Did one for the first time. Now in taper and second guessing.
Discuss. - Either talk me off the ledge or push me.
Break on through
I haven't gone more than 23 miles or so in training for a marathon, but I don't think it's that much of a stretch to run 26 miles in training if it is done as long - slow - distance. As long as you can recover quickly for the following week's training...
"Not to touch the Earth, not to see the Sun, nothing left to do but run, run, run..."
I followed the Hansons plan for my first marathon two weeks ago. Their plan caps the long run at 16 miles for lower mileage runners (70 mpw or less), but I snuck in a 18.7 miler and a 18.4 miler. I peaked at 71 mpw and averaged 55 mpw for 4 month with 5 weeks over 60 mpw. At mile 20 of my marathon I felt great. I never thought about walking (I actually did walk several times on my 18.7 mile training run), but the last mile of the race I thought I was really giving it my all and ran 1 second slower than my average pace for the race.
Based on my very limited personal experience, it seems that weekly volume means as much if not more than the long run does.
Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)
Current PR's: Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)
As it turned out, I couldn't train the next week due to schedule - away for work, two time zones away and working 14hr+ days. But I was playing with the kids in the back yard as soon as I got back, and didn't really feel bad at all. It may have been the best time to do it and best thing to do given what life did to my training at that time. I think a good training week following a 35km run probably would have been better, but wasn't an option.
I will say pounding out a marathon 20 min off my goal pace and feeling fine in hotter weather than I'll have in the race without support does wonders for confidence.
Viich, I'd be interested to hear about your race - I see from your log file that you hit the wall. Do you think that was related to your race-distance long run at all, or was it due to going out too fast, or lack of carb-loading before the race, not enough carb intake during the race and /or dehydration?
I think it was related to not having run enough miles and refusal to pace for less than a PB. The weather was good and I wanted to take advantage. I also was travelling the week before the race and didn't eat as well as I could. Dehydration I don't think was an issue, I think it was lack of fitness (not enough training), pacing, and nutrition. I really don't think the 3 weeks out race distance did that.
I've always responded well to big long runs, even at middle distance (1500m) racing - I was up around 27km (16-17mi) in support of 1500 racing, and it was a third or more of weekly mileage.