In The Long Run

Long runs don't have to be agony. With these tips, you can make them more palatable - mentally and physically

Posted: 1 June 2002
by Hal Higdon and Bud Baldaro

The long run is the staple of every distance runner’s diet. If you’re training for a marathon, it’s de rigeur. Novice runners use them as springboards to the finish line, and elite marathon runners do multiple long runs to improve their times. Even if you’re only interested in fitness, a longer-than-usual weekend run is the perfect fat-burner, and is often more a social gathering than a training session.

But what is the specific purpose of a long run? Is there a perfect long-run distance? And how frequently should you do them, and at what pace?

We posed a number of these questions to a group of coaches and athletes who work or train with thousands of runners. Although the application of long-run theory differs between experts, the one thing they all agree upon is the critical role such runs play in any schedule. Shun them at your own peril.

So, here are the answers to some of the crucial long-run questions.

1. What is the main purpose of the long run?

A long run is a dress rehearsal for your race. Think of it as a test. It gets you used to the stress of lugging your feet up and down nearly 5000 times in a marathon and gives you the chance to practice skills you will need in a marathon, such as drinking while moving and eating energy foods. Long runs build confidence in your ability simply to run for a long time. Equally important, you learn patience.

“Many runners push too hard on daily runs,” says Bob Glover, author of the Runner’s Handbook. “The long run forces them to slow down and pace themselves wisely – just as they have to do in any long-distance race.”

In addition to psychological reasons, there are strong physiological reasons to run long. Exercise physiologist Robert Vaughan offers the scientific rationale:

“The long run serves to increase the number of mitochondria and capillaries in the active muscles, thereby improving those muscles’ ability to remove and utilise available oxygen. In addition, the long run recruits muscle fibres that would otherwise go unused. This recruitment ensures a greater pool of conditioned fibres that may be called upon during the latter stages of a long race. There are certain psychological barriers and adjustments to the central- nervous-system fatigue that are also affected by the long run.”

Translation: the most important reason for long runs is to condition the muscles to delay the onset of fatigue.

2. What is the best long-run training distance for marathoners?

In short, there is no perfect distance. We have seen marathon-training schedules which never take you further than 13 miles and ones that suggest you run the complete distance or further in training.

In our marathon training schedules the longest distance we ever suggest is 22 miles for the sub-3:00 group, other groups don’t go quite as far because they’re running more slowly and consequently will be on their feet longer.

What you find is that many marathon schedules don’t go further than 20 miles, although that’s probably more because 20 is a nice, round number than anything more concrete. In countries that use the metric system, 30K (18.6 miles) is equally round and frequently used.

Most coaches feel that once you reach 16 miles, you’re in long-run territory. That’s the point where the psychological and physiological changes start to take place. Some coaches prefer to keep track of the long run by time rather than distance, which is the approach we generally recommend for the slower groups in our marathon schedules.

Your time goal for your longest run should approximate the total length of time you expect to run in the marathon itself, without worrying about the distance or the speed. For example, if your marathon time goal is three hours, you should probably do at least one long run of close to three hours. The exception: If you’re a first timer with a goal of four hours or slower, you shouldn’t do a long run of that length. It’s too risky. Instead, do one long run of at least three hours, but no more than 3:30.

3. How fast should you run during long runs?

Speed is of limited importance during long runs. As we have already mentioned, they’re more about time spent on your feet.

First-timers, following most training schedules, will often run them at a pace close to the one they will run in the race. That’s because they are encouraged to select a conservative time goal to guarantee that they finish. If you can’t hold a conversation during the closing miles of your long run, the pace was probably too fast.

Experienced marathoners who do long runs at race pace risk both injuries and over-training.

While the law of specificity suggests that you need to do some running at race pace to condition your muscles to that specific pace, you should do this only for selected stretches of your long run, or, better still, during midweek speed sessions or steady runs.

Generally it’s better to err on the slow side. Not every long run needs to be done at the same pace, nor does the pace within each run need to stay the same.

We would suggest that you try to aim to run a negative split in your long run – that is, run the second half marginally faster than the first. This is also the strategy you should aim for in the marathon, and it is the way our Team in Training pacers will be approaching the Flora London Marathon.

The rationale in training is that, by following this plan in your long runs, you establish the discipline of going out slowly, rather than allowing the excitement of the marathon to push you on at a pace that you’ll pay for later.

If you’re looking for a specific pace for your long runs, aim for 30-90 seconds slower per mile than the pace you expect to run in the marathon. Don’t worry if you’re even slower; it isn’t a problem.

4. How many long runs should you do?

Again this is a point of dispute. Former RW Coaching Editor Bruce Tulloh always held the view that you’d hit your marathon target if your five longest runs added up to a total of 100 miles. If you’re a first-time marathon runner, however, you should probably only do one run that’s as long as 20 miles.

Nearly every training programme gradually builds runners up to that distance, rests them for two to four weeks, and then directs them to the race. And it works.

Most runners who faithfully follow our marathon training programmes will jump from a 20-mile training run to the 26.2-mile marathon distance with ease. The excitement of the marathon, coupled with several weeks of rest before the big event, helps them bridge the gap. First-timers are often surprised to discover that running the marathon is actually easier than training for it.

However, finishing that first marathon and racing marathons are two different beasts. To improve your time, you need to do more long runs. Experienced runners – the ones Tulloh was thinking about – don’t need to run 23-milers every weekend, but they probably do need to do between three and six long runs of 18-23 miles in their marathon preparation.

As with novice marathoners, the reason is psychological as much as it is physical. “The more peak distance runs marathoners do in their training, the more confidence they have,” says Bob Williams, who prepares runners for the Portland Marathon in the US. The danger of running too long, too often is a heightened risk of injury and boredom.

5. How much recovery do you need after long runs?

Robert Vaughan summarises the general consensus: “An experienced marathoner with years of training may recover in 48-72 hours after a long run, while a novice may require two weeks.”

Most runners will benefit from a day’s full rest after doing their weekend long run. Thus the typical pattern, which underpins the RUNNER’S WORLD marathon schedules:

Sunday: Long run
Monday: Rest or easy run
Tuesday: Hard run
Wednesday: Easy run
Thursday: Moderately hard run
Friday: Moderate run
Saturday: Rest or easy run

Some marathon-training programmes even allow two weeks between peak long runs. Usually, medium to long runs (10-14 miles) are scheduled on the weekends in between.

Nearly as important as rest after the long run, is rest before. If you plan a day or two of easy running and/or rest before your long run, you’re less likely to be overly fatigued during the long run itself, and the recovery will be easier. Treat a weekend long run almost like a race. Taper for it, and rest or jog easily both before and after. Also, carbo-load before and after.

6. Are there any tricks to recovery?

No tricks, just sound training and nutritional advice. Our experts cited the importance of hydration and carbohydrate supplementation during long runs. For example, many recommend using energy gels and energy bars during the long run.

“Consuming gels and bars during the long runs speeds recovery,” says former RUNNER’S WORLD US Editor, Joe Henderson, who wrote the ground-breaking book The Long Run Solution more than 20 years ago. “You need to keep your glycogen stores continuously high if you want to maintain training effectiveness.”

Bob Williams says dehydration is one of the major sources of long-run fatigue. “Drinking during training is as important as drinking during races,” he says.

Massages are also valuable to speed recovery after a long run because they ease muscle soreness. Weekly massages during the final six weeks leading up to your peak long run (and eventual marathon) may also help reduce the risk of injury

7. Is it beneficial for non-marathoners to do long runs?

Absolutely. “Endurance is a factor at all road-racing distances,” says Henderson. “Even 5K and 10K runners can benefit from one- to two-hour runs, but anything much longer might drain energy away from their specific training.”

Doing long runs regularly is also an effective way to maintain weight, or shed a few pounds. There’s also the inherent camaraderie that comes with a weekly long run in the company of friends, many of whom you might not see during the week. Some runners find this social aspect of long runs enough to keep them entering marathons on a regular basis. But, however you choose to use it, the long run is an invaluable part of any runner’s regular training diet.

Long Run Rules

Here are five key principles to guide you through your long runs:

  • Distance: Most coaches advise long runs of 16-23 miles, depending on your experience. Slower runners should concentrate more on time than distance, and do runs of three to three-and-a-half hours.
  • Frequency: Most coaches suggest three to six long runs of 16 miles or more in the three months leading up to the marathon.
  • Pace: Run at a comfortable, conversational pace. This may be marathon goal pace for slower runners, or 30 to 90 seconds slower per mile than goal pace for sub-3 hour marathoners. Take short walking breaks if they help you cover the distance or if you’re planning to take walking breaks during the marathon.
  • Recovery I: You can improve your long-run recovery by making sure you are adequately hydrated during your long run. And immediately after the run, be sure to drink plenty and replenish lost muscle glycogen stores with carbohydrates.
  • Recovery II: Always have an easy day or a rest day after your long-run days.

Long Run Logistics

Plan ahead to get the most out of those long runs:

  • Plan your long run like you would a race. That is, taper your running a day or two before the long run, or don’t run at all. Try to get off your feet and rest. Hydrate well, and carbo-load at lunch and dinner the day before.
  • Plan to run in the early morning, which is the time you’re likely to be racing. Psychologically it’s better not to have it hanging over you on the day you’re planning to do it.
  • Plan your route carefully. If you’re doing a 20-mile run, try to drive the course so you can familiarise yourself with it and measure it. You want to know in advance that it’s approximately 20 miles and that you won’t get lost once you’re on the way. Try to find lightly travelled roads so traffic isn’t a hindrance. Your route shouldn’t be exceptionally hilly (unless you’re running a hilly marathon) or windy.
  • Plan your hydration and food stops carefully. You’re going to need to drink and possibly eat something. Either carry sports drinks, water bottles and energy foods with you or plan a lap course and have a friend assist you along the way. Toilets along the route are also a good idea, although they can’t be relied upon for reliable drinking water. Also make certain you have immediate access to plenty of cold water and sports drinks right after the run.
  • Plan to dress according to the conditions. If it’s sunny, you may need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen. If it’s wet and windy (more likely at this time of year), use leggings, a rain jacket, a breathable hat and light gloves. New runners tend to over-dress rather than under-dress. But remember that you warm up quite quickly when you’re running, so it’s better to start off feeling cool rather than warm. It’s a real pain to carry clothes you wish you weren’t wearing. Also, try to do at least one long run in your intended marathon kit
  • Plan to run with friends or a training group. This will make the long run easier and more enjoyable.

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Discuss this article

I'm a bit concerned at the pace of doing by long runs. I seem to run them quite naturally at about 8-8.10 for a distance of 18 miles. It's hard, but after a shower and something to eat, I could most probably go back out and do a few more miles, so I'm not exhausted by it. But is this too fast for a long slow run for a 3.30 marathon.

All the schedules I've looked at say I should run these runs at about 8.52 pace, based on my last 10k time earlier this month.

Also, I normally do a long run every week leading up to the marathon unless I'm racing, but again the schedules say not to, do them on alternative weeks.

I do not want to become over trained as this time I'm doing 16 weeks of training as opposed to only 12 & 14 in my last 3 marathons. I've decided on more weeks to try to achieve subb 3.30.

I've worked out my plan, by adapting several to suit me, but I'm starting to question if I've set up too hard a plan. Remember I'm regularly running 30-40 miles a week with long runs up to 16 miles even when not marathon training.

I know this is a long post but honest all advice appreciated and accepted.

Over 16 weeks my plan is for only 4 days of running based on tempo, speed, long and easy, one swim session and one circuit session, with one complete day of rest. Long runs go like this:
18,20,10 mile race,18,16,1/2m race,21,10 mile race,22,18,20,15,23,15,10,marathon. Highest mileage reaches 60 miles on week 13, which is still not as much as 3xlong run.

Thanks in advance. Hope you haven't gone to sleep!

Posted: 29/12/2002 at 20:02

Sorry more-do you think maybe I should aim for a little faster than 3.30? 10k pb now 42.16, 1/2m 1.34.20, which might make my long runs not too fast after all. But have I got the confidence to aim for more?!
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 20:16

Hilly, Based on your other times, I'd say 3.30 is easily achievable. I reckon 3.20 is nearer the mark. Good luck.
PS I think the long runs need to be slightly faster
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 20:27

Hilly, lots of different points of views on long runs!

Based on your recent training pace and number of long runs I would also agree with editor regarding your target time. 3:30 doesn't seem that stretching a goal for you.

You could try doing your short long runs at a faster pace than you are currently doing them at with the aim of eventually doing an 18 miler at your goal marathon pace.

Your longer runs of 20+ miles could be at a more relaxed pace.

Remember that you don't want to take too much out of yourself during these long runs otherwise your next few sessions will be badly affected.
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 20:49

You say that you haven't tapered in the past, is that right? Maybe you have overtrained over too shorter period and the extra few weeks might make all the difference. It looks to me as though you should be able to reach your goal comfortably, but then again I'm having a similar problem with going sub 4. My 1/2m & 10k times also suggest that I should be able to dip under 4 hours with plenty to spare. I'm wondering whether I need to change my training pln now!

I run 5 times a week over 15 weeks building from 10m long runs. maybe include two speed sessions rather than one - what do you think. Sorry, I realise that I started off offering help and am now asking for it!!!
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 21:16

Hello Hilly,

I'm not experienced enough to know the answer, but yours is a question that I've frequently pondered myself, so I'm v. interested to see what other people say. I couldn't u/stand when I was training earlier in the year for Venice how I was meant to do 26.2 miles at 9 min mile pace when the schedule was telling me to do my long runs at something like 10 min mile pace. To be honest, I'm still not sure I understand where all that extra pace is meant to come from on the day.

Anyway... it does sound to me, based on your current training, as though you could go faster than 3.30 in the marathon if you'd like to. How keen are you to do that this time, though? If you'd be happy with 3.30 this time round, then it sounds to me as though your current regime can reap the twin rewards of enabling you to achieve your time and (importantly, in my experience!) enabling you to have a good time doing it! It doesn't sound as though there would be any risk at all of you running into a wall and having to drag yourself through the last few miles. So, if you'd be happy with 3.30 then I'd just stay comfy and go with the flow :)

On the other hand, if you'd like to get the fastest time you possibly can then you'll need a more scientific answer!

Best of luck in either event, and thanks for raising the question - it's v. interesting :)
Posted: 29/12/2002 at 22:56

Improved to 3.31 from last year to this.
The difference?
More long runs at or close to marathon pace (no more than 15s/mile slower). I tended to alternate my weekly endurance run between long (18-22m) runs at target pace (so for 3.30 around 8min/miling) , long slower runs (8m30 miling) and half marathon races at around 7min30 miling (1.36-1.39).
Seemed to work.This year I'm after a 3.15-3.20 marathon (don't know where yet!) and I don't suppose that I'll change a lot of my training.First I have to do my self justice at a halfM - illness prevented the pb at Windsor - although I take a 10mile pb at GSR (69.04) and a 10k pb at Fleet (40.12) as suitable consolation.

I'm also going to increase my midweek (weds)long run from 8-10 miles to 12-15 miles to build on the endurance base.
Also do 2 speedwork sessions (Tue/Thur)- 1*reps (4*2k 400m recovs, 6*1mile 400m recovs , 8*800m 400m recovs) at 10m-halfM pace , and the other is tempo run (up to 10-12 miles).

also do an easier session on one other day (Sat) - 30mins light fartlek/easy run with strides/10 hill reps or similiar.

Complete rest on Fridays and an easy (25-26mins) 3mile on Mondays.
As always I'm pretty flexible with the schedule and am happy to receive advice from anyone.

Good luck!
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 10:10

Long (up to 18 miles) runs at marathon goal pace helped Ronaldo da Costa break the marathon WB a few years ago, so what's good enough for him is good enough for anyone else with a time in mind; like piglet says, if you do all your long runs at e.g. 8 minute miling, and a bit of speed work at 6, do you really expect it just to magically average out at 7 (if that's your goal marathon pace) on race day? You need to learn the pace you're going to run at; Dustin's mix of long ones sounds about right, and is the sort of training I'm aiming for.
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 13:08

I find it difficult to really know what pace I am going. I don`t know the distance i truly run on a long run as I havent measured it ! Are all of you guys doing long runs on a known distance or guessing ?
Seems quite detailed above re pace/etc,, so i assume you know exact distance ?? Im interested... I basically run for say 2hrs and think ( and hope !) that I am going about 8 min mile pace- so thats 15 miles. Does anyone else guess/estimate/plan/etc,,
would be interested what you do...
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 14:52

Lots to chew over here, thanks everyone for responding.

I know from recent race times I should be able to go for a 3.20 time, just a bit scared to push myself and get injured. But I think I'll try to train for that time and if I get it then It'll be a bonus. If not I'll do what Wee Piglet suggests and enjoy it anyhow.

I've decided to set myself 3 target times that I'd be happy with. The ultimate being 3.20.

Llama man. I've always done a taper of 2-3 weeks, which was included in my 12 week buildup. For the first 2 marathons it seemed to work ok, but last time I introduced speed work for the first time in a marathon build-up. I was able to get away with just doing long runs for the first 2, but then to improve I needed the extra element, but unfortunately I got a virus. Overtraining or just bad luck, a bit of both I suspect.

Dustin, you certainly should have no problem achieving you target time. I too have planned a variety of paced runs including 2 quality sessions, but the long run is a real bug bare as I'm never sure to push myself a little harder or stay in total comfort zone. After reading everyone's answers I can see if I want to achieve my true potential I shall have to work a bit harder on my long runs.

Thanks again all! I've printed your answers to ponder over later.
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 16:56

I guess we all struggle in our own ways to find what is the best training regime for us. I also like the points raised about do you really want it that badly & risking injury through pushing too hard. I missed my first attempt at a marathon through pushing too hard in speed work during training a pulled tendon meant I had to withdraw.

Sometimes it's just nice to ignore the watch and enjoy the experience of being lucky enough to be able to run.
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 17:25

Llama Man,
yes sometimes it's oh so easy to get wrapped up in times, something most runners are guilty of at times I feel.

I always have one run a week where I forget about the watch. Like many though, because I race a lot, I'm still at the stage of trying to improve and so try to have a structured weekly programme. Mind I do have rest periods where racing isn't important and I run just because I can and want to.

Mind for a marathon distance I don't think I'd do that without having a goal. It's just too tough on the body.

I too missed doing a marathon through developing a stress fracture, not a happy bunny at the time. But it makes us just a little wiser-at least I hope so!

Here's hoping for an injury free build-up and marathon!
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 18:01

Main thing i would question is that you look as if you plan on doing a 10 mile run the week before your marathon. Wouldn't that be better to do a 7 or 8 miler? And make all the runs in that very last week gentle recovery runs. Do you work on heart rate monitor or how you feel?
Ref the speed of long runs - i was told to train on my longs runs at about 1 min per mile slower and i did a crap time in the marathon as i kept slipping in to the slow comfortable pace. The next time i attempted it i trained at what i wanted my marathon pace to be - and did a brill time, feeling better and recovering better afterwards.
Good luck.

Posted: 30/12/2002 at 18:16

Hi Dangly,
I always work on how I feel, never on heart rate.

I can cover 18 miles at 8 min pace and to be fair it feels comfortable, so I don't feel I'm working too hard. I might just for one of these long runs though wear my hr monitor and see what it says.

Thanks for mentioning it, as I wouldn't have thought to wear it. Don't know why I got one really! Maybe for times like this.

Posted: 30/12/2002 at 18:27

I've only run two marathoms ss far Hilly. Like you I ran my long runs for the first one (18 - 22 miles) @ 8min to 8.10 and ran 3.24 on the day.

For the second one I consciously slowed my long runs to about 9 min pace and got 3.27.

I don't think it made much difference. The main difference was that I was putting in a lower total mileage for the second one, for various reasons.

I'm going to try for 3.15 this year, possibly at Vwrnwy in the summer
Posted: 30/12/2002 at 20:16

Can anyone answer my Q- ? do you all run long on a known distance or guess/estimate ??
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 08:59

Hello Hubcap,

On my long runs I tend to do exactly what you've described. I have an idea of how long parts of the route are (the road leading to/from the woods and beach), but after that I make an estimate based on time and how hard I seemed to be trying. I try to err on the side of caution. This week, for instance, I ran for 2 hours but my legs felt like lead and I stopped for a loo break twice, and I reckon I probably ran about 12.5 miles. Last week I ran 2 hours 15 mins and felt stronger, and I put it down in my log book as 14-15.

Having said that, I think I'm about to buy a Timex SDM. I'm keen to know how far I've gone, but more than that I'm keen to know how fast I'm running on my long w/e runs. I already felt, and now feel even more strongly after reading this thread, that that's the best way to get an idea of how fast my marathon is likely to be.
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 10:02

Hubcap - I have shorter measured loops (by car) of between 3-8 miles.I know my pbs and avg times to run each of these so I know what my approximate 'sustainable' jog pace is (for me 8mph).
When I combine my loops and add new bits and pieces (sometimes off road) to my long runs,then I assume I'm running at my 'sustainable' pace and calculate the distance from this.

So recently I did a 2h09 run and reckoned it was about 17 miles give or take half a mile.
The thing with marathon training (IMHO) isn't necessarily doing say 16miles or 18 miles or 20 miles , but running for 2hrs15,2hrs30,3hrs and geeting used to being on your feet at a steady and sustainable pace.
Once you've got this sussed the next trick is trying -ve splits on long training runs.

(sorry to bring that up....)

Happy New Year
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 11:07

Thanks Chaps= nice to know Im doing same as you!
As said time on feet is most important I guess.
I try and do up to 2 hrs and then get close to home. keep going if I can but able to head back sharp if I start to collapse ! I did 2h 10 10 days ago but hurt my calf/ I may try 2h this weekend if better so hope will be 15miles or so-
Max length pre/ London ?? 3hrs= 22 miles at 8 min mile pace( i hope i can keep the pace up..)

Happy running new year to all. I hope i wake up tomorrow and all my pains and aches have magically gone !!
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 12:00

Hubcap, I don't have that many measured routes.
For my long runs last time I did my longest along a route I'd measured driving back from work as exactly 21 miles as I wanted to know I'd got over 20.
Off road I use a little measuring 'wheel' and OS map 1:25 000 to estimate mileage, it's reasonably accurate.

Lots of my routes are quite hilly so to make up for that I use my HRM to run to a specific whr which I know equates to marathon pace or slower. For time on my feet type runs or off road this might be 60-65% whr. For slightly harder long runs I try to maintain 70% for the 2nd half. This helps me run negative efforts if not exact splits as I've been recommended and am trying to follow through on running 2nd half of long runs faster than the first. Target marathon pace would work out around 75-78%.

That said , although it goes against the grain for me, I will have to be more precise on some long runs if I'm going to practise my target time.

Hilly, can't comment on your pace as you're much faster than I am! I notice you are p;lanning lots of very long runs; I'm sure with that much endurance your target is very achievable. Good luck.
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 12:06

I am more concerned with time on my feet rather than miles covered. As my long runs include X country I can't measure them but from my measured shorter runs (up to 10M) I feel that I can assess my pace quite accurately and therefore calculate distance. Usually err on the lower side in my mileage estimations. When I've run 20M races my times have been almost exactly what I expected, so educated guessing seems to work for me.

Can't believe your thoroughness, Laura, I think one of the main reasons I don't measure the Xcountry stuff is that I can't be bothered to!
Posted: 31/12/2002 at 14:02

Laura, I too am impressed with your thoroughness.

Most of my road runs are measured by car and I tend to add a bit extra just because I'm told car measurement is slightly out. I also have two routes that are local race routes so are accurate, one 10 miles one 10k. Off road, I have a few roughly measured routes, done by a friend with Laura's thoroughness for the rest I tend to go for time on feet and estimate the distance. I'm normally not far off in my guess work. I think most runner's get a feel for the pace they run.

Posted: 31/12/2002 at 15:59

I always measure my routes with one of those little wheel things and an OS map. Most of my routes are hilly, which gives a nice bonus speed boost if I happen to find a flat race. Of course some runs are "just" for enjoyment and these routes often evolve as the mood takes me.

When I'm doing a long run I usually have a pretty good idea of the pace I am doing, but it is reassuring to have a couple of check points with planned splits - this is what you do in the race after all. One day I might manage negative splits!
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 12:39

Not thorough, just obsessive. And love looking at maps.

I agree you do develop a feel for your pace after a while, regular racing will give you an accurate idea, since training pace/hr is never quite the same as racing.
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 12:45

Hilly you are a bloody show off
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 13:02

I vaguely remember Brendan Foster saying something at the end of teh Chicago Marathon about how Khalid Kanouchi always ends his long runs by speeding up for the last few miles. As in quite significantly - going from about 4:45/4:50 miles to about 4:15-4:20's.

I guess this will be a good way to makes sure that you've got strength in your legs at the end.
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 13:28

Happy New Year geezer, got a hangover have you?!!
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 14:19

Laura and Johnny, Fancy bringing your little wheels and OS maps to the Nottinghamshire countryside. You could sort out a whole range of accurately measured marathon training routes for me for the next 3 months. Or are you just going to say do it yourself!
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 14:51

a collegue of mine has purchased one of those satalite distance measure devices attaches to your arm and you read off a wrist watch bought it from the states via the internet cheaper than buying here saved about £30.00.cost around £130.00-140.00
very accurate
hes running the London 1st time and I am helping him prepare so theirs me with my heart rate monitor him with his satalite thing be turning into Robocop next
beam me up Scottie
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 20:20

This month's 'Computer Shopper' includes a trial version of a program called AccuRoute which I've been trying over the holidays.
You can simply scan in a section of an OS map,calibrate the software against the map grid, and then use the mouse pointer to trace any routes you want. It gives the distances in km and miles, and has a zoom facility so its easy to trace both on and off-road routes.
I've checked the distances it displays against some local routes I definately know the length of (like the Cheshire 4 villages 1/2 marathon) and it's been spot on.
I think I've seen the full product advertised in the RW mag for about £12.
At least I can be sad in private instead of walking round with a silly wheel.
Happy 2003.

Posted: 01/01/2003 at 22:11

Llama Man Do it yourself!

Seriously, your way seems to work for you, maybe I'm just obsessive - Like Laura, I actually rather like looking at maps, and reading a route after running it sort of fixes the picture.
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 23:05

The only problem I found with the Accuroute software was allowing for hills.

Since it doesn't actually take these into account, some distances came up short.
Posted: 01/01/2003 at 23:12

Hi All,

I have just read through all of the postings and there is some very scientific work going on to measure distances!!

I am very lucky in measuring my runs. I have the 30+ Mile Basingstoke canal here in Hampshire on which I run. I have a local book which fully maps the whole canal towpath and you can get distances to and from almost every access point.

I look at the book, workout my run depending on the distance required and either do a one way run with a train trip to return home or I do a return run.

One day I might get really keen and run the whole Canal - One Day!

If you live near a Canal, my suggestion is to try and use it for your runs. There is always a local Canal society that produces books with distances and features.

Canals are far better than hard and uninteresting street routes.

Yours in Running


Posted: 04/01/2005 at 21:27

Ive got a oregon scientific satallite whatch to see how far im going unfortunatley its crap! just keeps loosing signal anybody else had any trouble with one??
Posted: 11/02/2005 at 23:28

My goodness where did this thread spring from. It's a couple of years old:o)

I've got a GPS now too:o)
Posted: 12/02/2005 at 21:22

i wish i lived near a canal

Anyone know if there's a website that lists all the canals so i can find my nearest one, and see if its worth travelling to.

Hilly i wondered that too
You come in leaps and bounds since this thread started
Posted: 13/02/2005 at 09:40

No accurate maps here so I'm going to invest in a GPS, which is best??
Posted: 13/02/2005 at 15:54

If i am training for 1500m/3000m on the track is a long run benifitial i am thinking of uping it to 80 mins
Posted: 25/02/2005 at 22:24

RB2. I think the answer is yes, judging from an article I read in Running Fitness. Shorter range peeps can usefully train hard to double the race distance. Personally I don't fancy trying to do 52.4 miles!

PS I bet Hilly is now doing her weekly 20's a bit quicker. MG2 has told me that I've got to work a bit harder, so that's tomorrow's job.
Posted: 25/02/2005 at 23:20

hi running bros and sisters, i need help. when is a long run a long run? i am currently training for the cardiff marathon expected time 3.45. i run with my club twice weekly monday 9 miles and thursday 9 miles saturday long run of 16 to 20 miles with two 4 mile recovery runs in between, are 9 mile runs long ??? dave s
Posted: 16/08/2005 at 21:52

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