Why stop at 20

12 messages
08/03/2013 at 22:01

I'm running my first marathon later in the year and have been looking at various training plans. However, i have noticed that the longest run on any of them seems to go no further than 20-22 miles during training. Maybe i'm being naive or missing something but why not run 26.2 miles in training or further...why not train for 30 miles and make 26.2 not seem as far? sorry if this sounds too simple.   

cougie    pirate
08/03/2013 at 22:45
Because it will take too long for your body to recover after that distance. You would compromise the next weeks training - and possibly more.

You run 20-22 on tired legs after a week of training.
On race day you'll be on fresh legs.
Blisters    pirate
09/03/2013 at 00:03

You go do it on Sunday, and see if you can follow it up with a nice and steady 7 miles on Monday, a speed session on Tuesday, 11 miles on Wednesday, 7 milers on the other days and see if you are ready for another big one on the following weekend. After a few years of hard training you MIGHT be able to pull together such an elite programme, and you can stick a finger up at the perceived wisdom.

The programmes have 22 as the max, because it's all that's needed for the fitness.
Year one runners targeting a marathon will usually suffer from bodily breakdown at some point in the programme. I read my notes from my first year and some things spring out.
"Running 13 miles seemed like it was a long way, but the second half is a damn sight further than the first"
"Physio every 4-6 weeks should be made mandatory"
"Wrecked my shoes today because I was dragging my heels in the last part, and didn't know it"
"Bombed really badly today. Don't know why"

09/03/2013 at 04:39
Your longest run should be getting close to the time you expect for the marathon and as you are not running at race pace it is shorter in distance. It is time on feet to build your endurance but not be too knackered to do the other sessions which will give you the speed needed for race pace.
You can go longer but as Blisters says unless you have several good years training then you are asking for trouble.
09/03/2013 at 11:19

I can't argue with that reasoning blisters, i'll be sticking to the low 20's!

It's a good job the distance between Marathon and Athens wasn't longer or we would all be suffering a bit more. 

 

09/03/2013 at 19:26

I ran just short of 20 miles today, but i wont run any further, or maybe 21. My reason is, that i want to make my 26.2 miles special when i cross that barrier. I dont want it to be a training run. I want to go over that finishing line having been to a place where i have never been. That is what made my first half marathon special. Its funny, but now running 13.1 miles is just normal, no specialness to going past it. I just looked at my watch today, and noticed with little curiosity that i had done half marathon distance. Three years ago, it would have meant the world.

11/03/2013 at 09:22
Chunkymunky wrote (see)

I can't argue with that reasoning blisters, i'll be sticking to the low 20's!

It's a good job the distance between Marathon and Athens wasn't longer or we would all be suffering a bit more. 

 

It was actually originally 24.8 miles in the 1896 olympics , which was the real distance between marathon and athens before the soldier collapsed and died..

 


The marathon distance  changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London, England. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria requested that the marathon begin at Windsor Castle (20 miles west of central London), so that the Royal family could view the start. The course distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London was 26 miles. Event organizers added an extra 385 yards around the stadium track, so the competitors would finish directly in front of the King and Queen's royal viewing box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards,

 

 

Edited: 11/03/2013 at 09:22
11/03/2013 at 09:36

So when I'm suffering in the last mile I should blame the monarchy?

11/03/2013 at 09:50
literatin wrote (see)

So when I'm suffering in the last mile I should blame the monarchy?

 

 

Yes shows they have always been spoilt brats 

Edited: 11/03/2013 at 09:51
11/03/2013 at 11:42
Night Nurse wrote (see)

 It was actually originally 24.8 miles in the 1896 olympics , which was the real distance between marathon and athens before the soldier collapsed and died..

 The marathon distance  changed as a result of the 1908 Olympic Games in London, England. That year, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria requested that the marathon begin at Windsor Castle (20 miles west of central London), so that the Royal family could view the start. The course distance between the castle and the Olympic Stadium in London was 26 miles. Event organizers added an extra 385 yards around the stadium track, so the competitors would finish directly in front of the King and Queen's royal viewing box. Every Olympic marathon run since the 1908 Games has been a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards,

 

Night Nurse - thanks for that - I had always thought it had been 26 miles before 1908 and the 385 yards, which was added for the Royal family as you say, was originally intended as a one off. Of course what subsequently happened meant that the 385 yards was added forever.

Dorando Pietri entered the stadium in the lead but went the wrong way and then collapsed a few times so was helped over the line by some officials - Jonny Hayes finished second but complained about the assistance that Pietri had received and he was disqualified so the 385 yards became crucial to the result.

I think after the Olympics they both ran against each other for money over the 26 miles and 385 yards and the current Marathon distance was born. Of course this race also led to a massive explosion in Marathon running which still exists today.

Although I haven't been tempted yet!!

 

11/03/2013 at 13:53

Thanks this thread has been very re-assuring to read. I'm due to run my longest training run for VLM this weekend, and faith in my training plan had been wavering regarding those last 6 miles on the day.

12/03/2013 at 16:07

I'm training for the Manchester marathon on the 28th April and my training plan has a 21 mile and a 23 mile run in it, completed the 21 miles on Saturday and felt great, 2nd wind about 18 miles and I could have gone further than the 21 so feeling a lot more confident about the actual day, am not fast, nice steady pace about 11.20min/mile and I never 'hurt' after a long run so I guess I am not putting that much strain on my body but I am glad I'll know the feeling of going past the 20 miles before the big day.


We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member
12 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW competitions

RW Forums