Words of Wisdom Wednesday – About the Long Run

If you’re training for the Dumbo Double Dare, chances are that this weekend, you’ll be running your second back to back long runs. This was the week that always tripped me up. Although, I think that part of that was that running 2 miles Saturday, 9.5 miles Sunday came on the 4th of July weekend. All the activities for the celebration of Independence Day took their toll on me and I had some miserable Sunday runs. Also, as you get into this weekend, you’re getting closer to double-digit runs. So, I thought it might be a good time to learn a little bit about the long run.

I found this guy’s videos on You Tube around the Los Angeles Marathon. He was running among the United States Elite Marathoners for that race. The video doesn’t give a lot in entertainment value. However, he offers some pretty interesting information about why we have to do the long runs in preparation for our races. His approach to the long run is a little different from Jeff Galloway.It’s always good to learn from others. The coach in the video determines your long run distance based on how many miles you’ve been running in the week. He is going on the advice of others where you shouldn’t run more than 30% of your overall distance for the week on a long run. For those of us who are weekend warriors and are following the Jeff Galloway plan, you know that this isn’t necessarily the case. After all, the mid-week run distance remains pretty constant. However, the weekend long run distance varies.

I think that a lot of the advice given in the video is good. If you’re a more experienced runner, you might want to consider taking some of the advice offered in the video to see how it works for you. If you go to the You Tube channel, you’ll find another video where this coach talks about different kinds of long runs you could go on. I’m still inexperienced enough to be using the long run as a method for increasing endurance. Jeff Galloway


What does Meb say? Well, Meb sounds a lot like Jeff Galloway. In Meb for Mortals, Meb says, “Long runs are primarily about covering the distance…they shouldn’t be so hard that you’re trashed afterward and spend the rest of the week recovering.” It’s a good point to make. I’m still learning how to correctly pace my long runs. Since I’m training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon currently, I’m taking my long runs with the run/walk intervals I’m planning on using for the marathon. It’s a different run/walk interval than I use for the half marathons. Which brings me to something I learned while training for the Los Angeles Marathon.

Use your long run as a dress rehearsal for the race you’re preparing for

Since these runs will never count for an official PR, take the time to experiment on your long runs. See what foods you should eat the day before a long run, how you should schedule your day before the race, what you should eat before running, stretches you can do to be ready to run, what you should eat/drink while running, and what your pacing should be, etc. These are the runs where you can try things out. Try different fuel while you’re running, or different electrolyte drink. Figure out when your body needs to take in fuel.


These runs will help you find your happy place in running. I learned that a run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds is my happy place for runs lasting longer than the half marathon distance. I learned that a fueling strategy of taking in a Cliff Shot Blok every 30 minutes keeps me happy. Hydrating every mile and a half keeps me happy. Obviously, when the temperatures get warmer, I need to alter that a little bit. However, I found this by trying out other strategies and failing. Don’t be afraid to fail on these runs. Jeff Galloway talks about how important it is to finish the distance. Even if you have to walk the last few miles. So, if you find something that wipes you out and you are out of gas for the last few miles, it’s okay. Walk it out and finish the distance.

I hope there is something I’ve said or presented in the video that adds to your training as you get ready for your long runs. What helps you get through your long runs?

2 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom Wednesday – About the Long Run

  1. i love your talks about this. I agree-I follow more of a Meb and Jeff strategy that long runs are about distance and a time to try different things. I have 2 on the schedule tomorrow and 9-10 on Saturday and plan on trying out some new fuels i bought: Hammer. I will carry my regular fuel just incase it does not work. I am also going to try and make overnight oats before I go to bed which will save me time in the morning of making oats so we will see

    1. Sounds like a good idea. It looks like you’re doing some training for Dumbo. This is the week of the 2 and 9.5 mile back to back runs. I’m doing 15 miles Saturday because my training is geared for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve got a few back to backs in August. Have a good run tomorrow!

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