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.

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