Skip navigation

926 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 8, 2013 2:10 PM by crl8686
justamaniac Legend 240 posts since
May 30, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 3, 2013 9:44 AM

Need opinions re long runs...

I'm looking for opinions re long runs as it relates to marathon training:  Is it better, worse, or same as, to replace a 20 mile run with 16 miles one day and 5-6 miles the next?

I've done both, and there are good reasons for both, but I'm interested in other runner's opinions.

I like doing the 20 mile distance because I think that it helps build endurance.  The downside is that the opportunity for injury increases with high mileage like that.  On the other hand, I can run a 16 miler a skooch more aggresively, with less risk of injury, and then run another 5-6 miles the next day.


But I wonder if I get the same benefit (endurance-training) from doing the 16/5 miles split vs banging out a full 20 miles at one whack.


All thoughts are welcome. thanks



  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,494 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 3, 2013 7:07 PM (in response to justamaniac)
    Need opinions re long runs...

    There are differing opinions on this sort of thing.  I have read, in the past, that once you hit 16 miles, more doesn't make much difference.  I haven't read it lately and I'm not sure how true it is.  A lot of coaches think that LSD is key to marathon training.  Some even the farther the better - Galloway for instance.  On the other hand, the Hansons I think, advocate that running up to 16 at close to marathon pace is good preparation.

    So you could go either way and presumably have success.


  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 8, 2013 2:10 PM (in response to justamaniac)
    Need opinions re long runs...

    Regarding "divided" runs: I'd asked a related question several years ago while training for my first marathon. The general consensus of the responses (from people who are a lot more experienced at marathon distance than me) was that there is simply no substitute for a long continuous run. Dividing the long run into two parts will give you the same overall mileage, but it will not prepare you for running in a state of near-total or total glycogen depletion (20 mi is fast approaching the Wall) or for the sheer stress of pounding your body and being on your feet for 20 mi straight.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...