Route to 66 - Long Run Day by dmlipinski at Garmin Connect - Details
The difference between regular maintenance running, and the running I do once the marathon training begins is that a long run is required almost every week after the training period begins. This long run can vary in distance, but I have found that a run of ten or more miles is required. One of the training programs I have used suggested that training runs that exceed two-and-one-half hours might actually be harmful in improving your conditioning. I have found it depends on how fast you run (if you are a 'real-fast' runner, this training run would actually exceed the 26.2 mile marathon distance!). Well, I'm not real-fast, so I don't have the excessive distance problem. And, for the last few years, I have set my maximum pre-marathon run to be somewhere between 15-20 miles. This distance does take me more than the suggested two-and-one-half hours, but it seems to work for me. With this long run distance established, I normally set up my marathon training program with the longest run happening about a week or 10 days before the marathon. I then work back through the marathon training time period and have a run that is a mile shorter for each week leading up to the longest run. I might repeat a long run distance (like 15 miles) for a couple of weeks as the long run day. My training program for this year is about 100 days long and ends with the marathon on June 21st. So, working backwards, today became the first long run training run for this marathon.
I actually did pretty good too and only walked a bit of the uphill section coming back to the ranch. (I certainly do prefer downhill finishes, but it can only happen if I start my run by running uphill!). The geography of the ranch only gives two choices when the run begins!