NYC Marathon Training Week 4 – How long is too long?

PSA – When you pack your workout clothes don’t forget socks because there’s no way to “wing it” on a treadmill without socks. I can get away without a sports bra (it’s jogging haha), maybe even barefoot without shoes, but no socks means no run for me. I get cranky without a run but I have no one to blame by myself. /endPSA

A friend and I were discussing long runs the other day. We were wondering if doing more ultras makes us slower for road marathons. While training for long distance generally makes you faster as the shorter distance, for me personally there is a trade-off in speed vs. more miles.

Why? Because while I can endure being on my feet for more miles and more hours, I get comfortable with running easy, taking a walk break, or just chilling back. I know super fast ultra running people don’t think of these terms but as a middle of the pack runner, it’s what I do to survive. For the most part, until NYC marathon, I’m planning most of my long runs on roads to train in marathon pace. This weekend, I broke away from that. Instead of running 21 miles in 3 hours, I ran 31 in 7 hours, on trails. Will this help me? I guess only a marathon PR will tell.

Monday – Rest 

Tuesday – 16 miles

Three part run 8 miles at 7:44 pace at noon. 3 miles in the evening at 7:47 pace and 5 miles at a slow recovery pace with Bill Rodgers! I wasn’t planning on running 16 miles, but how could I miss out on a chance to run with one of Boston’s most famous marathoners?

Wednesday – 7.4 miles + 1,000 yds swim

My hips felt tight after 16 miles (11 at way too fast speed for me) so I tried running at a recover pace of 9 minutes, but would speed up without noticing to 8 minute miles or so.

I went swimming in the evening. Something I avoided for a few weeks and rediscovered my love for the pool. Mentally, getting myself to go swimming is one of the most difficult things to do, but once I dive in, I feel pretty relaxed. Better than yoga.

Thursday – 1,500 yds swim.

Still felt sore and decided an injury is not worth reaching my mileage goal for the week. Went to the pool after work which was surprisingly empty. With the lane all to myself, I decided it’s time to try to swim further. Got to 1,500 yds in 45 minutes or so before my arms felt like they would fall off.

Friday – 5.9 miles

After a day off from running, I felt great again. The weather was also beautiful so I went out of a light run. I tried very hard to make sure I didn’t get carried away with Saturday being a 31 mile day.

Saturday – 31.43 miles

TARC Summer classic. I dropped down from the 50 miler to the 50K. I wasn’t even going to do the run at all, but was able to get a ride from a friend. Luckily, I went because I had a blast in completing my first 50K as well as the further distance I have yet to run. I’ll have a full recap in a few days.

Sunday – I thought about doing a recovery run but I decided to chill back. Going from an 18 miles to a 50K earned my hips/calves/hamstrings a little break.

Total Miles about 61 

Total Feelings Happy

QOTD – Do you think more distance will make you faster?

One thought on “NYC Marathon Training Week 4 – How long is too long?”

  1. Good question! I am not sure since I don’t have experience in ultras. The training seems different though- you do more speed work for a marathon and less for an ultra. Correct? I am sure that someone has done the research and you can find the answer online. 🙂

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