That happened recently as I caught up with books by Matt Fitzgerald, marathon plans by the Hanson brothers (The running ones, not the hockey ones), and Runner World's advise columns. And the change is in what they are all warning about regarding the Long Run.
It used to be, more is better when it came down to the long run. Galloway had you run/walk more than the distance of the marathon in the runs leading up to the marathon. Joe Henderson also referenced that as long as you took walking breaks, you aided your endurance without setting your body back too much. Amby Burfoot, Boston Marathon 1968 winner, admitted that, yes, even he too is taking walking breaks so that he can keep up the mileage needed to finish those long runs.
But the new trend is a limit to the long run. The latest trend is to say that you should limit the time/distance of your long run. The Hanson's plan is that you should never run more than 16 miles for any long run. Runner's World advisors as stating that anything longer than 3 hours [no, it doesn't matter if you are doing a 6 minute or 12 minute mile] is counter productive. A Boston Qualifier told me that she never did more than 2 hours on any long run until 3 weeks before, when she did a 2 and a half hour long run [yes, just one before the marathon]. She told me that allowed her to do more strength training, speed workouts and tempo runs before the marathon - and that, was the key for her.
It's an interesting change. As a 55+ year old runner, it makes sense to me. My recovery times last year were brutal. Sure, some of it was the weight I was carrying but age was also a factor. I know my first three months have been progressing nicely with my training for a Half Marathon instead of the Full Marathon for the spring/summer races. I will not have a run over 15 miles in any of that training and it should show in my times (I hope).
If any of you have followed a marathon training program with a limited long run distance described above, please share it with me. I ill advance to the full marathon training after Grandma's in June and I would fully embrace any training that was successful that included a limit on the long run [time and/or distance] during the coming summer months.
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