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How long is to long?

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How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:47 pm

How long is to long for a long run?

My daughter committed to running the Portland Marathon with a friend and her friend hasn't kept up her end of the deal so I've agreed to pace Katie for her first marathon. She's run the occasional race off and on for a few years but nothing serious. She's overweight and has thyroid issues so she struggles a bit. She's been pretty committed to her training since January, lost a bit of weight and finished a half a couple months ago in 2:40. Her most recent long run was 16 miles and it took her 3:45. She has an 18 mile run scheduled for this weekend and then a 20 mile before she starts to taper. I'm concerned that these runs will be just to much time on her feet and may do more harm than good. She plans to jog about half way and then walk/jog the 2nd half of the marathon. Originally she had hoped to finish in 6 hours and while she hasn't abandoned that goal she would be happy to finish in one piece at this point in time.

What advice should I give her?

Thanks...
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Julie on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:15 pm

I'm not sure, but how did she feel after her 16 miler? I've run plenty of long, slow runs and have definitely logged over 4 hrs when you include potty breaks/gas stations for water refills. If she didn't feel too sore or awful after the 16 miler I'd definitely go the 18 and honestly I'd kind of worry about not doing a 20 just because I think mentally that helps so much in a marathon to know you've already run a 20 miler and felt good (if it felt good).
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:37 pm

@Julie wrote:I'm not sure, but how did she feel after her 16 miler? I've run plenty of long, slow runs and have definitely logged over 4 hrs when you include potty breaks/gas stations for water refills. If she didn't feel too sore or awful after the 16 miler I'd definitely go the 18 and honestly I'd kind of worry about not doing a 20 just because I think mentally that helps so much in a marathon to know you've already run a 20 miler and felt good (if it felt good).

Julie, I think she was pretty sore for a few days but I think thats expected to a certain extent. She's a computer nerd at Intel so sits at a desk all day...I've reminded her to get up and walk around every couple hours when she's sore. If I remember right it was a bit hot the day she did her 16.

You're right about the mental boost from doing a 20 miler. The last thing I want to do is let her know that I'm concerned about whether she can do it...she doesn't want to start the marathon with doubt in her mind!

Maybe it's best to keep encouraging her and see how she does this weekend.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  T Miller on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:24 am

Another way to look at it is that she should train for approximately the same time on her feet as she is expecting in the marathon. I don't see any problem with her going 18 or even 20 unless there is an injury presenting itself. I don't know what training distance the time on your feet would take her to but I'm also not suggesting that she should go over the 18 and 20.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Julie on Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:03 am

I would definitely not go further than 20 but really, yes if she's going to be on her feet 6 hrs for a marathon I don't know why a 4.5 hr long run would be that bad. If she really wants to do this marathon I would think 18-20 even if it is on the slower side, would be good. I know I've read the advice for slower runners not to go past a certain number of hrs on their feet for long runs but I guess it doesn't make that much sense to me.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  carleenp on Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:53 pm

I'm running Portland!

I think the 18 and 20 will be good for her. But she should feel free to run walk parts of them, especially if that is what she will be doing in her race, and there is nothing wrong with not going over 18 if the first 18 seems too much.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:14 pm

Thanks everyone...you're right she does need to get through those last two long runs if she expects to make it the full distance on race day. She's struggling a bit more with her training...mostly the long runs...than I expected. She knows we'll be doing some walking on race day. I've encouraged her to try and get the full 18 in this weekend even if the last couple miles are mostly walking.

I may ask for some nutrition advice for her in a seperate topic. She's been surviving her long runs with gu and water but I know I'll want something different if we're going to be out there for 6 hours.

Thanks...
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:15 pm

@carleenp wrote:I'm running Portland!


I hope we can catch up with you before the race! Very Happy
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Julie on Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:00 am

I like pretzels (carbs and salt), raisins, and yes out that long I'd more think of ultra marathon kinds of fuel (and I'm no expert there but I've seen shortbread cookies, twizzlers, peanut m and ms and all sorts of stuff like that). I do think 6 hrs with GU and water would be pretty unsettling to a person's stomach!
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:52 am

If you will walk on race day, I'd suggest making a run/walk pattern and implementing it from the beginning of every long run from now on. Don't have her run until she "can't" and has to walk; by that point, the damage is already done. 10min run/1min walk may be good as a start.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:44 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:If you will walk on race day, I'd suggest making a run/walk pattern and implementing it from the beginning of every long run from now on. Don't have her run until she "can't" and has to walk; by that point, the damage is already done. 10min run/1min walk may be good as a start.

Mike,

Her plan was to jog the first half (walking throught the water stations) and then run/walk the 2nd half. Do you think it would be better to start off with a run/walk pattern right from the start? I want her to enjoy the experience.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Joel H on Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:28 pm

@nkrichards wrote:
@Mike MacLellan wrote:If you will walk on race day, I'd suggest making a run/walk pattern and implementing it from the beginning of every long run from now on. Don't have her run until she "can't" and has to walk; by that point, the damage is already done. 10min run/1min walk may be good as a start.

Mike,

Her plan was to jog the first half (walking throught the water stations) and then run/walk the 2nd half. Do you think it would be better to start off with a run/walk pattern right from the start? I want her to enjoy the experience.

I would say run/walk from the start....I would think she would have a much better experience than running the first 1/2 and changing plans halfway and doing a run/walk the next 1/2. I have seen many people do a run/walk strategy and have a GREAT experience all without killing themselves to finish under 6 hrs. Most of the 6 hrs folks use the run/walk strategy in the races I have been in...and they look to be having a great time doing it.

However, if she has been running each of her runs and not doing a run/walk strategy then it may be a little bit late in the game to change strategies in training.


Last edited by Joel H on Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:29 pm

Nancy - I think it best that she adopt the run/walk sequence right from the beginning. I have a friend who is a 6 hr marathoner and she actually does a 2/1 or 3/1 run/walk rhythm from the first mile to the last mile and she always seems to be the least beat up of all of us even though she is out there 2 more hours. She should begin to practice what feels best on the long runs, but I would definitely vote for the Galloway strategy.

Even Hal used to say, walk before you are forced to walk, and you will feed better, and I can attest to that. I have done several marathons on little training due to heat, injury, etc., and I always adopt the strategy to walk through every water stop from the very first one to the last. It works.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:45 pm

Thanks again everyone!

I've passed your advice on to Katie. She plans to do her 18 mile run on Sunday and will try it with a run/walk routine from the start and see how it goes. I'll update on Monday...

Thanks again for all your help.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  Julie on Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:50 pm

Oh yes definitely walk run from the start.
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Re: How long is to long?

Post  nkrichards on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:12 pm

Sorry for the late update. Trying to make a living farming seems to get in the way of the rest of my life at the most inopportune times!

Katie ended up with a nasty summer cold this weekend and decided to postpone her long run. I was a bit disappointed but I think it was probably a good decision. She wasn't mentally or physically ready to tackle the run.

Good news is...I talked to her on the phone last night and she's feeling much better and sounding much more optimistic about the remaining long runs and the upcoming marathon. Smile
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