Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Long Run Question

But first, I listen to KROQ most mornings on the way to work. I can't help but be reminded of Donald lately because they are giving away tickets to the Red Hot Chili Peppers show in August at the Forum. This morning was even odder. This guy, Doc on the Roq, does a news spot. Today he asked "What are we going to watch now that American Idol is over. Well the National Spelling Bee begins tomorrow." Is Donald programming modern rock radio in SoCal?

Now to the long run question. Two weeks ago, Week 11, of my training schedule I put in my second long run, 21.5 miles. At that time I posted that the marathon was 7 weeks and one more long run, 22 miles, away. A couple of you suggested that I get in another one on top of that if I could. My long run schedule looked like this:

21.5 - 14 - 8 - 22 - 12 - 14 - 10 - Marathon

I could have conceivably replaced the 8 with a 20, dropped the 22 to 12 or 14, replaced the 12 with a 22 and still have 3 weeks of taper before the big event. Seems doable, right?

But there's a kink, there's always a kink. This Saturday, originally scheduled for the 8 miles, I have committed to running the Fontana Days Half with Janice from work. This will be her first real race and she asked me to run it with her. I expect to be running this one nice and slow, finishing somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30. So my 8 becomes 13.1 at a pace slower than I normally run. I can't do the long run on Sunday, because I'll be spending the day in flight for a business trip.

So the question is to get my 20 miler in do I: A) grab a post race banana and water, congratulate Janice on a job well done and head back out onto the course for 7 more miles at marathon pace; B) enjoy the post race festivities for a while then finish up my long run at another location 1 to 2 hours later; or C) scrap the long run plans for this weekend and then do back to back long runs the next two weekends?

Any suggestions?


PLANET3RRY said...

21.5 - 14 - 8 - 22 - 12 - 14 - 10 - Marathon

My Suggestion

21.5 - 14 - 13.1 - 20 - 14 - 12 - 10 - Marathon

The slower 13.1 gives you time to heal from your 21.5 and 14 before you run your 20. Slower doesn't mean bad for you. Also, you won't be as exhausted phyiscally for your business trip and this might help ward off the sickness bugs that lurk in airplanes.

Run the 20 (instead of 22) save the wear and tear. Run the 14 as a recovery from the previous week at the training pace you have been running for this distance. Start the taper the middle of that week (about 17 days out)

Drink lots of water, run the 12 and 10 as you prepare your body for race day.

Juls said...

Relax. Your plan is very aggresive given your goal to break 4:00. By the looks of it, I'd figure that you were trying to BQ. You could just do the 13.1 at an easy pace and, as planet3rry said, "heal from your 21.5."

jeff said...

you're actually doing yourself a favor by running the 13.1 slow. you'll be going for time on your feet training, rather than distance, and that's just as valuable.

i'd say push the long run to the following weekend...kind of like what planet said, but you know me. i'd say do 22. =)

robtherunner said...

I would be cautious in listenting to us yahoos because only you can no how long ou need to recover, but this is my suggestion, which is close to planet3rry and Jeff's


I'd be interested to see what Donald would suggest as well.

Anne said...

If you can manage it, I'd opt for the first option. Back-to-back long runs could prove costly. The legs need time to recover. But you know your body, and besides, I'm mad at mine at the moment. Listen to the other experts.

Donald said...

First - I LOVE KROQ! I listened to it every day in college. Can't believe Doc is still there. Are Kevin and Bean still on?

As to your questions...I like the three-week taper instead of four. Can you do mileage before the race? It would mean waking up earlier but then afterward you can just chill out.

My plan B would be to keep your schedule as is, including the slow half, and just add another long run (20-21) 3 weeks out from the race. That means long runs on two straight weekends, but at that point in your training you should be ready, and I like going into the taper after a couple really big-mileage weeks.

I won't be offended if you don't listen to me.

Joe said...

Ask and you shall receive!!

I commented on the schedule a while back. Looking at what you have planned, I'd certainly include the half this week, at the pace you mentioned. It won't wear you down. I did a half at an easy pace two weeks before my marathon in April and it had no ill effects. I simply was antsy to race after a long winter here in the Midwest.

I think you can go with planet3erry's options, or take his numbers but swap the 14 and the 20, doing the longer one three weeks out. Your call, though,'ll make the right decision!

Fontana California....oh my. My wife and I spent 5 months working there in 1976. It was a tough area is it now??

Juls said...

Lots of advice, but Rob is right in his advice that only you know what your body can do. What is your marathon? I saw RNR down on your links but that is this coming weekend (perhaps this is the half). Good luck in your training - what ever you decided to do. Just listen to your body; if it yells, back off on your training. Best of luck, Julie

Kel said...

I guess it depends on what the rest of your running schedule is like. But I did (with no ill effects):

20 20 21 22 18 12 marathon

My maximum weekly mileage (the 22 LSR week) was 52 miles.

Go with ehat your body tells you, but your schedule is relatively conservative, an extra LSR won't hurt, as won't a marathon-pace half, I'd say :-)

B-Fit Blog said...

No advice from me! Just wanted to tell you of another blogger who is doing a marathon in every state. My friend Beth has only two more to go! Her last marathon will be in September. You can read more about her at Beth's Running Blog at

Louise - SnowPack B-Fit Blog

angie's pink fuzzy said...

have a banana and head right back out.

my 2 cents. (but don't listen to me. anytime Johnny does, it doesn't work)