Marathon Training and Splitting Up the Long Run

I can’t believe the Chicago Marathon is less than a month away. I’m starting to get nervous and had my first official race nightmare the other night. I’m also starting to make my packing checklists and go over what needs to be done before I leave. I’ve also reached my $1,000 fundraising goal for Ronald McDonald House Charities so THANK YOU to everyone who shared, donated, and encouraged me along the way!

Less than a month to go also means hitting my longest mileage weekends before I hit the taper.

Last weekend, I was scheduled for 14 miles and have 18 on the horizon this weekend. Of course, things didn’t work out exactly as planned last weekend and I overslept, which meant I didn’t get my full 14 miles in at once. Instead, I split the run into 7 & 7 over a 24 hour period.

Splitting Up the Long Run

This weekend, I’m running the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and adding 5 miles to the run within 24 hours.

Breaking up the long run occasionally may not be a bad thing, especially for “slower” runners like myself. At this stage in the game, doing a 3-4 hour straight run may do may harm than good to my body. It’s also better than the alternative of not doing long runs at all because of time. Breaking the long run into two runs is a great way to overcome the mental roadblocks that have shot up over the past few weeks as well.

Another reason I’m choosing to run the half + miles is because it’s a 13.1 mile course that’s mapped out for me. There are water stations, aid stations, and I feel much safer running in a race than carving out 13 miles on my own around town. It’s also much harder for me to want to quit when I know I’ve paid good money for a race.

My second run this weekend was hard. My legs were tired, I didn’t feel as well-fueled, and my mind definitely tried to make me turn around early. Which is exactly how I feel in the second half of a long run. I know combining the 13.1+5 this weekend is going to be hard mentally and physically as well.

Is 7&7 or 13&5 the ideal way to train? Will it work for everyone? Probably not, but it works for me.

Have you ever split long runs for your marathon training? Leave a comment and let me know how it worked for you!

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  • Reply Jenn September 16, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I will be splitting a few long runs leading up to my marathon. “They” say it’s ok, and I tend to listen to “them.” Especially when it serves my purposes. You’ve got this!

  • Reply Tabetha Wells September 18, 2014 at 12:21 am

    I split my run last weekend, I was coaching a Learn to Run group through 2.5 miles in the morning, then I took a nap and ran the other 12.
    It was probably a good idea, since I’m trying to get over an injury before Chicago.

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