run. I run 25-29km (15.5-18 miles) regularly to prepare for a half-marathon.  I haven't done a marathon, and don't have immediate or definite plans to.

               

              22/Aug/10 Run   Long 33.2 km 2:44:37 4:58
              20/Jun/10 Run   Long 34.2 km 2:51:13 5:01

               

              I guess the one in August was 20.6 , and the one in June 21.25 in miles, both around 8 min/k.  I hadn't realized they were over 20 miles until I went back and looked and did the math. 

               

              Both of them were just out running with someone else who was working up to a marathon. The one in June I was in pretty good condition myself, the one in August I hadn't been running much at all, but had just been up in the mountains and did a couple runs, and stayed almost a week, then came back down do sea level. Don't know if that actually helped, but it happened. Having done it before, I think I'd probably do a couple runs of this distance or a little longer.

               

              To Rick Stone: Your last long run is much more the idea. 20 mile runs at race pace isn't quite the idea of long runs in training. You also need to do more running outside of your long runs, they're ½ of your running in most of your weeks. As far as your question about going for 3:30 or 3:20, it comes down to how bad did you feel after 20 miles at 8 min pace?  You had two days off coming in to it, so should have been pretty fresh. If that was just out for a run, then the 3:20 is in play. If you felt like that was a race effort or close to it, I might think twice.

              2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

              2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

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