Marathon Long Run
There is no doubt that a 20-mile run (or longer) can be a great confidence booster when training for a Marathon. However, from a training and physiological standpoint, they have more cons than pros.
One of the most common reasons that new marathoners don't make it to the start line, is injury. Phil's training plans will gradually and safely progress your endurance enabling you to complete your marathon. Over time as your pace increases through months/years of training, you may be at a different level where your long runs will cover more distance. However, the time will still be capped for the reasons outlined below:
- Research has shown there is no significant increase in aerobic development when running over 90 minutes. (The majority of the physiological stimulus of long runs occurs between the 60 and 90-minute mark).
- Running for 3 hours provides few further aerobic benefits than when you run for only 2 hours.
- You can, therefore, build as much aerobic fitness during a long run of 2hrs as you can over 3hrs.
- Running for longer than 2.5 hours will significantly increase your chance of injury.
- Your form breaks down, your major muscles become weak through overuse and are consequently susceptible to injury.
- You will take longer to recover. The total amount of time on your feet during a 3-hour plus run adds considerable fatigue to the legs, which leads to a significant delay in recovery time.
- Consequently, you may not be able to do your subsequent marathon specific workouts justice.
- Tempo, marathon paced and speed skill runs, research has shown, are a vital component to marathon success. Alongside achieving the prescribed weekly volume.
It is consistency over time and the build of total running volume combined with weekly speedwork that will lead to marathon success.
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