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Taper vs. One Last Long Run

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  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    All other things being equal, assuming I start training even earlier (although, I really can't figure out how an extra 2 months still wasn't enough time to get it done) wouldn't it be the slightest bit beneficial to cover race distance in training before the taper?

    Here's a good discussion of the reasons why beginner marathon training plans don't include race distance:

    http://runnersconnect.net/coach-corner/why-you-shouldnt-use-marathons-as-long-runs-in-training/
  • Small_Town_Southern_ManSmall_Town_Southern_Man Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    I think you ought to just go ahead and sign up for a marathon the week before your marathon. That way, if you don't finish the first one, you can just skip the second one. Win, Win.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    I think you ought to just go ahead and sign up for a marathon the week before your marathon. That way, if you don't finish the first one, you can just skip the second one. Win, Win.

    Well, hey - I'll just sign up for another one every weekend and run the one I finally feel ready for. Sure. Totally.

  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    All other things being equal, assuming I start training even earlier (although, I really can't figure out how an extra 2 months still wasn't enough time to get it done) wouldn't it be the slightest bit beneficial to cover race distance in training before the taper?

    Here's a good discussion of the reasons why beginner marathon training plans don't include race distance:

    http://runnersconnect.net/coach-corner/why-you-shouldnt-use-marathons-as-long-runs-in-training/

    If there isn't benefit to running for longer than 90 minutes, and things start to get worse instead of better after 3 hours, are we really suggesting that I shouldn't be doing any training runs longer than 18 miles? I'm not a fast runner - 18 is really a stretch for the 3 hour mark.

    I could swear a read an article that argued that experienced marathoners paradoxically got faster with repeated marathons in close succession. I can't seem to locate it, now, though.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,444 Member Member Posts: 17,444 Member
    Ditto's to more than 3 hrs being counter-productive.

    If you merely need the feet time to feel confident and test out clothes and eating routine, then estimate your total time for the marathon.

    Divide by 5.

    Walk that time, run that time at race pace, walk, run, walk.

    Bam - accomplished total time on feet, without nearly the stress of running it the whole time, and confirmed what race pace feels like, even when tired at end of 2nd set of running, confirmed what you need for energy and water during race, how stomach feels, feet time, ect.

    That was in article years ago.

    Divide by 3 for half-marathon.

    Edit to add:
    The method for feeling comfortable with the pounding your legs will take - 1/3 the distance in 3 sessions within 24 hrs.
    Late evening - next morning - next evening.

    Still not as bad as doing it all at once and the recovery that would be required from it.

    Anything done in that last week won't add to any improvements to the body for the actual race.
    Anything within the last week or two is only going to potentially make the race worse or not possibly because of injury.

    I'd say that some runs over 90 min is going to be good for training the fat burning system better, so those are still useful, don't need many though, because you can accomplish the same thing with shorter still calm runs to focus on that too.
    But most people when they do short go out too hard to train the fat burning system.
    edited April 2016
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,444 Member Member Posts: 17,444 Member
    I think you ought to just go ahead and sign up for a marathon the week before your marathon. That way, if you don't finish the first one, you can just skip the second one. Win, Win.

    Well, hey - I'll just sign up for another one every weekend and run the one I finally feel ready for. Sure. Totally.

    Ya, nothing like plucking down $60-$80 week after week to finally get inspired!
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    I could swear a read an article that argued that experienced marathoners paradoxically got faster with repeated marathons in close succession. I can't seem to locate it, now, though.

    I'd contend that there is a big difference between training to run your first marathon, and running a marathon per month...
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    I could swear a read an article that argued that experienced marathoners paradoxically got faster with repeated marathons in close succession. I can't seem to locate it, now, though.

    I'd contend that there is a big difference between training to run your first marathon, and running a marathon per month...

    I recognize that. I would like to re-read whatever was in that article for a better breakdown of why and how.

    It's interesting that one of the answers to "How do I run a faster 5k" is "run more miles at a slower pace" and how that doesn't carry over past a certain point, which I am learning today is somewhere around the 3 hour mark.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Ditto's to more than 3 hrs being counter-productive.

    If you merely need the feet time to feel confident and test out clothes and eating routine, then estimate your total time for the marathon.

    Divide by 5.

    Walk that time, run that time at race pace, walk, run, walk.

    Bam - accomplished total time on feet, without nearly the stress of running it the whole time, and confirmed what race pace feels like, even when tired at end of 2nd set of running, confirmed what you need for energy and water during race, how stomach feels, feet time, ect.

    That was in article years ago.

    Divide by 3 for half-marathon.

    Edit to add:
    The method for feeling comfortable with the pounding your legs will take - 1/3 the distance in 3 sessions within 24 hrs.
    Late evening - next morning - next evening.

    Still not as bad as doing it all at once and the recovery that would be required from it.

    Anything done in that last week won't add to any improvements to the body for the actual race.
    Anything within the last week or two is only going to potentially make the race worse or not possibly because of injury.

    I'd say that some runs over 90 min is going to be good for training the fat burning system better, so those are still useful, don't need many though, because you can accomplish the same thing with shorter still calm runs to focus on that too.
    But most people when they do short go out too hard to train the fat burning system.

    I've still got the rest of this week and all of next week to reassure myself that I can still do 22 miles, like I did that one time back at the end of January. I'll try to calm down about anything more than that. Today, I managed just under 13 miles (in 2 hours and 20 minutes) before the chafing set in. That is on top of yesterday's 11 miles before my body decided I needed to poop. Since both of these runs were intended to be the 18 miler I should have done 2 weeks ago Saturday, I went out at a pace that I thought I could sustain for over 3 hours. I hope that's doing what it should for the fat burning system.

    I guess I'm not doing quite everything completely wrong. I hope.
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    I could swear a read an article that argued that experienced marathoners paradoxically got faster with repeated marathons in close succession. I can't seem to locate it, now, though.

    I'd contend that there is a big difference between training to run your first marathon, and running a marathon per month...

    I recognize that. I would like to re-read whatever was in that article for a better breakdown of why and how.

    It's interesting that one of the answers to "How do I run a faster 5k" is "run more miles at a slower pace" and how that doesn't carry over past a certain point, which I am learning today is somewhere around the 3 hour mark.

    I read something recently around the performance improvement for a competitive marathoner that involved 30 mile progression runs and regular back to back 25-30s, but he was working in excess of 100 mile weeks, and complementing that with shorter speedwork sessions.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member

    I read something recently around the performance improvement for a competitive marathoner that involved 30 mile progression runs and regular back to back 25-30s, but he was working in excess of 100 mile weeks, and complementing that with shorter speedwork sessions.

    Do you have a link to that article?
  • MeanderingMammalMeanderingMammal Member Posts: 7,870 Member Member Posts: 7,870 Member
    Cant even remember where I read it.

    Might have been Runners World, linked from their Farcebook page.
  • pomegranatecloudpomegranatecloud Member Posts: 816 Member Member Posts: 816 Member
    Cant even remember where I read it.

    Might have been Runners World, linked from their Farcebook page.

    I'm pretty sure it's from Runners World. I remember reading the article recently.
  • msf74msf74 Member Posts: 3,501 Member Member Posts: 3,501 Member
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    msf74 wrote: »
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)

    Well, at any rate, I had 4 weeks to go before my race when I first posted. I followed everyone's suggestion to stop training at the recommended just-shy-of-3/4 distance of 20 miles. I ran my race, and I didn't die.

    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    I still think it's silly to go out and weekend warrior the hell out of a race instead of preparing for the whole thing. It's time to do my research on how ultra runners train. I'm sure they're not limiting themselves to long runs under 3 hours to prepare for 24 hour races. I'm not saying that I'm ready for a longer distance - but I'm going to have to disagree with "conventional wisdom" on this one.
  • TavistockToadTavistockToad Member Posts: 35,819 Member Member Posts: 35,819 Member
    msf74 wrote: »
    You're better off tapering as others have said.

    I get that knowing you can run the distance can help mentally.

    However offset against that is the physiological trade off that you might experience or increase the risk of injury by doing the longer run now, you may not be able to recover in time meaning your performance on the day will be compromised, whether it will have any physiological benefit anyway given how long the run will be and also even if it did have a benefit whether you have enough time for your body to make the adaptations you hope the training run will achieve (long runs take about 4 weeks generally for the benefits to be maximised - see here: How long before you benefit from a workout?)

    Well, at any rate, I had 4 weeks to go before my race when I first posted. I followed everyone's suggestion to stop training at the recommended just-shy-of-3/4 distance of 20 miles. I ran my race, and I didn't die.

    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    I still think it's silly to go out and weekend warrior the hell out of a race instead of preparing for the whole thing. It's time to do my research on how ultra runners train. I'm sure they're not limiting themselves to long runs under 3 hours to prepare for 24 hour races. I'm not saying that I'm ready for a longer distance - but I'm going to have to disagree with "conventional wisdom" on this one.

    Ok, good luck. Keep us posted.
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    4:55:15

    I was right where I expected to be, regardless of how much walking I did in the last hour and twenty minutes. My treadmill is not well-calibrated, and I have no true idea of my "easy" pace. I impressed myself with those first 20 miles, though. By effort, it felt like what I'd been doing on the treadmill, which the machine insists are 11 minute miles. GPS called them 10:15's.

  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Member Posts: 1,485 Member Member Posts: 1,485 Member
    The first 20 miles were fine, and then, the other 6.2 miles beat me up.

    Like pretty much every other first time marathoner...

    I really don't get how nobody seems to make a connection between "everyone bombs at mile 20" with the fact that they've been told that their last long run shouldn't be any longer than that. Why are we setting ourselves up for failure by training for less than a full marathon?

    Yeah, no, I can be ok with the part where I just don't get it and that makes me the stupid one. I recognize that this was where we started, and you guys all tried to steer me down the conventional path. I tried it your way, and now I'm going to do my own thing. It's cool.
    edited May 2016
  • snikkinssnikkins Member Posts: 1,282 Member Member Posts: 1,282 Member
    No one is setting themselves up for failure by not running the full 26.2 miles before race day. When I ran my first marathon, I wanted race day to be the first one. Period.

    Also, it is possible that your attitude ruined your last 6.2 miles. My head space makes a big difference, no matter whether I'm running 5k or 50k.
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