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Long Run Marathon Training

Long Run Marathon Training portrait of Brian Kondas

On Sunday, December 4, 2022, my long run marathon training plan is 19.3 miles in 3:04:21 with an average pace of 9:34. However, I run only 17.4 miles in 2:56:37.  

It’s eight weeks from the Clearwater Marathon Running Festival, and I’m following a 15-week 80/20 marathon level 2 training plan.

Long Run Marathon Training

The warmup is 1 km in heart rate zone 1 (110-124 bpm). Then run 30 km in heart rate zone 2 (124-138 bpm). Also, I should pace the 30 km “so that I could speed up slightly at the end of the run if I choose to.”

Hydration and Fueling Plan

Before I start running, I hydrate with 16 ounces of Gatorade endurance.

During this long marathon training run, my hydration and fueling plan is to run loops around my neighborhood and return to my house every hour. Analyzing my Training Peaks workout, my average pace for the first hour is 9:32 min/mi. I ran 2 seconds faster than my planned pace of 9:34. 

When I return home, I urinate in the bathroom, drink 16 ounces of Liquid IV, and a Cliff Shot energy gel. The drink and gel have 100 mg and 25 mg of caffeine, respectively. Eight minutes later, I’m back outside running.

After running for 8 minutes, I feel a boost of energy. In the first 90 minutes, my pace is 9:36 (close to planned). Then, four miles later, I feel depleted in miles 10 and 11. As a result, my average pace slows to about 10 minutes per mile. 

My twelfth-mile pace drops down to 11 minutes per mile as I slowly jog back to my house. Now, I realize fueling every hour doesn’t work for me. 

I was good for miles 7, 8, and 9. Then 29 minutes later, I began feeling weak. Thus, I need to fuel every 30 minutes to maintain my energy during long marathon training runs.  

Hydration Vest and Energy Gels

Typically, I would run with my 2-liter hydration vest with several energy gels. Today, I depleted my energy to test my fueling needs.

Just before mile 12, I returned to my house at 2 hours and 2 minutes to hydrate and refuel. Again, I drink 16 ounces of Liquid IV and a Cliff Shot energy gel. Resting for 7 minutes and 30 seconds, I return to my long marathon training run.

Running Slowly

For the last 6.4 miles, I continue running slowly at the following paces:

  • 13-mile at 10:25
  • 14-mile at 9:58 (downhill)
  • 15-mile at 10:26
  • 16-mile at 10:40
  • 17-mile at 11:49

Cries of Pain

After running 16 miles, I yell out loud cries of pain. It F***ing hurts!

Mile 17 is the most difficult. Multiple times I cry out loud as I push through the pain. My Garmin reads 2.2 miles to go. That distance feels impossible. Just over a kilometer later, I walk slowly into my driveway.

End of A Long Marathon Training Run

Wobbling, I enter my home. Just as before, I hydrate and refuel. Having rested for eleven minutes, I head outside. Struggling to run, I make it two houses down.

Feeling completely exhausted, I accidentally hit the lap button on my Garmin watch, and the workout ends.

I ran 17.4 miles in 2:56:37 with an average pace of 10:10. Throughout the workout, I maintained my heart rate (HR) zone 2 with an average HR of 132 bpm.

Next time I will wear my hydration vest and take energy gels every half hour. Then I will go the distance!

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