My next marathon is 30 days away.

Which means tomorrow is long run day!

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I am gearing up to hit the trails in the early morning and depending on time, I am aiming to get 20 miles in.

For marathon training there are millions of reasons long runs are required.  Why?

According to McMillan Running, here are some of the many benefit to the long run in marathon training:

  • Maximize the ability to burn fat and spare the limited muscle carbohydrate (glycogen) stores
  • Improve leg strength and resistance to fatigue (both mental and physical)
  • Teach the body to handle lowered blood glucose levels
  • Personally, to allow the runner to come up with what they feel their necessary race equipment and nutritional plan will be
  • To prepare the mind for the focus and determination that will be required, especially at the end of the marathon.

I follow the Hal Higdon marathon training plan and will be running at a slower pace than I intend to race with.  About 30-90 seconds more per mile to allow my body to achieve all of the changes it needs to prepare for the distance ahead.

I usually feel great for the first 10 miles.  Things start to get a little harder after 10, and I tell myself, “this is where the change happens.”  According to Hal Higdon, physiologically this when the change happens as well.

After my long run, I will shower, change, eat and drive.  I have a busy day of kids soccer games all over the place, which means lots of sitting in the car.

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I will stretch after my run, especially because of my sore foot.  I will be stretching all day.  And as I hobble to and fro, I will be sure to explain I am not drunk – it was long run day.

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Long run day brings me one step closer to the marathon.  Preparing myself physically and mentally for what I will be asking of it in 30 days.  When I cross the finish line of marathon training.

I can’t wait!

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