I’ve been doing some reading lately. About running. Specifically marathon training. And I’ve seen lots of people saying the same thing. At first I pretty well dismissed it, but I just KEEP seeing it, so it’s pretty hard to just ignore. And the people saying it? Yeah, they’re no idiots. So now I’m a little perplexed. What is it I’m talking about? This.
“There is no physical or aerobic benefit to running beyond three hours.”
I didn’t bookmark anything to link back to, and I’m not going to cite anyone in particular, but this seems to be a VERY popular opinion. If three hours gets you 22 miles, great. If three hours gets you 15 miles, so be it.
If I continue doing my long runs the way I have been–running comfortably and walking every mile–3 hours would get me to about 16 miles. That just seems BONKERS to me, to go into race day only having run 16 miles! I know the Hanson Brothers plan only goes up to 16, and lots of people go on to run a successful marathon with that plan. But I just don’t think I could do it. The thought scares the crap out of me. Would I love to ditch my 18- and 20-mile training runs? HELL YEAH I WOULD! But I’m just not sure I could get to the starting line feeling prepared if I did.
So what’s your opinion? How long should your longest training run be? Have you ever gone into a marathon on less-than-optimal training? Do you follow the three-hour rule, or do you do the commonly accepted 20 or even 22 miles?