12

Three weeks before a marathon (Read 812 times)

    there aren't any 20s in there and the base isn't huge. 

     

    I've seen Nobby recommend 18 miles for marathons several times here. I just looked at mersault's log. Considering his base, recent mileage, and longest run (about 16 miles) wouldn't about 18 miles be more appropriate 3 weeks out?

      That's why you gotta do some of them as warmup miles Smile

       

      And I ALWAYS feel better after a nice cooldown or next-day shakeout run.

       I'm still with the not-quite-all-out caveat, because I know the difference between me running all out and keeping a bit of a reserve is not that much in time, but huge in recovery. Heck, my favorite last workout pre-½ (7-8 days out) is a 10K race where I run easy along the entire course beforehand, then cool down afterwards. I still keep a hair in reserve during that race, but I run it hard. If I raced that all out, I wouldn't be able to run 5K to cool down.

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

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

        1. The training effect of a half marathon race and a 20 mile long run are two very different things. No amount of fudging race effort or tacking on cooldown miles will change that. So, when approaching this question, let's not try to make an apple into an orange.

         

        2. The best way to keep yourself from giving too hard of an effort in the half, and the best way to make it a very good marathon specific training session is to train through the race. Don't taper too much--maybe just a couple days before. That way, you will not be strong enough or sharp enough to "hurt" yourself too badly. Also, you will be giving a hard effort in a semi-depleted state, which (if you are strong enough and you recover enough) is excellent marathon training.

         

        3. For the above reason, if you are an experienced and well-trained runner, racing a half marathon three weeks out can be a great training session, and even better you might get a half PR, not to mention a good data point for guessing your marathon pace.

         

        4. For the very same reason, if you are an inexperienced runner looking to survive your first marathon, racing a half in this condition would most likely be a mistake. First off, since you are not seasoned and strong, there is a good chance that you won't recover adequately. Secondly, you don't really need a 'deep' stimulus to move your fitness and to 'sharpen' you up for a great marathon performance. Your goal is to be able to finish the distance, running strong, and what you need is general fitness. Leave the peaking workouts to the people trying to squeeze an extra minute off their time. Thirdly, you are probably not training enough mileage (70+) to be really "training through" the race and so you risk leaving your marathon out on the course. The easy 20 miler would be a better choice in this case. 

         

        That's the way I see it.

          I've seen Nobby recommend 18 miles for marathons several times here. I just looked at mersault's log. Considering his base, recent mileage, and longest run (about 16 miles) wouldn't about 18 miles be more appropriate 3 weeks out?

          Do I say that? ;o)  Thereabouts, I guess...  I prefer "3-hours" and cap it there.  Running Wizard program goes as long as 2:45 (for the longest suggested duration) and, for some people, it may be as long as 13 miles or so.  Our biggest concern was muscle trauma caused by prolonged pounding.  We had one lady who wanted a refund for RW program because, she said, our training plan is "incomplete" without 3 or 4 X 20-miler.  Well, all due respect, I told her, if she's starting at 60-minutes being the longest run and if her VO2Max is relatively low, then the total distance for the long run will be not so long.  In other words, hate to say, perhaps she wasn't ready for a marathon.  The training program would have to be balanced; not just the distance.

           

          I went back and forth with Rod Dixon last October when he was heading the LA Road Runners Club to get ready for LA Marathon, run just a few weekends ago.  He said that the previous "coach" had 4 X 20-milers in the program.  I was totally against it.  He ended up scratching 3 of them, kept one, but included some tempoish run, per my suggestion (Out & Back).  He dropped it as low as 16-miles.  He understands, he did the same with his daughter's first marathon (http://www.lydiardfoundation.org/blog/EntryDisplay.aspx?EntryID=70); but, for the purpose of psychological confidence booster, kept ONE 20-miler.  He texted me this morning and told me the finish rate went up from 67% to 97%.  Injury rate went down from 27% to 5%.

           

          Looking at OP's log, he's done plenty of long runs (it seems...); why bother with yet another long run of 20-miler?  Actually I feel he would probably benefit more with a 10k race or something shorter/faster...  How you run the half would make a HUGE difference too.  Last weekend, Kristen (wannaberunner) ran a half marathon.  We went back and forth with her prep for Boston, which she's NOT racing seriously, but, nevertheless it's a full marathon and it's Boston.  At any rate, merely 5 minutes after she texted me, telling me she ran nice and easy, other lady, Kristin, texted me.  She's running a marathon in about 4 weeks and she "raced" a half on the same day.  She said she PR'ed by 4 minutes.  Well, I mixed them up, thinking it's that damn Kristen, started to yell at her (via texting)...  Well, it got pretty ugly...on both ends!!  That was TOTALLY my fault and took some begging for forgiveness...  At any rate, the point is; there's nothing wrong with racing the half; there's nothing wrong with "running nice and easily" the half a few weeks before the marathon...  It ALL depends on what you've been doing, how it's been going, what your goal is, what you did before and what you'll do after.   

            Personally I suggest running 18 or 20 for this run at 60-90 seconds slower than expected race pace.  I love the racing part as well but it seems as though this persons mileage is pretty low.  I'm too lazy to convvert the damn km to miles Smile   I think all the half can do at this point is get you hurt if you truly race it.  I'm a big believer in the long run.  If 16 miles is indeed your longest run at this point your going to wish you ran a 20 miler.  Even at an 8 minute pace you are asking your body to run 90 to 100 minutes longer than anything you have trained for so far.   That doesn't sound like a good plan to me. 

             

            It looks like this person has run at least one marathon before. 

             

            Of course you did something similar already.  Maybe four weeks instead of 3.  How did that go?

             

            DistanceTimePaceEventDate 
            Half Marathon 1:43:27 7:54 Marathon des Deux Rives SSQ - Demi-marathon 8/28/2011 View Race
            Marathon 3:42:23 8:30 Marathon Oasis de Montréal - Marathon 9/25/2011 View Race

            2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

            • Sub 22  5K
            • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
            • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon

              Personally I suggest running 18 or 20 for this run at 60-90 seconds slower than expected race pace.  I love the racing part as well but it seems as though this persons mileage is pretty low.  I'm too lazy to convvert the damn km to miles Smile   I think all the half can do at this point is get you hurt if you truly race it.  I'm a big believer in the long run.  If 16 miles is indeed your longest run at this point your going to wish you ran a 20 miler.  Even at an 8 minute pace you are asking your body to run 90 to 100 minutes longer than anything you have trained for so far.   That doesn't sound like a good plan to me. 

               

               

              I'm one of those guys that feels like I need the confidence of longer runs. Though, ironically I had my best marathon ever last fall, with only one or two runs over 18 miles (20 and 21). I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off at 21,but it didn't happen. And, frankly, the last 5 or 6 miles felt about the same as the last 5 or 6 miles of my long (and pretty hard) training runs. 

              mersault


                I really appreciate all your answers and the discussion that came from it, thanks!

                 

                Actually my marathon is at the end of may, this means that I'll enough time to run two 20 mile (or 32 km like we call them here Wink) runs until I taper whether or not I race the HM. BCR's right, I did run an HM four weeks before a marathon and then ran a 20 miler the week after. That felt great for both races. The truth is there is also an other HM four weeks before my marathon but this one is a bit expensive.

                 

                From what I've read, I think I'll go with the half three weeks before. Thanks again.

                12