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910 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2005 8:47 AM by wndctyrnr
wndctyrnr Rookie 12 posts since
Oct 8, 2003
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Oct 13, 2005 7:15 AM

back to back long runs

I'm running a December marathon and looking to break 3:30. My best is a 3:38 and half of 137 both this year.

My schedule this year has thrown some curves making it hard to get my long runs in. The schedule I follow has a long run followed by a shorter run of 10-12 miles. To get all my long runs in I would have to do back to back long runs. Like 18 followed by 16 or a 20. Are there a lot of you out there that do that? What does your weekly mileage look like if you do?
Also I run 35-40MPW.


  • VictorN Rookie 395 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 13, 2005 9:06 AM (in response to wndctyrnr)
    Re: back to back long runs

    I assume that you mean two long runs a week apart and not one the day after the other.  If so, then give it a try.  However, if you are not used to weekly long runs then you may want to pick a route on that second week that allows you to cut the run short if you feel it is necessary. 


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  • Jim24315 Legend 1,987 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
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    2. Dec 20, 2007 9:09 PM (in response to wndctyrnr)
    Re: back to back long runs

    My advice is simple. If your schedule doesn't allow you to train more than 35-40mpw don't race the marathon. Jogging it might be o.k., but you are shooting for a personal best. Your half marathon time says you are capable of beating your goal but the full marathon is not the test you want to cram for. You are likely to suffer a great deal and miss your goal in the process.

    I don't think running 36-38 miles on consecutive days (I assume that's what you mean by "back to back") is such a good idea when it's as much as you normally run in a week. I'd make sure that one of the runs is 20-22 and follow it up with the 10-12. That in itself is technically too much considering your overall mileage, but if you must choose...

    You ask "are there a lot of you out there who do that?" I've done it a handful of times when I was running my highest milage which would have been 60's - low 70's and it did work out well. During one period I tried running 16 every other day, but after a couple weeks of it my legs were too dead. Fwiw the most I ever averaged for a full year was 52mpw. That inlcuded some months in 40's and others in 60's a. This is one reason why I've only run 7 marathons in 26 yearsnot enough mileage. When I did run them I was preparedall of them under 3 hours, and they still were very tough.  I don't think I could have done back to back runs of apprx 2 hrs during my lower mileage periods.

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  • bigapplepie Legend 2,455 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
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    3. Oct 13, 2005 10:59 AM (in response to wndctyrnr)
    Re: back to back long runs

    I assume that the people who devise these training plans take in to account that people may miss days due to injury/sickness/life getting in the way.

    Personally, I am assuming that sticking to the plan is more beneficial than trying to squeeze in missed runs.

    Then again I haven't run a marathon yet.


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  • keeptrying Rookie 12 posts since
    Feb 9, 2003
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    5. Oct 13, 2005 10:23 PM (in response to wndctyrnr)
    Re: back to back long runs

    I was in the same situation with no long runs, but plenty of half marathons, best around 138. Was trying to hit 3:30 at Chicago, but legs fell apart around 22-24. Only could get a 3:36.The only thing I could blame was the lack of some long runs.

  • Jim24315 Legend 1,987 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 13, 2005 10:58 PM (in response to wndctyrnr)
    Re: back to back long runs


    Originally posted by wndctyrnr:

    Thanks for all the advice. I did mean a week btw the long runs. I am thinking of running the long runs and possibly shortening up the week day runs depending on my recovery from the long runs. And only doing this to ensure 2 over 20 miles are completed.


    I hope I didn't come off as too hard nosed. It's just that I see you've set a goal for yourself that you are perfectly capable of reaching, but you are going to take your shot at it before you are ready. Look what's happend already. You've run a marathon in 3:37 and a half-marathon in 1:37. You're half-marathon time is much better. Why is that? Is it that you are just better at the shorter distance? I don't think so. It's just that you've had enough training mileage to run the shorter race but not the longer one. To tell you the truth I don't think your mileage is even enough to run your best half-marathon. I'm sure you can run much faster than you have at both distances if you are ever in a position to train more.

    Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now and wish you luck. Get that 20 in and do your best.


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