So I caught the bug and signed up for the full marathon. I have already run 6 half-marathons and this will be my first full 26.2. My only goal for this one is to finish and to suffer as little as possible. How long should my longest run be and how far out from the actual race should it be?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Congratulations on registering for your first marathon (and pre-emptive congratulations for FINISHING your first marathon…now you HAVE to finish or I’ll look stupid). Since this is your first marathon and your only goal is to finish then you should put your last long run 3 weeks out from the marathon. This will allow your body to fully recover prior to the race and reap the benefits from the long run. One of the biggest mistakes for first timers is to over train (come to think of it, that’s a big mistake for seasoned marathoners as well). It’s always a better idea to go into your first marathon over-recovered rather than over-trained…you will be amazed what your rested body is capable of on race day. Your last long run should be between 20-22 miles. More importantly, you should plan on that run taking as long as your goal marathon time. Since you don’t have a goal time I would recommend a run closer to 22 miles just to be sure that you are getting enough quality time in the shoes. Since you live in a flatter area you will definitely want to attend the FREE training run that we are hosting ON THE MARATHON COURSE. There will be a training run 3 weeks out from the marathon and again 2 weeks out. The runs will be supported with nutrition and drinks and will be out-and-back so you can run as far as you want. Please email me if you need more information firstname.lastname@example.org.