MAF long run recommendations for marathon

by Luis
(Mt. Pleasant, IA)

I wanted to know if we should emphasize miles or time on long runs
I have run 18 marathons and a few IMs.
I am used to running three 20+ runs when training prior to MAF
What should I do with MAF

Race is in five weeks
Last week I did 19 in 3 hours. The week before 18 in a little under 3 hours



Nicole's reply:
Hi Luis and thanks for the great question.

Phil Maffetone purposely doesn't seem to prescribe race specific training plans so I can see it is confusing knowing how to handle marathon training. Here are a couple of ways to approach the long run.

1. Phil Maffetone feels that any run over 2.5 hours starts to become unproductive but if you want/need to run longer, then he suggests adding walk breaks. So you could start with a 30 minute walk followed by a 2.5 hour run followed by another 30 minute walk. Total = 3.5 hours.

2. When I train for a marathon, I generally follow Matt Fitzgerald's 80/20 method. His training plans have you running by time for all runs apart from the long run which is done by distance. He feels that you need to prepare your body/mind to run the race distance and so he prescribes the long run by distance. Personally this works for me

I don't know at what stage you are in your MAF training but you seem to have a lot of experience with marathons and know how your body copes and so whether you go by time or distance is probably up to you. If you want to repeat/extend your current long run to 20 miles, listen to your body, keep in your endurance heart rate zone and if necessary consider adding in a walk segment.

Comments for MAF long run recommendations for marathon

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Aug 15, 2022
Fitzgerald marathon plan
by: Jerry

Hi Nicole,

I just bought the book "80/20 Running"

The problem with a Fitzgerald marathon plan is that you've to train 6 times a week.
Personally I only train 4 times a week.



Aug 15, 2022

by: Nicole

Hi Jerry, the free marathon plans (level 1 - 3) in the book are 6 days a week but if you go on the 80/20 endurance website you can get a level 0 marathon plan which is 5 days a week. However it is not free.

Many of us don't have 6 days a week to train or as an older run, 6 days is just too much. I definitely find that as I get older I need more rest days. Depending on your goals and ability, there is nothing wrong with adapting the plan. One way might be to put 2 foundation runs together which allows you an extra rest day. Alternatively you could substitue a foundation (low intensity) run for cross training such as walking. However you choose to adapt the plan, the main thing to remember is to stay within the 80/20 ratio of doing 80% aerobic and 20% anaerobic training.

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