To Long Run Or Not To Long Run…?

In Which I Wonder If I Should Do Another Long Run Before York Marathon

Two weeks ago I did my longest ever training long run of a 10 miles long run.

Last Sunday I went down to Northampton for a training course on the Monday for my new job. I took some beer on the train as it was a 5 1/2 trip and halfway down felt a dripping on my leg. Pretty sure I hadn’t wet myself (not done that in months) so checked my bag. A can had leaked. All over my clothes for the next day. Which is why, on a training course for a Security job, I stunk like an alcoholic. 


On Tuesday I went to run a longer long run training long run. I worked out a route on Tuesday morning and went out for a long run run long run run long run on Tuesday afternoon. 

I ran from home down towards the Apperley Bridge part of Leeds/Liverpool canal and headed towards Shipley. 

Within the first few miles of my long long run long run there were a few elderly cyclists coming along the canal path in the opposite direction. The first two passed by, put the third gimmer was looking down instead of forward and so I moved to the side of the path. He didn’t look up and so kept coming at me, which made me step over onto the grass verge where I stepped funny and slightly twisted my ankle. The old guy on the bike finally looked up and TUTTED AT ME!! He’d almost run me over, then almost knocked me INTO A CANAL then made me twist my chuffing ankle and FINISHED IT WITH A TUT! 

Wish I’d’ve pushed him in. 

Instead, I tutted back and carried on running. Apart from that, the run was quite uneventful (as run long long long runny runny runs tend to be.) I ran to Shipley then turned around and ran back to the bridge which leads up through the woods. When I goto the bridge I’d done 10k. I ran back to Shipley where I had an energy gel, then ran back to the bridge which leads up through the woods. I then did the same again (but without an energy gel) and then ran a little bit more and finished 13.1miles in 02:11. (27 minutes quicker than September 2012 half marathon!)

I walked up through the woods and then had a slow walk home, where Sarah cheered for me and had made a banner. (Not really, she’d napped the whole time I was out! Lazy)

I was a bit sore the rest of the day and a bit of the next day, but felt fine. I started my new job on Thursday as a Security Guard in a shopping centre and so am on my feet walking around 10 miles a day. Shifts are either 8 or 10 hours so it’s a lot of walking. I did my third day yesterday and my feet were killing by the end of it. I used to work there a few years ago though and know I’ll get used to it before too long.

Today’s my day off, but my legs hurt more from work than they did from the long run run run long run long. I have another day off tomorrow, but then a 13 hour shift Tuesday due to an event at work Tuesday evening so won’t be running long this week. 

That means I’ll probably only be able to get one more long run in before York, as the week after is taper week. I’ve heard that today is the last time you should run long as the marathon is in 3 weeks time. I’m off next Sunday, so should I go for a long run two weeks before the marathon or do lots of shorter runs? 

Run long run run long long long run long run long?

Or… Not?

24 thoughts on “To Long Run Or Not To Long Run…?

  1. Marc,
    I love the art of your story where you’ve finished and you girlfriend/wife (?) is cheering and holding a sign. And then the real truth. Gave me a giggle. Running really is a personal adventure isn’t it? I’m early in my running career. So far I have run 23 minutes straight, just about 2 miles. At this point I cannot imagine running for more than 2 hours let alone more than 4! Congratulations on your progress. Hard to believe you were a couch potato! Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to following you and learning through the wonderful accounts of your experience.

    With love, Amanda

  2. It’s been a while, old man, and your blog’s new look made me a little confused but I’m glad I got the right page.I recovered badly from my Paris, just as you did from Blackpool, so this time I only did a semi-marathon in Lyon (got a PB out of it!) since we’re off to Australia in December and I don’t want to be hobbling then.
    By this stage (your ticker says 5 days to go) answering your long run/not long run is too late, but I seriously hope you did squeeze one more in. 10mi as the last long distance before a 26.2 is just a little ambitious, and even if you do manage to race well, the recovery may hurt a bit.
    Anyway… All the best for the York Marathon! You’ve done it once before and you will certainly do it again! And also, I’ve started a new blog and thought it’d be nice to have an old online acquaintance come take a look before I unleash it upon the friends and family.
    If you get around to taking a look at it, do tell me what you think. =)

  3. Congratulations on getting into the New York marathon!! As an injured runner, I’d encourage resting and stretching before the race. But you must do what you feel comfortable with. Enjoy New York!! It’s a hell of a town 😉 All the best to you!!

  4. Apparently, physiological benefits take two weeks to kick in so I’d say just sharpen up with some intervals and race pace shorter runs.

  5. 3 weeks out you’re okay if your legs feel fine 10-12 miles max w/in the next week then step down to 8-6-4 mile runs. I feel your pain of long days on your feet. Sometimes running helps me avoid DOMS. You still need loose legs…not lead legs. #1 listen to your body. No plan, training program is perfect or the end-all-be-all.

  6. Enjoyed your description of your encounter with the cyclists! Hope the ankle is OK.

  7. Congrats on the long run! I saw medium, medium, medium 🙂

  8. Really enjoyed your post!

  9. I vote stick to your plan too – you’re just risking injury doing a log run closer to the date (next time the cyclist may cause you to fully twist your ankle, in which case you have my full support in chucking him in). Let your muscles recover and work on your race pace over shorter distances – good luck!

  10. My advice is to stick with your plan. 3 weeks out, extra miles are not going to make you fitter or stronger, but could hamper your ability to rest and rebuild all your muscles to 100%. Shorter runs with more of them done at goal pace will be the best thing for you during a taper. All the best for your run!

  11. I missed my long run last weekend and I wrestled with whether or not I should make today’s long run longer to compensate. I sifted through a bunch of articles, the gist was not to cram in more miles at the end to make up for missed miles. I ran my 8, will run 3 tomorrow then walk 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday according to my training plan. At 3 weeks out, my plan called for a 16 miler (7,8 & 7 miles in the week before), 2 weeks out a 9 miler (5,8,5) and 1 week out an 8 miler (3,5,3). I have read that dividing your longer runs into 2 runs can be beneficial if they’re done in a 24 hour period. That ended up longer than I meant, sorry! See how you feel. Good luck!! Sorry about your ankle.

  12. Yes, absolutely you should do another long run. Today. 13 miles. Do it. You’ll be glad you did. Because you love running.

  13. For my half marathon plan, my schedule has an 11 miler 2 weeks gout and an 8 miler one week out. I wasn’t able to do either for my last half as I was injured (but I was able to run the race, just not at the target pace due to the injury). However, I hope to use the training plan’s suggestions for my next half in just over 5 weeks.

  14. You are better off arriving at the start line healthy and rested then putting in too many miles that you can’t recover from in time. A 10 miler is a good idea next long run, if you don’t consider that long. Work your plan.

  15. Measure how tired you are first and foremost, I would run a 10 miler since you will be 2 weeks out, and an easy 3-4 miler a week out. Since your walking a lot and your legs and feet are tired you just want the runs in for your confidence and to let your legs and mind know this is running. If you are really tired and sore keep your mileage to about 6 miles, and sometimes plain old rest and positive thinking will get you farther than running long.

  16. Do what you can and you will do as well as want to do… sometimes things and circumstances determine how you on the day . good luck and remember it’s up to you:)

  17. Very funny! In answer to your question. I am not qualified to answer really, but if I were you I would consider a 10 miler next weekend then taper off, do shorter runs and practice your target marathon pace, if you’ve decided on one. Good luck in York!

  18. The canal is great, but sometimes filled with asshats, I woud have yelled at him from a mile off!

  19. 27 minutes improved over one year ago? That is simply fabulous!

    I understand how work can play havoc with training: I am a construction worker, spending 8-12 hrs a day on my feet, up and down ladders, while wearing a 20 pound (10 kilo) tool belt. While this is nice for the endurance base, it is awfully hard on the feet. I have found that a soak in some Epsom salts is helpful.

    My plan doesn’t cut mileage until 2 weeks before the marathon, so you can probably get in one more long run, I think – just focus on distance more than pace, is my advice. (Caveat -I am training for my 1st 26.2, so who am I to be giving advice?)

    And, for what it’s worth, I may not have pushed Pops into the canal, but I sure would have yelled at him, probably something much ruder than a TUT! Hope your ankle is OK.

  20. Thanks for the laughs, as always. I don’t know the answer to your question, I’m pretty new to this long distance business myself. But what’s a tut?

  21. I’d say run, but not as long of a run. Maybe an 8 miler next weekend, then a 4 miler the following weekend.

  22. Short short short

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s