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Marathon on one run a week

3 watchers
Aug 2018
10:33pm, 12 Aug 2018
6300 posts
  • 0
I suspect that the definition of "working" needs some work here
Aug 2018
11:03pm, 12 Aug 2018
2537 posts
  • 0
Surrey Phil
Apart from my first ever marathon, all subsequent ones have been trained for on a single weekend long run due to having a young family and work commitments. I just increase the previous week's distance by no more than the ten percent recommended.

I've now done fifty marathons. So, to get around the 26.2 miles one run per week is sufficient. However, if you want to do the marathon some justice and get a good time, then a few additional runs will be needed each week.
Aug 2018
10:51am, 13 Aug 2018
1577 posts
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I basically did this for the last marathon I did in 2014. I ran round, but it wasn't pretty. I also somehow managed to get injured even though the weekly mileage was low!

I won't be repeating it :)
Aug 2018
4:12pm, 13 Aug 2018
2289 posts
  • 0
Tim of MK
So, the concensus is that just a single long run a week will 'get you round' a marathon.

But that if you also add in two or three shorter runs a week, you'll run a better marathon.

If that's true, what do the short runs add?
Aug 2018
4:55pm, 13 Aug 2018
1579 posts
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Not an expert and these are guesses but I presume it's a combination of things:

-at least some of the shorter runs should be quality enabling you to raise LT and run faster; with the one 20 miler a week (presumably at easy to steady pace) you'd largely be training aerobic fitness but not improving ability to run at pace;

-some of the benefit is the accumulated training effect from the additional runs, as even taking rest days you aren't fully recovering between each run?

-cardio fitness declines quickly so you may already be declining by the time the next 20 miler comes around?

In my experience I didn't really build a base when I had a marathon cycle which did the long runs at the expense of the rest of the week's training, although it was preferable to the time when i neglected the long runs too (!)
Aug 2018
6:16pm, 13 Aug 2018
2290 posts
  • 0
Tim of MK
Some interesting thoughts. I think there is merit in at least some of your points, if not all of them.

I guess the core question may be what motivates each runner to complete a marathon.

If it is all about fundraising, raising awareness of a cause, or the thrill of just being part of something special, then 'getting around' is fine.

But, for those who are obssessed with times (as I used to be, but no longer am), that wouldn't be enough.
Aug 2018
6:35pm, 13 Aug 2018
5710 posts
  • 0
I know from experience that the whole thing is a lot less painful if you train properly for it!

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About This Thread

Maintained by Tim of Fife
Hypothetically, should it not be possible to complete a matathon on a single training run a week?


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