I ran 20 miles, bitches!

First of all thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement on my last post, in which I panicked about my distinct lack of mileage, brought on by injury and illness. Those comments talked me into taking some pressure of myself, relaxing, and trusting in the process.

 

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In fact it was taking the pressure off that allowed me to get better; I went home from work on Friday, and just about made it into my PJs before falling asleep at 8pm, and not waking up until 4pm the next day. Turns out I was very sick. I took Saturday as the ultimate lazy day, and felt at least 90% better by the Sunday morning, when I awoke early and completely well rested.

So what did I do?

I ran 20 miles guys!! 

This was a genuine landmark in my training, and I’m so so pleased I was able to get it done! Whilst I want to write about it later in more detail, I wanted to get some input on my training, and precisely when to start my taper.

Here’s my training log from the past few weeks, starting the day after the injury that left me panicking a few weeks back.

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My main concern is the 13th March. Whilst I feel that I closely matched my other missed sessions with cross training, missing a 17.5 miler is a concern for me. Should I taper already, making it a full three-week taper, or could I try to fit in, say, a 13 mile run this week?

 

I need your input, advice would be much appreciated!

 

Lots of love,

Pippa

 

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28 thoughts on “I ran 20 miles, bitches!

  1. You’ve done your longest run, taper!!! That’s so good, you should be proud of yourself! If I were you I’d do a 10 miler next weekend as your last big one. You shouldn’t feel guilty about missing your 13.5miles as you’ve done more since! 😊

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  2. Does your plan call for a longer run this first week of taper? I know my first week of taper, I was still scheduled for a long-ish run. I don’t think it will hurt you. But don’t worry about “making up” for that 17 miler. Crap happens, and the fact that you nailed your 20 miler shows that missing it didn’t hurt you too much.

    BTW, congrats on that 20 miler… it’s a really cool milestone!

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  3. Nice. Good to see you done the miles 🙂 and most importantly, rested!
    When I did my 33 I taper two weeks beforehand as 3wks seemed a long time. And, you know, everything worked out and still managed the time I was looking for. For me, I would say two week taper but ultimately, you’ve gotta listen to your body.
    Have fun.

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    1. I’m in a lot of pain after the 20 miles, so I think a 10 or 13 mile run is the real limit for me this weekend! I’ve had a few calf problems that keep recurring so I think it’ll be a case of playing it easy and being nice and cautious.

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  4. DAMN SISTER. YOU ROCK!!! CONGRATS!

    You have three full weeks left? Here’s what I would do for long runs: 13 this weekend, 8-10 next weekend, then RACE the following weekend! You were smart to miss that 17.5 miles. It isn’t going to hurt anything – it will help. The extra recovery was probably a blessing in disguise. You are on fire, my friend!

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    1. Thank you!! It was awesome!! Ok it was actually really painful but still, I loved it!

      My plan calls for 10 miles this weekend, 7 miles next weekend, and then race day. I’m thinking I could stretch to 13 and then 10, but I probably need to focus on recovery. I guess i’ll see how I feel this week! I’m also supposed to do 5 miles at marathon pace but I might switch that out for easy miles instead. Who knows?!

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  5. I recently did a post where I looked at my plan vs reality, and trust me, I’ve skipped way more than one 17 miler! I’d say go ahead and taper now, but if this weekend it is nice out or you feel like heading out for a run, 10 miles would probably be fine. But no pressure! I usually do a two-week taper because I haven’t finished my distance-building, but a three-week one after a 20 miler sounds pretty nice!

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    1. My plan calls for 10 miles at marathon pace this weekend, plus a 5 mile marathon pace run this week. I dunno… I might do 3 easy miles midweek and 10-13 at the weekend. Just gonna see how I feel. Tho tbh I’m feeling pretty beaten up so it’ll probably be a case of playing it nice and safe!

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  6. Here is what I would do – 13 miles this weekend, 10 the next, and then your race. That is my go to long run schedule for taper, I always do three weeks.

    The first rule of training is: DO NOT try to cram in missed mileage. This isn’t like studying for a test: you can’t just memorize everything at the last minute. If you missed a workout, it’s gone. Let it go. Training is all about learning to adjust to different circumstances, and make the most of what you’ve got. You’ll probably get much better results from being undertrained than you will from being overtrained. And honestly, I’ve seen people do more with less. This is your first marathon – it doesn’t need to be a slam dunk, just finish the distance happy and healthy. You’ve done 20 so you can do 26. Just stick to the plan and keep your head up. You can do it!

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    1. Thank you! The plan calls for 5 at marathon pace this week, 10 at pace this weekend, and then 7 the next weekend. I dunno… I’m still trying to decide what my body can handle, it’s recovering pretty badly atm! I think maybe 3-4 easy and then 10-13 at pace might work nicely…

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  7. Good for you!! But I think it’s not a good idea to try to go longer again next weekend. You just did 20 miles… jumping from 16 (which is awesome, btw!), but your muscles will do better from proper recovery than from more training. I’d stick to the plan and enjoy the taper. 🙂
    Congrats on the milestone!

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  8. that is awesome, congrats on the 20 and great that all the comments helped! i agree with some of the comments above, no worries on the 17 and no need to make it up…shit happens and we all miss scheduled runs almost every training cycle…go with 10-11 this week and don’t push the pace, just a steady medium level of effort…then enjoy the taper, you earned it! cheers!

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  9. Just do 10. If you’ve done 20 you’ve put the work in and you won’t gain any fitness from an extra long run at this point. Doing more than your plan calls for will just make you tired and put you at risk for injury – you definitely don’t want to hit the race course and get hurt and have to drop out. It’s time to recover and relax!

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  10. Soooo I know I’m late to the party here but I wanted to add some sort of ‘rule of thumb’ info. I’m a research type girl. When I started training for a marathon the general consensus was that you shouldn’t increase your weekly mileage more than about 10% week over week as you build toward your 20. From the look of your published plan you had a 21 mile week followed by a 37 mile week. I don’t have the details of the rest of your planned training schedule – but that’s a big jump. Something to consider when you plan to train for another marathon is that general rule that a more than 10% per week increase in volume leads to an increased likelihood of injury.

    Here’s why: Connective tissue doesn’t respond to strain in the same way that muscle does. You may have the cardio vascular fitness and muscle strength to go a long distance BUT you may not have the required strength in your connective tissue. Your ligaments and tendons respond to stimulus more slowly than muscle. What can happen is that you’re adding training volume, doing well, muscles sore but adapting and you think it’s all going swimmingly. Then, the soreness doesn’t dissipate, or it increases, or you have a hot pain or a pull. Damn! Your muscles have gotten stronger but the connective tissue hasn’t kept the same pace of development and you end up with tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, illial tibial band problems….

    Personally, I came face to face with the ‘hot poker under the kneecap’ joy that is illial tibial band syndrome DURING my first half as a result of putting on too many miles too fast in training. The other added bonus of connective tissue injuries is that they (predictably) also heal more slowly than a straight muscle injury.

    There’s nothing to do now, but perhaps consider the length of time to train for a marathon in future endeavors. Taking the time for a longer mileage buildup may lead to fewer injuries and a training schedule that is easier to stick to.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely long comment- I love getting suggestions based on research and experience 😀 My training schedule may have been slightly misleading- I’ve been gradually building up my mileage over the course of 14 weeks, it’s just that the one week before my 20-miler had to be low mileage courtesy of exhaustion and the flu! But thank you so much, I’m gradually recovering from the 20-miler and I’m sooo ready for my taper!

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