Posted: 30/08/2013 at 18:23
I only want to run 3 times a week so will have to amend a plan to suit me,
some plans I have found the longest run has been 18 and others 22 miles? Any advice here, I think mentally 20 plus would be good for me
I'm certainly no expert as my first (and so far only) marathon was Brighton in April this year, but FWIW I did one weekend long run and one midweek 6 miler which is quite low by most plans but I found I needed plenty of recovery from the long runs and couldn't really sustain a higher weekly milage. In the end I did a comfortable 3:57 with an 8-minute final mile which I was happy with, wanted sub-4 and to enjoy it and got both of those.
Anyway, for the long runs I did three 13-milers, three 17-milers, two 20-milers, and a 23-miler and I was very glad of those last few. Out to sixteen miles always felt comfortable, but the 20s got me used to keeping going as I started to really get tired and stiff. First time at 20 left me thinking that another 6.2 was going to be agony, but the second was better and the 23 was ok. Mentally it helped a lot on the 'road to hell' on the day.
I know a lot of plans max out at 16-18 miles or a three-hour time limit and I repeatedly went past that during training, but i'd take a couple of minutes to walk/eat and stretch out every 5k and that seemed to make it ok. I had a plan B for the marathon of run/walking the second half if I started to hurt but in the end never needed it.