Back-to-back long runs: Preferred sequence? (Read 97 times)


    Back-to-back long runs for Ultra training: What is the preferred sequence – longer one followed by shorter, or vice-versa? In looking at various training plans put out by reputable authors, most have long followed by short. Maybe its not a settled issue though, because I also found some plans, also from reputable sources, with short followed by long. Opinions? Thanks!


    Are we there, yet?

      I've seen a few plans that don't bother with back-to-back long runs.  One long run a week is presumably enough.

       2023 Races:

            04/15 - Alexander County 12-Hour
            06/16 - Six Days in the Dome 12-Hour




      37 going on 60

        My guess is longer then shorter, unless you are pushing a pace goal.  Your legs will be beat up going into the second day and pushing on already tired legs for a longer distance seems like it can really compound damage.  So doing a 20 miler then a 17 miler makes a lot more sense to me than 17 miles then pushing further to 20.  It would make sense if you are trying to get the feeling of running when really tired, but that type of running should be limited for injury prevention.


        -My 2 cents from a guy who has been injured on the day after a workout pushing hard on day 2.


        2021 Goals for my 2 marathon cycles this year

        Marathon Sub 2:40 2:39:27 Grandma's Marathon 6/19/21

        10k Sub 35:00 in Marathon build

        5k Sub 16:30 in Marathon build /16:34 BK5K Memorial Day 2021


        2022 Goals

        Marathon Sub 2:37 2:41:32 Grandma's 2022

        10k Sub 35:00

        5k Sub 16:00



          Make them equal distance then everyone is happy.

          12-22  Last One Standing  - dnf 37 miles

          1-23 Sun Marathon - 3:53

          3-4-23 Red Mountain 55k - 7:02

          4-23 Zion 100



          an amazing likeness

            There are well-used marathon training plans which deliberately have the shorter long-ish on Saturday at harder effort, so the Sunday long starts on fatigued legs. Objective is to train mentally on the tough late miles, as well as physical.


            ...I've no insights as to if that translates to ultra training...

            Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.


              I think it matters little enough that it’s best to do whatever suits your schedule and personal preferences.


              I like longer on Saturday.  Once or twice a training cycle I might do 10 Friday, 25-30 Saturday, 15 Sunday.


              One benefit of Saturday as the longer run is that if something comes up on Sunday you’ve at least got one long run in.


                Is there a right and a wrong answer? I don't think so.


                I would say the most important question is can your body withstand 37 miles in 2 days?


                If the answer is yes, then I would personally do what I feel makes more sense given the pros and cons of each, and probably try them both and see which way I like it best.