Nathan Freeburg

Nathan started running when he was 14. 20+ years later, he's still going. When he's not running, he enjoys exploring the city with his son, finding new restaurants with his wife, traveling, or backpacking. He loves dark beer, dark chocolate, and dark coffee.Nathan currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but works in Minneapolis and runs wherever he is. Favorite Minnesota running route is anything that takes him along the Mississippi River. Race Results.Nathan's day job is a Consultant with Leadership Vision in Downtown Minneapolis.
  • This is an interesting article and it appears that you spent some time researching it to support your argument. Even so, I am not convinced. I think even a 4:30-5 hour marathoner will benefit from a 20 mile training run. Perhaps the benefits aren’t phsyical as much as mental in terms of knowing how to fuel and what to expect on race day.

    I have run 17 marathons and sure, some may say I haven’t run any of them “well” but I still have a lot of experience and I would never put myself at the starting line of a marathon without at least one 20 miler under my belt.

    • frenat

      What is hard about that “mental” barrier is that it is largely a self imposed one. Someone at your pace Jessie, is running 20 miles right around that 3 hr mark. While a 5 hr marathoner may get a mental boost from a 20 mile training run (in almost 4 hours), there isn’t any evidence to suggest it will help them physiologically, rather only harm them.

      • JC Harris

        Bingo Frenat. Fast runners forget to take that into account. The article states that it should be no more that 2.5 to 3 hours. For a fast runner that may still be 20 miles.

  • Aaron Tinklenberg

    In my build up to the Twin Cities last fall, I decided to take this approach and it paid off. Instead of a couple of 20 milers, my most difficult weeks I would do about 8 miles on Saturday, and then 16 miles on Sunday, with half of both runs at marathon pace or faster. The idea was to get used to running at that pace even when my legs were tired. I did two 18 milers (3 hours for me) at easy pace with only an easy run the day before and that was enough to gain confidence, practice fueling, break in my race outfit, etc. In the end, I spent much more time running at goal pace (or faster with tempos, etc.) during this training period than ever before, and the results were better than ever before. It does seem counter intuitive, but the damage you do to your body running for 3 hours or more really hurts your ability to get more training in the rest of the week.

    • frenat

      It is extremely counter intuitive, and I think once you are able to make the jump mentally, it will change the game. Glad it paid off Aaron!

  • kaeber

    Thanks for this article. For my fourth marathon (Twin Cities last fall) I switched from the Pfitz plan, which has several 20 mile training runs, to Hansons, which maxes out at 16 miles, albeit on tired legs. Much to my surprise I dropped 90 seconds off my PR, which I never thought would happen after the rigorous training I had previously followed.

    I also agree that a longer run doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better training’. Thanks for your take on this!

  • Patti Radford

    This is really interesting and very well timed article for me. I just signed up for Twin Cities this fall, and it will be my first marathon. I’ve run plenty of half’s at this point, but a full is something I didn’t think I was interested in doing until very recently (becoming more comfortable and confident as a runner…along with some peer pressure helped!!). The mental game is a big one for me. I want to do whatever I can to mentally prepare for 26.2 miles. I looked briefly at Hanson’s Marathon Method after your last post, so I’m going to pick it up at the library. I’ll be interested to hear from other people who have tried it.

  • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

    Here’s something else to consider, though… and why I am not sure this would work for me. I am slow. Don’t flame me for it, my slow self has done 11 halfs and 3 fulls (the fulls all in the last 6 months). Two points to make: One, if I limited myself to a 3-hour run then I’m essentially doing a half marathon. I don’t think I would be properly trained for a full having only done a half. Two, like I said I am SLOW. It takes me 7 or 8 hours (and almost 9 in the tropical storm that was last year’s Honolulu Marathon) to finish a marathon. Being on your feet, moving forward, for that long, also requires a certain kind of training for your body. How to do it without hurting yourself in your legs and feet. What your cardio system requires and will feel like and how you have to treat yourself at hour 6, 7, 8. What your back and neck and arms have to do and what it will feel like. Fueling. Mentally – how to not bore yourself to death for that long. And a 3-hour run doesn’t prepare you for any of that.

    And please do not bother telling me that if I am that slow, I have no right to be doing marathons or halfs. It will fall on deaf ears.

    • KyleJeffreyKranz

      My $.02 is you need to relax about being “slow” 🙂 No one cares, and if they do give you a hard time about it then they can go suck an egg.

    • frenat

      Valerie I agree with Kyle – don’t worry about being “slow.” Everyone has different reasons for running. I’m curious how you got through your 9 hour marathon?

    • Carolyn Laitsch

      Having some of the same issues. See my input below.

    • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

      Frenat and Kyle – it’s something I’m working on, of course I am working on progress and speed/pace, but I have had snide things said to me by arrogant and snotty runners, and was being preemptively defensive. Frenat, what do mean how did I get through it? Like, my strategy as far as walk breaks, or fuel, or mentally, or my feet? Or the fact that it was a FREAKING FREAK TROPICAL STORM with sideways hitting pouring down rain ALL DAY and absolutely MISERABLE? (LOL… it was really bad. I have never gotten a blister, til that race. Never been so waterlogged or chafed. OTOH I have some of my best race photos ever from that race.)

      • JC Harris

        I had a racer in Ironman Augusta come up behind me and yell at me to “get my fat ass off the course if I couldn’t keep up”. There are asses everywhere. Just smile and wave.

      • frenat

        I have so many questions about that race Valerie! Please take these questions as a curious runner, not as someone questioning your “right” to run. 1. Why did they not cancel that marathon if it was during a tropical storm?! 2. How long are the breaks you take during races? 3. What training plan are you following for your marathons? 4. I’m also curious what motivates you to continue to run those 6, 7, 8 or 9 hr races? There must be something incredibly powerful keeping you going.

        • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

          I’m so sorry for the delayed reply, this got buried in my inbox! To answer you: 1. It wasn’t predicted or forecasted, and it wasn’t a named storm. The weather was supposed to be intermittent mist and showers ending by 11. Typical weather for that time of year. No one was prepared for the torrential rainfall, the winds, etc. Also, this is a huge Japanese tourism thing – JAL the big sponsor – and I don’t know what they would have done if they had to cancel. 2. This is a whole hot mess right there. 3. Training plans were attempted for my first marathon last August but sort of went out the window – they are very rigid and I travel 2 weeks every month out of country for work and am on planes a lot and don’t have the ability to fix my schedule like that, so I try to import the principle of the training plan – Higdon mostly – even though I can’t do it day by day. 2 (again). Breaks between races depends. I was 5 weeks, I think, maybe 6, between MCM and Honolulu. But it was more like 10 weeks between Sweltering Summer – my first one – and MCM. I try to do intervals – either 5:1 or 8:1 depending how it goes… and then I cut to 2:1 when I get tired, and then after that I walk as I feel I need to. 4. The same thing that motivates runners everywhere, right? Just because I’m slower doesn’t mean I don’t have goals and aspirations, seek to make progress on time or distance, and try to see what my body can withstand and how much I can push it, how far it will go. My goals aren’t really any different from anyone else’s, I’m just slower at them. My legs are shorter, I’m slower, I am not built for speed, and my lifestyle isn’t either (see aforementioned travel, I also want to live and enjoy life, not just live to race). But I do have a weird ability to go on and on and on no matter how much it sucks. I am considering a 24 hour race in June… see how far I can make myself go !

    • JC Harris

      I commented in the regular thread but wanted to add here as well … I have run marathons while only training 13 miles. It can be done. I am a 13-14 minute mile pacer. “Getting the distance in” is a mental issue that each of us carries to some degree. I have managed to get out of the way of thinking, though it took a while. I have completed 70.3 mile triathlons while only having a long ride of 30 miles. I have done a century bike ride (100 miles) after having a long ride of 65. The object, at least in my view, is to keep the training to a point where you can keep training. If you are pounding your body for 20 miles during training then your training is going to suffer afterwards.

      • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

        See, I don’t really feel like increasing the mileage has impacted my training much. I don’t think I would be ready after only training 13 miles – but that’s me. And as for your Ironman Augusta experience – that made me smile. I’m not so good with the smiling and waving and letting it roll off my back (redheaded Masshole here)! I need to work on that. 🙂

      • WintrySarah

        I am currently training for my first marathon. I finished my 2 halfs in 2 hours 19 minutes and 2 hours 20 minutes. However, I’ve been maintaining a 13:30 pace in training and have only gone 18 miles so far for a long run. Subsequently I’m freaking out about my marathon on September 18th. Any advice?

        • frenat

          Stop freaking out! If you can go 18, you can go 26.2. Do you have any more long runs scheduled?

          Nathan

    • You’re defensive from the start here. Look at it logically and take the emotion out – how about you try this? Train for your next marathon by peaking with a 3 hour long run, instead of 20 miles. See if it makes any difference. What have you got to lose by experimenting just once? 😉

      • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

        I tend to be defensive, because I frequently feel that way. Mostly, by other runners, who have told me and no one certain terms that because I am slow, or large, that I do not deserve to share the exulted trail/path/Road/race with them. So yes, I am a bit I suppose. The main reason I don’t do what you say, is because three hours doesn’t even get me to a half marathon. I’ve done plenty of those, and so actually this Saturday, I will be putting into practice exactly what you recommend. Because of work travel, I did not get in a long run last month. I got to 15-18 in February, but March only managed a 12.5 and 13.4 at the beginning of the month then couldn’t run more than a couple of miles at a time due to work travel. I just got back last week. This weekend I did a couple of 10 milers and that’s all I have as far as prep for Saturday’s marathon. But frankly I dont feel prepared – physically or mentally.

        • MKM

          I am sorry. Good for you for being out there and doing what you love to do. You have to love it to be out there that long. I am slow too and I feel that the slow people are the ones that really need the support and cheering. Keep on moving!!! 🙂

    • jdizzl

      I agree. I am not doing 6 -7 hours but was Tryint to get 4:30 4:45 and I definitely think I could have benefited from a few more long runs in my training, even beyond 20. My training was about 3:45 at 20 mile range but marathon was about 5:30. Yes the last 8 miles from mile 17-18 took me about 2 hours to cover. I think I could use more training of how to push through that kind of pain or something or teach my body to use fuel more efficiently when low

  • Kevin Ueland

    Did Hansons. Dropped the 20 miler, and dropped 4 minutes from my marathon PR.

  • Carolyn Laitsch

    I tried to switch to running by time and heart rate while training for a half marathon. I ran it last week and bombed it. My pace was 90 sec. per mile slower and I was tired by mile 10. Sure the training was easier, but the outcome showed that I hadn’t trained hard enough. You get back what you put in.

    • frenat

      Carolyn, what do you think you could do differently next time?

      • Carolyn Laitsch

        Increase the miles for sure. My minute runs that my plan called for gave me too few miles. I did a weekly long run, but my other training runs were only 40 to 50 minutes long and at my grama (age 62) pace of 11 to 11:30 for my easy runs that made for only 3 to 4 miles per run. I am going to continue to do my runs with the heart rate monitor but increase the miles, and for my threshold and race pace runs do a longer warm up and cool down run of a couple of miles instead of a couple of minutes. Goal of gradually increasing to 30 to 40 miles per week instead of the 20 my plan gave me.

        • Valerie Silensky-Lowe

          Carolyn – responding to your comment on my comment above on speed issues – 11-11:30 pace for me isn’t at all grama pace… it’s beyond me right now.

          • Carolyn Laitsch

            I missed by BQ by 38 seconds 3 years ago. Then I each year after that I got expensive professional trainers and over trained under their guidance, only to have worse outcomes on my marathons and get even slower. Now I have gone from running a 9:30 to 10 min pace to my 11:00 minute pace, and my endurance has gone down. I ran a 1/2 marathon last week and had to walk at mile 10, finishing at pace 90 sec per mile less than last year. Looking back my weekly milage has dropped from 40 miles per week to 20 average. I think I need more miles over the week by taking fewer days rest and adding a few more miles onto my daily runs.

          • Carolyn Laitsch

            Some days just being able to finish a race (Grama’s last June) is enough. I over trained for it and hit the wall at mile 16, had to walk to finish. Over training is worse than under training. I was exhausted and frustrated after all the hard work and still had a poor outcome. I under trained for my race last week, but at least I had fun (it was Maui so that was easy), and was able to enjoy running along the beaches for the rest of the week. We are supposed to be running for health and fun right? I have to keep reminding myself of that as I get older and slower.

        • JC Harris

          11-11:30 is a Grandma pace?? What is mine at 14-15?? LOL

  • Sara

    Nathan, this is a great article – thank you! I haven’t actually tried it, but I definitely understand the philosophy of de-emphasizing the long run. And perhaps adding a mid-week medium-long run, like Pfitzinger recommends. The last time I did a marathon, I think I did 2 20-mile runs that took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes. But, I also did 10-12 miles every Wednesday morning, and that helped tremendously, both physically and mentally – definitely made the longer 16-18 mile long runs less of a major thing. I might incorporate this for TCM this fall; I’ll let you know how it goes!

    I guess it also depends on your goal for the marathon – to complete or to compete. If I were aiming to complete a marathon, I might do as much as a 22 mile long run, just to know that I can complete close to the distance.

    Interestingly, Brad Hudson has his advanced marathon plans going up to 24 or 26 mile long runs.

    • frenat

      Thanks Sara. I’d be curious to see what else Brad is doing in those plans. That must be a pretty fast pace. A 26 mile long run for most runners would ruin then in training 🙂

  • Arielle Anderson

    I agree with this from a competitive standpoint, but I think that the risk of injury aspect is strongly dependent on your running background. When I start training for a race my long runs can be 50% of my weekly mileage – it motivates me to show myself that I can still do long runs even if I’m in the process of getting back in shape. But I get more of a kick out of distance than speed. Which brings me to another point – this is basically what ultrarunners have to do. For example racing 80 miles to prep for a 100 mile race would be insane.

    • frenat

      Totally agree Arielle. I think the big idea here is that if you’re running less than 35-40 MPW, stacking 50% (or more) of those miles into one run can be detrimental to your overall goals.

      • Arielle Anderson

        I see. Although its not what I would ‘like’ to hear, I think its solid advice on how to get faster and will be hard for me to ignore during training. Nicely done article.

  • Bob Burt

    George Sheehan said that he never ran more than 15 miles when training for a marathon

    • JC Harris

      Yeah. What does Sheehan know though right?? LOL

  • Mishka

    I’m training for Boston & decided to follow the Hanson plan for the first time. Now that I’ve run quite a few marathons I’m not psychologically worried about the lack of long runs. I’m more worried about the lack of long runs to burn off all my donut consumption. I am doing a lot more speed work than ever before, but I might argue that the increase in speed work is just as hard in my body as the long runs ever were? Anyways, I’ll report back on how it turns out in a few months!

    • JC Harris

      You can’t outrun a bad diet. JMHO. 😉

  • Shannon Egan Herrera

    Interesting perspective. I have trained for two marathons (completed one). I have been injured both times at the 18-20 mile mark. I did TC in October and am still facing the repercussions of it. I also coach running which makes it even more frustrating. I do think the 20 mile mark for me is too much, but saying that the marathon is probably too much for me too then.

    • JC Harris

      What I would wonder in reading this is if the training runs of 20 miles hurt your marathon performance? If you hold back and only do long training runs of 14-15, perhaps your race would then be better because you will be fresher and not injured.

  • JC Harris

    I have been a believer of this for quite some time so it is nice to see others finally posting about it. I have never believed in the “long run” of 20-26.2 miles as a requirement, especially personally for me since I deal with psoriatic arthritis and long training runs like this will put me in recovery mode for 4 days afterwards meaning no running. Doesn’t make sense. In reading some of the comments I expected no less than what the majority of runners state; it’s NEEDED, “I see your point but I am not convinced”, yada yada yada. It’s the same people that see the science on carb loading (it doesn’t work) but still go to pasta fests the night before a race. They do what they do because it’s what they do. FYI, I am also very slow (13-15 minute pace), and what I would say to Valerie is what others said; don’t worry about being slow. The only one you’re up against is yourself.

  • Tony Samec

    Who would have thought this would be such a provocative topic! I ran my first 26.2 last fall at TCM. I didn’t subscribe to any particular training plan, however. I just knew from talking to others and reading about marathon training that I needed to do a variety of runs, including a number of 20 mile runs (because that’s what everyone else did, right?!?!). I even did a 23 mile run. I will say that I am glad I did these long runs, especially the 23 miler. Having never run that far before it was a great confidence booster. As a running newbie, I have no idea whether these long runs were physically beneficial (I was just looking to finish), but mentally they were invaluable. The other thing I will say is my recovery time was surprisingly very short, including the 23 mile run. I’m sure if my recovery time was a lot more I would reconsidered these long runs. Thanks Nathan for your article. Good discussion!

    • frenat

      Thank you Tony! Glad to hear you are recovering so well.

  • EricRinMpls

    Thanks for the very helpful and informative post. I appreciate how you have clearly done some research and cite the people and their arguments that you found compelling. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for future training.

  • Frank Pizarro

    OK, not going to post an opinion perse but just my experience as a slower runner. I’ve done only one marathon. Took me two years to go from couch to 26.2 miles. When the time for the pair of 20 milers came up, I was unable to do it. For a month, I tried to pull it off and could not manage more then 15 miles. My body would just give up and could not go on. I made the decision to let it go, taper and hope for the best. I managed to finish (6:45:23) but I wonder what factors made that possible. Like the fact that I live in a hot, humid tropical island and when I ran the marathon it was in the 50’s so I’m sure that played a big part. Does that mean that running the 20 milers is not required? I can’t answer that, but it gives me something to think about. I do know one thing: If I were to keep pushing for that 20 miles I would have missed my taper window and arrived to the start line a very tired an sore runner.

  • There are certainly a lot of variables, so I completely support the idea that it’s not necessary and largely over-hyped. However, it also seems a bit arbitrary to assess only volume and projected finish time when making a determination of its potential detriment. I set my marathon PR with my longest training run being 31 miles, while I set my 100 mile PR with a long run of only 22 miles. It’s pretty weird on paper, but when I look at intensity (and its relation to total volume), cross training, and recovery time, it makes at least a little bit more sense. I could imagine the situation for some 5 hour marathoners might be equally dynamic, making a 20 mile training run much more sensible.

    Plus, “more miles, more fun.”

    • frenat

      Tim, you’re running 31 miles as your marathon long run? How many miles are you running for the week and at what pace? Wow!

      Nathan

      • I was training for the marathon while also training for a longer race, so yes. That’s not to suggest that it was a great approach or that anyone else should consider it. I only meant to make the case that training is a complex thing, and that universal rules either for or against a specific length run might not make sense. It’s awesome to make people aware that they needn’t risk injury or over-exertion to fulfill the 20 mile obligation, but I’d be hesitant to draw a line in the sand and say, “Everyone running this pace is too slow for a 20 mile training run.” It’s a little bit difficult to answer your pace question, as I do a lot of my training on trails, but I was around 80 miles/week at that time and did my focused marathon training around 7:00-7:30 min/mile.

  • Tim Passey

    Lots of track work. Marathoners are obsessed with distance. I run 50km a week, with 30km long run and 20km track HIIT. This is all you need to be in perpetual 3h30m marathon readiness.

    • frenat

      I don’t know if that’s “all” you need, excellent start!

    • Estha van der Linden

      I’m very curious about this method of training. What is the 20km track HIIT run? Do you do any other cross training?

  • Michel Moreau

    I did the 20-mile things with my first two marathons and it didn’t work for me. I heard a lot about the Hanson method and I decided to give it a shot. It made me nervous to only do 16, but the reasons made sense. I had great success doing it with my last marathon and got two people to try it for their first marathon. I don’t miss the 20-mile training run.

    • frenat

      It’s amazing how different it is when not blasting such a long run. I still do 20’s, but it’s only about 1/3 of my total miles for the week, and I’m doing them much faster then before.

      Nathan

  • Quite a unique and interesting perspective. Having done 10 marathons slowly, I would agree. 20 milers drain you but do not really help in terms of the big picture.

  • Ryan_Hayden

    I’m training for my first marathon this spring. I’m in pretty good shape and bike and swim every week. The training plan I’m following only has me running 15 miles (about 35 miles a week) before the taper, should I be concerned? I’m not out to break a record, but I do want to finish.

    • frenat

      15 miles for your longest run? only 35 miles/week for your highest week? I wouldn’t say concerned, but that may be the lightest marathon training plan I’ve ever heard of. If you want to finish well, you’d probably be better off running more miles. Have you checkout out our free plan?

      • James

        If hes swimming and biking every week, depending on the volume the cross training should make up for the deficit.

      • James

        I bike 150-200 miles per week and swim 2 hours a week. My weekly run mileage is limited to 20 to 25 miles a week and my last Ironman I peaked at 15 mile long run and ran a 420 marathon after swim and 112 mile bike. I dont think your mileage rule on % would apply to Ironman triathletes who train 16 to 20 hours a week. This week my long run was 17 miles and with 220 miles of biking will only have time for a 6 mile run. So long run is 80% of my volume for the week. Next week 3 short runs, following week 1 long 1 short.

  • Michel Moreau

    I haven’t a 20-miler since converting to The Hanson method and I don’t miss it. My marathon running has gotten much better

  • drfager

    Some perspective here. Its not that a 20 mile, 22mile etc. long run is “bad”, its that a 20+ mile long run is a bad idea if you are at a certain level of ability or experience. If your weekly mileage and training paces support it, you most certainly should be doing a longer run than 16 miles. And if your mileage and pace doesnt support it you should be training to improve that to a point where it does. (More weekly miles, more speed work etc) Preparing for a marathon with a 16m long run is not “optimal” but it is sensible and appropriate for people with certain levels of weekly mileage and ability. (Speed)

    • frenat

      Agreed. It’s not optimal to only be doing a 16 mile long run, but if your miles are so low, and it takes you 4 hours to do a 20 miler, that’s really not optimla either.

      Nathan

  • Nina

    I just came upon this article after finishing my first 20 mile run in 3 hours 21 minutes. Although I originally thought I would peek at 22 miles, I was thinking I would try and work on hills and speed with more intensity during the week instead. I can stay in the 9:30 pace until I reach mile 16 and then I gradually end up in the 10:40’s. I am a 51 year old female and have completed many half marathons all just under or just over the two hour mark. I had hopes of working hard and getting my time at 4 hours to BQ but I think I may end up injured if I make my long runs any longer. I run 5 days a week and lift two days. After reading this I think that I will go with the 20 mile cap and work on nutrition and speed/hill. I hope I can finish under 4:30!!!!

    • frenat

      Good luck Nina!

      Nathan

      • David Gontarek

        I also just came across this article. I have been running marathons for 34 straight years now. I used to do 20 mile runs all the time but that was when I was running the marathon in the low 3 hour range. Now, much older, it takes me longer to run 20 miles than the entire marathon did 34 years ago. Not Fair! I was thinking of a 21 mile run this weekend but I am rethinking it now. I find it depressing it takes so long to run 20 miles when my marathon time is high 4 hour to low 5 hour range. I need to speed up and will work on that once I am retired. For now, I am a back of the pack runner, slow and strong. I think I will stick to what I have been doing the last decade. I run an 8 miler on Saturday followed by a 16 miler on Sunday. That way I think the 16 miler is more effective without the longer pounding a 20 miler would do to me. I start with less than fresh legs and that gives me a similar experience of 20 miles. After completing 42 of 42 marathons I know I can finish. I find it depressing to run 20 miles in 4 hours more than what a mental boast would give me that I can finish if I run 20.

  • Robert Overbaugh

    I can’t really comment from any scientific standpoint but will comment from experience. When I was in my mid-20’s, I took up long distance running. I went from not running at all and weighing 210 pounds to running marathons at a 155 pounds within 1-1/2 years. I peaked at running 100 miles a week for nearly a full year (7 days a week with 24 miles or so every Saturday). My last marathon I ran at a sub-8 minute pace. I believe that the high mileage led to great increases in endurance, weight loss and speed gains (all of which were gradual). I am now approaching 61 years old, had not run long distances since a half marathon nearly 10 years ago. Starting around November 2016 (having not run more than 2 miles without stopping prior to that), I have gradually increased mileage and have averaged about 50 miles a week for the past 6 weeks, including runs of 16 to 18 miles once a week. Planning to do a 20 mile run this weekend. My weight and pace continue to come down gradually, my endurance is improving but right now, I would probably be near 11 minutes per mile for a full marathon. I also do intervals, hills, tempo, fartlek, etc. However, I fell the long runs are critical to my improvements to date and to the future improvements I expect to have. I should add that I had pain in my left patella earlier in my training program (had a metal table fall from a car and hit me in my knee cap a few years ago and couldn’t run). Miraculously, as I upped my mileage and did exercises to strengthen my quads and hips, my knee pain is gone.

  • Chris

    When training for the Marathon portion of the ironman race I ran a half marathon distance once a week the last couple months before the race. Did one run about 15 miles long and that was the longest run. Finished in 5 hours after the 4k swim and 180k bike. I agree about unnecessary long runs I did a 20 Mile run when I was training for my first attempt at a marathon tore up my aches and got PF bad. Inexperience at the time. One person suggested do a half in the morning and a half at night or back to back half one day and another the next if you want to build endurance rather than the full run during training.

  • jdizzl

    Depends on person maybe. As somebody that just finished their first marathon over 5 hours and hit “the wall” I’d say for me it would have been better to actually run beyond 20 miles a few times to practice running in more pain and with depleted glycogen. I basically went from 10:15 pace to shuffling/walking around 13:30 pace at mile 18. I had never actually hit the wall or anything close to it during my training. In fact the last 20 before my race felt kind of easy. For my next marathon I’ll be doing more pace on Saturday’s to burn me or then long runs on Sunday. I would also jump into longer runs quicker. My cardio was not an issue at all just I don’t think I could switch to burning fat…legs were dead. Of course my marathon was 80 degrees 3 hours in with 65% humidity so that could have done it also… not used to running in a heat wave or so much direct sun.