Tag Archives: Marathon Training

Splitting a Long Run

splitting a long  HappyFitMama.com

Last week I had 18 miles planned for my long run. But then I realized that I had the Summerfest 10k on Sunday. In marathon training last year, the only race I had during that time was a half marathon. It was no big deal to tack on mileage for a warm up and cool down after the race to get in my desired total. But with a 10k, it’s only 6.2 miles. Add one mile for a warm up and I’ve would still have a boat load of miles to get in. And if I truly was going to “race,” would I have the energy to put in 11 miles more? Probably not. I decided I would instead try splitting a long run, something I’ve never done before.

Thursday morning my plan was to get in at least 10 miles and then complete the remaining 8 once Ron got home from work in the evening. This was the best possible option for my situation but also for training. It allowed for active recovery during the day while still being a little fatigued for the second run. My active recovery consisted of spending the morning and the early part of the afternoon on a field trip with twelve 3-4 year old kids at the beach.

Active, yes. Recovery, not so much.

In 12 hours, I ran in two completely different weather situations.

Morning – pouring rain, high humidity, temps in the low 70s. I also had ran with a friend for a portion of it for some company.

Evening – blue sky, sunshine, a breeze, temps in the low 80s. Solo.

My run in the morning was the tougher of the two. The conditions made it more challenging and I seemed to struggle up a few hills. I was quite surprised how fresh I felt for the afternoon run despite being on my feet all day. I am usually not an evening runner at all but everything kind of fell into place after the first mile. For the most part I ate what I usually eat throughout the day and didn’t alter anything. I did finish the last two miles a little faster than planned just because I was getting hungry for dinner. Running past good smelling restaurants intensified that!

So is splitting up a long run good for marathon training?

Your body is getting most of the same physical endurance training benefits of a continuous long run since you’re not completely recovering in between runs. However, the benefits are not as great as when you do one continuous long run. And, of course, it’s definitely easier mentally to run 10 miles in the morning and 8 miles at night, rather than 18 miles all at once — which is why you don’t want to do it every week. Ideally, you want to run your long run continuously, since that’s what you’ll be doing in your marathon. But splitting your run is a great way to squeeze a long run into a busy week and it definitely beats the alternative of skipping your long run altogether.

Have you had to split a long run in training?

Is it an Injury?

A runner in motion | happyfitmama.com

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw me mention that Tuesday was my first run in four days.

I purposely took some time off because I was questioning…Is it an injury?

Let’s back up. Two Saturday’s ago, I ran 16 miles. I felt pretty good through all of it. Mariette and I did stop a couple of times to stretch. I’m not sure if it was during one of those times or after Sunday’s easy run, I began to feel like I pulled or strained something in my right upper calf/inside of my knee. A downside of being super flexible – you can get way too deep into a stretch! It didn’t hurt to the touch. It never swelled. Never bruised. I didn’t even feel it all the time. I could run on it for the most part. It was at certain times when my heel dropped lower than my toes, I felt it. Marathon training leaves you sore and stiff but this was different.

Like the stubborn runner that I am, I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday even though my calf was feeling like this. Part of me was thinking I shouldn’t run at all. It was a cut back week in training after all. But then my irrational fear of NOT running takes over. I’m going to lose everything I’ve gained! I knew I wouldn’t lose all of my running fitness in four days but when it comes to injuries, I have a tendency to exaggerate and think the worse. We have a history after all.

Plus I like to live in the land of Denial…if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not there.

Since this pulled/strained feeling wasn’t any better by Saturday, I told myself I needed to take some time off from running in hopes that it would clear up. I reasoned that it’s better to do it now rather than have it exacerbate into something bigger later in training which might jeopardize marathon #1 entirely.

Even though I’ve had to take time off from running before and have not had to wake up early for a long run on the weekend, it was the strangest feeling. Even Ron commented on it. The day seemed so long! I felt restless all day. What do I do with myself?

I’m very proud to say I stuck with my plan of not running for four whole days. I did some yoga, rode my bike and iced like it was my job. No problems. Tuesday morning rolled around and I was ready to run. Ironically, just as I was stretching out my legs before getting out of bed, I got a wicked big cramp in my left calf. I jumped out of bed and worked it out but it left a knot for some time. Seriously? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

The run went well. I didn’t feel the same strain/pull as last week. I took it at an easy pace and just ran for fun. It felt wonderful to be back to doing what I love. I’m not sure if what I was feeling was really an injury but I’m glad I took the time off. Lesson learned – you can take some time off from a training plan and get right back into it without any problems! Fingers crossed that this was just a fluke and I won’t be dealing with this issue anymore.

Oh and the knot in my right calf went away too.

Thank you universe!

Have you ever taken time off from a training plan because of fear of an injury?

Are you a stubborn runner?