Marathon Man - Week 2: Achieving the long runs

Publication: The Jewish Chronicle
Date: March 2, 2007

Click here to see a screen shot of the published article

Let's turn to one of the key ingredients of Marathon preparation: the longer run. It really is important to achieve at least a few runs of around 16 miles or more (but leave at least one week between long runs so as not to over-tire yourself).  If some runs are around 20 miles or more, so much the better. My own experience has been that I could only manage a long run if I had some company for moral support. If you also need company, here are some suggestions:

  • Look up the 'Events' listings on www.runnersworld.co.uk. Last year I ran a half-marathon race purely as a means of achieving a continuous 13 mile run
     
  • Running clubs are listed at http://www.runtrackdir.com/ukclubs/ and
    http://running.timeoutdoors.com/clubs/
     
  • Make contact with the other runners for your chosen charity
     
  • Have another runner join you for (say) the last half of your run
     
  • Run on your local running track, where your faithful loved one can walk round and cheer you on.

I will here put on record my thanks to my wife Batzi for her support at the running track last year, and to Martin Fine and David Pinnick for their company on four long runs. I learned from those long runs: slow is fine and a few short breaks is fine, so long as the run is long. Come marathon day, you'll run it without the breaks. And by the way: the 'slow' and the 'few short breaks' was me - not Martin or David.

If, through running in company and allowing yourself a few two-minute breathers, you can manage two or three 20-miles-plus training runs, they will hold you in very good stead.

Brian Sacks