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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Episode 36: Marathon pacing, long run (time vs. distance)

As the painting to the right testifies (Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869), long distance running can be a bit of a challenge. The scene is of the Greek, Pheidippides, announcing that the Persians had been defeated at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. He immediately died--maybe he should have eaten at least one more gel. Anyway...

Thanks for coming along for Episode 36 during this 15 mile run. We talk about the importance of scaling back and pacing, along with an adequate warm-up. The concern is often trying to beat the time it took to run that last 4 miler, 10 miler, or whatever distance it was. But long-term marathon training requires the ability to also know how to slow down and rest.

One of the issues I would like your feedback on is about the long run. As they get longer in preparation for the marathon, I'm not sure if I need to run by time, distance, or a hybrid. For instance, is it better to cover 22 miles, or 3.5 hours? Is either adequate? Send me an email about your experience in this area. Along with the long runs, marathon training also requires faster running. We talk about the issue in this episode. Faster running is important for faster and more comfortable race efforts.

As the months have passed since I began running again (19 and counting), and as I have gradually gotten a bit swifter on my feet, I have come to the conclusion that breakthroughs are based just as much on how long we've been running as how long we are running. A base of several months is critical to the marathon effort. Of that, I am convinced.

Kudos to Kim who is running the half at the NC Marathon, the same event I am running March 20th. I am sure she will do well, even though she does not have the benefit of many months on the roads. She will make it to the finish and run a great race.

In closing, I do have one more request. Send me an email on how (if you have ever run or are training to run the marathon) to pace the effort. Should I run easy for the first half, then gut it out? Should I run three segments: easy, harder and hold on? This question is one that I really need some input on and I look forward to your advice.

That about wraps up the episode. It is really great to have you along. And as always,

Thanks for sharing some of the road with me,
The 20 Minute Runner

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The music heard in the body of the podcast is entitled “Revolution," by Wiser Time. Check it out at Music Alley.

The opening music heard in this podcast is entitled “Point of No Return” by Roger Subirana and is the title cut of the album. Check it out at Jamendo.com.

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When sending email, please include your first name, city/state or country. Your email may be shared on a podcast. Also, feel free to send me a short mp3 or wav audio file. I might play it during a podcast. Your comments are always welcome.