Often participants will ask why they don’t run 26.2 miles in training for their marathon or 13.1 miles for their half-marathon.
We’ll let you in on a secret – Training is about getting your body ready for the race while doing the least amount of work.
It is not about being lazy (like marathon training could ever be referred to as lazy). It is about lowering the chances of being injured and conserving your energy for the big day.
When your big race day happens and you proudly don your purple jersey, we are sure you will give 100%. You will leave it all on the race course and need a good amount of easy recovery before you are ready for another race. If you burn yourself out like that during training, you will not be ready or physically fresh for race day. A few miles does not make a difference. Besides researchers have found that your total weekly mileage is a much better predictor of race day success so make sure you get in those midweek trainings.
If you are a newer runner you will probably want to get in a few 20 miler trainings. This is mostly for psychological reasons. There is no magic benefit in 20 miles. It is simply a nice round number and humans like round numbers. Many Europeans training for marathons never hit 20 miles because they measure in kilometers and 30 kilometers is 18.641 miles.
If you want to worry about something, worry about your total weekly mileage. Have quality midweek workouts. Worry about being comfortable on your feet for hours and hours. Become comfortable training by yourself because you are probably going to be surrounded by all strangers during at least part of your race day.
If you are an advanced runner and you are running half-marathon or shorter you can talk to your coach about exceeding the long run mileage. Some advanced runners may benefit for shorter races by training on longer distances. If you are like everyone else and not an Olympian, you should remember that our goal is train smartly. We are not looking to take any unnecessary risk or waste energy. We want your training to progress in a safe manner so it peaks perfectly on race day. Enjoy your training!!!!