Defining your long run

I was grabbing lunch at work this week and ran into a runner at NI and we were talking about our training (my marathon training and his Ironman training). Somewhere along the way he mentioned long runs and how for his Ironman he isn’t really going to run much farther than 15 miles for his long runs, very different from the three 20+ mile long runs he used to do for marathon training. He made a point about the intent in his training for the Ironman, to survive the distance versus training for speed when focusing solely on the marathon. The risk of the higher mileage with all the additional training he has to do for the Ironman just makes longer runs impractical for him.

His comment about 3 long runs over 20 miles got me thinking about my last two years training with Team Rogue, a program Steve Sisson started at Rogue two summers ago. During my training for the Portland Marathon last year my log shows me running 10 long runs over 20 miles with a good deal at 22 or 24 miles. This season for CIM I should be around 15 long runs over 20 miles. 3 years ago I would have been amazed to run 3 long runs over 20 miles. It’s been interesting how at this point after the two years being on Team Rogue running 20 miles just seems normal, a down or recovery week results in a 16 or 18 mile long run on the weekend. This may sound crazy to others in training groups or designing their own training plans, but the results really have been great for me. It didn’t just happen overnight, it took me a while to realize there were many things I needed to do to train at this intensity.  It’s taken two years to be a this point where I feel like my body can handle it. The strength work, focus on nutrition, regular massages and icing have been essential to get to this point. The amount of discipline it requires to train at the intensity Team Rogue demands can be daunting and I often question just how long I want to keep it going. It’s difficult to think that after CIM this year I may not train with Team Rogue, there are many friends I see every other day that train at this level and just unplugging will be difficult. At least I know there are other training programs at Rogue that aren’t quite as demanding as Team Rogue I can slide into when I need a break and still be part of the community.

Oh did I forget to mention I got engaged last night. Well I did 🙂

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