General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Do you split up your long run? Rss Feed  
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2015-04-12 8:56 PM

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Subject: Do you split up your long run?

I was looking at some training plans, and unless I was reading it incorrectly, it looked like some of the long runs in the weekend were split up. So for example I guess you'd do a run in the morning and another in the evening vs doing all that mileage in a single go. I get that this would lessen the damage to your body, but does it make a difference in terms of building your endurance? What do you do to manage your long run?



2015-04-12 8:59 PM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

Could be some context is in order. What training plans?

2015-04-12 9:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
2015-04-12 9:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

Originally posted by trijamie

I was looking at some training plans, and unless I was reading it incorrectly, it looked like some of the long runs in the weekend were split up. So for example I guess you'd do a run in the morning and another in the evening vs doing all that mileage in a single go. I get that this would lessen the damage to your body, but does it make a difference in terms of building your endurance? What do you do to manage your long run?

 

I personally don't split up my long runs, but I think that in terms of building endurance it is probably safe to split up the long runs.  I am basing that assumption on some information that I read for full Ironman training that spit up long rides over two days.  It said that if you did 4 hour bike rides on back to back days it was equivalent to doing a 8 hour ride.  I am not sure if the same would hold true for running though since it takes about 2-3 hours to deplete your glycogen levels and the purpose of the long run is to train you body to burn fat efficiently and if you never get past that 2 hour mark on your run you lose that.

Note: I have done both "Ragnar" and "Ultra Ragnar" relays.  These are running events that cover 200+ miles and are competed by either 12 man (a Ragnar) or 6 man (ultra Ragnar) team.  Each team member runs 3 legs of the race, so for the "Ultra Ragnar" I ran an 8 mile leg, followed by a 10 mile leg, 6 hours later followed by a 12 miles leg 6 hours after than.  The 30 miles that I did spread out over three legs was a piece of cake compared to running a continuous 26.2 miles.  So breaking things up is defiantly easier on the body.  I am a little old fashion and feel that it is best to prepare for an event the way your are going to run it so unless you have time limitations or are worried about injury or recovery time I would just do the long run all together.  :-)



Edited by BlueBoy26 2015-04-12 9:20 PM
2015-04-13 6:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
I can't recall ever splitting up a long run when doing a run focus or run-only training. The only reason I could see doing that is if you're not up to that distance yet, it might be an intermediate step to do the total mileage in two runs. But seems like it would make more sense just to gradually increase mileage of the long run. Personally, I'd never choose to do split a run--it takes me a long time to warm up and get going, and I'd rather just go out and get the run done all at once, not do half of it and then have to change and warm up again, and do another run later in the day. With a long run, I just kind of get into a rhythm and zone out.

In my younger days, when we did two runs a day, the first was generally an easier effort to simply get in some miles, recover from the previous day's antics, or perhaps serve as a kind of "shake-out" for a more intense workout later that day. But that's in the context of running 70-90 miles a week. No desire to go there again! At present, the only reason I'd ever split my long run would be if I was doing a run-bike-run brick. It's in some of the BT training plans and I think the logic is to build endurance and to work out hydration/nutrition since the first run serves as a stand-in for the time spent swimming (for HIM distance).

Edited by Hot Runner 2015-04-13 6:58 AM
2015-04-13 7:28 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

For some plans and athletes it makes sense and I've heard of athletes doing split long runs even high level athletes. I have done it a time or two working with a coach building up to an Ironman race something like run 10 miles am and 4-6 in pm.

Recovery and ability to train consistently helps you make gains. Having a long run be to high a percentage of run volume for a week is an issue in that your body might not absorb the training and you are more likely to get injured.  Splitting your long run on occasion may allow faster recovery, more consistent training and more run volume.

It goes along the lines if you should do your long ride one day followed by long run next. Many coaches do not believe that is best training week schedule as athletes are running fatigued and are training to have poor run form. The idea we need to learn to run on tired legs is rubish.

 



2015-04-13 7:29 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

For Ironman training... yep, sure, no problem.

For marathon training... nope.

2015-04-13 7:35 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
I'm actually just about to start some split long runs in my training. There are benefits to doing a split long run, you're hitting the second run already slightly tired, like you would be in a race, and you get the milage in without beating your body up as much. The body is perfectly good at breaking down, you don't need to practice that Part of Ironman training is balancing getting the long workouts in while not compromising future workouts with too much fatigue.

QT2 in particular is a strong believer in this (see article: http://running.competitor.com/2014/09/training/workout-week-split-l... and they have a strong record with coaching. My current coach was originally coached by them, and last year for Ironman training I didn't run longer than 2:30-2:40 at a time so I never split my runs. For me this was enough time to get in 20 milers. This upcoming year I'm doing longer races than IM so instead of building over 2:30 for my long run, I'm going to start splitting the run to get the higher milage in while being able to come back on Monday and get in quality workouts.
2015-04-13 7:41 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

The split runs do not happen every week, but every few weeks. I didn't add up the total for every week, but it looks like they're doing it because the long run is getting up past the 30% guideline as a percent of the weekly total. This is actually what someone like BarryP has recommended doing in situations where the long run may need to go higher, split it in two every other week or so.

2015-04-13 10:14 AM
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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
I just started doing them a couple of weeks ago. When I was a runner only, I felt they were sacrilege, but in the heavy part of IM training, I'm digging them. For two reasons actually. One is that it lets me do two long mileage days a week and two it allows me to (forces me) to do one run in the really hot and steamy part of the day (note that right now, it's always hot and steamy, but the afternoon adds in the sun too) which I think will help me mentally for an afternoon marathon in Texas in May.

Edit: one other thing that I like is that on the two-run-a-day day, the morning run has a tempo run built in so that all the high mileage days aren't just straight Z2, which can get boring for me. So yesterday I ran 9 in the morning (20 min warm up, 40 min tempo, 10 min cool down) then I did another 40 min Z2 in the afternoon (ended up at 3.8 miles), which I would much prefer over straight 13 miles. I still do a long run another day however.

Edited by 3mar 2015-04-13 10:17 AM
2015-04-13 10:27 AM
in reply to: 3mar

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
I know it's a "beginner" plan, but unless it is designed for faster runners, it doesn't seem like nearly enough running to me.


2015-04-13 10:40 AM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
I split my long runs during IM training. At peak I would do an hour and a half in the morning and then another hour and a half in the evening.
2015-04-13 10:45 AM
in reply to: GMAN 19030

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
Originally posted by GMAN 19030

For Ironman training... yep, sure, no problem.

For marathon training... nope.




^^ This.
2015-04-13 11:25 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

All good answers. Thanks eveybody. So I guess I'll plan on not splitting the run up unless I feel like I'm overdoing it. I also haven't settled on that training plan in particular, I've been looking at a bunch and that one jumped out at me because of the split run deal.

2015-04-13 11:38 AM
in reply to: trijamie

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
Originally posted by trijamie

All good answers. Thanks eveybody. So I guess I'll plan on not splitting the run up unless I feel like I'm overdoing it. I also haven't settled on that training plan in particular, I've been looking at a bunch and that one jumped out at me because of the split run deal.




OK, that makes sense. Find a plan with more mileage and more midweek mileage if you want a successful marathon.

None of the marathon plans I've seen have split long runs, and no one I know plans to do them. Some people will end up doing something like that if necessary, but in general most people think that the long run is an important part of the marathon plan. There are several plans that promote limiting any one long run to 2.5 hours, with the idea that beyond that you get limiting returns (and you are better off spreading the load over several days). However, most people still think the long runs of 3+ hours are beneficial.

That plan has nothing more than 2 hr 10 min, which seems like an exceedingly short limit unless you are a "beginner" runner who runs 6:00 min/mile.
2015-04-13 12:26 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

Originally posted by jennifer_runs
Originally posted by trijamie

All good answers. Thanks eveybody. So I guess I'll plan on not splitting the run up unless I feel like I'm overdoing it. I also haven't settled on that training plan in particular, I've been looking at a bunch and that one jumped out at me because of the split run deal.

OK, that makes sense. Find a plan with more mileage and more midweek mileage if you want a successful marathon. None of the marathon plans I've seen have split long runs, and no one I know plans to do them. Some people will end up doing something like that if necessary, but in general most people think that the long run is an important part of the marathon plan. There are several plans that promote limiting any one long run to 2.5 hours, with the idea that beyond that you get limiting returns (and you are better off spreading the load over several days). However, most people still think the long runs of 3+ hours are beneficial. That plan has nothing more than 2 hr 10 min, which seems like an exceedingly short limit unless you are a "beginner" runner who runs 6:00 min/mile.

I didn't look at enough of the overall plan to be sure of all things it does, but the idea of splitting the LR has been put up by BarryP before. Maybe some others too, but that's the one I remember. The idea was to still keep a lot of running on the day of the long run, but then split it up so it doesn't create so big of an impact at one point in time. His idea was more every other week split the LR total and run twice, maybe even a little more than half on one of them. And it was for those who did need to push the LR out more, but couldn't (or wouldn't) build up the weekly total to keep the LR within the more preferred 30%. This plan in question and other things I've seen certainly did not split up ALL long runs every week of the program.

It'd be interesting to see how this idea went as compared to others who slog along in weekly long runs every week. I don't think you see this so much as better plans would be like you said, building up the week day mileage more to be able to handle the long run better. That's what I'd look at too, and build up into a stronger than most tend to before attempting. The more beginner type plans tend to go with the single LR push as that's what sells as many believe they should really emphasize the LR and splitting it up would seem to defeat that. Even though it may actually help absorb the mileage better like spreading it more throughout the week.



2015-04-13 3:02 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by jennifer_runs
Originally posted by trijamie

All good answers. Thanks eveybody. So I guess I'll plan on not splitting the run up unless I feel like I'm overdoing it. I also haven't settled on that training plan in particular, I've been looking at a bunch and that one jumped out at me because of the split run deal.

OK, that makes sense. Find a plan with more mileage and more midweek mileage if you want a successful marathon. None of the marathon plans I've seen have split long runs, and no one I know plans to do them. Some people will end up doing something like that if necessary, but in general most people think that the long run is an important part of the marathon plan. There are several plans that promote limiting any one long run to 2.5 hours, with the idea that beyond that you get limiting returns (and you are better off spreading the load over several days). However, most people still think the long runs of 3+ hours are beneficial. That plan has nothing more than 2 hr 10 min, which seems like an exceedingly short limit unless you are a "beginner" runner who runs 6:00 min/mile.

I didn't look at enough of the overall plan to be sure of all things it does, but the idea of splitting the LR has been put up by BarryP before. Maybe some others too, but that's the one I remember. The idea was to still keep a lot of running on the day of the long run, but then split it up so it doesn't create so big of an impact at one point in time. His idea was more every other week split the LR total and run twice, maybe even a little more than half on one of them. And it was for those who did need to push the LR out more, but couldn't (or wouldn't) build up the weekly total to keep the LR within the more preferred 30%. This plan in question and other things I've seen certainly did not split up ALL long runs every week of the program.

It'd be interesting to see how this idea went as compared to others who slog along in weekly long runs every week. I don't think you see this so much as better plans would be like you said, building up the week day mileage more to be able to handle the long run better. That's what I'd look at too, and build up into a stronger than most tend to before attempting. The more beginner type plans tend to go with the single LR push as that's what sells as many believe they should really emphasize the LR and splitting it up would seem to defeat that. Even though it may actually help absorb the mileage better like spreading it more throughout the week.




My issue with the plan posted above was not with the split long runs per se, but just that it seems to have fairly low mileage. I actually think the occasional split long run could work fine as part of an overall plan, but I was just saying that MOST marathoners I know don't really plan on them.

In general I'm in favour of the Hanson marathon plans which have long runs up to 16 miles and has runs of 8-10 miles the day before (and 6-7 the day after). So you aren't putting all the emphasis on one long run and spreading the mileage more evenly over the six runs per week. The plans are designed in part to limit the long run mileage to less than 30% of the weekly mileage, but also put a large value on two other quality runs during the week (a long tempo run and a long interval run). "Beginner" Hanson plans build to about 50 miles per week, but more advanced plans build higher. The point is you can't look at one factor in isolation-- total mileage and individual runs are all important.

The more mass-marketed plans do tend to stick a heavy portion of the mileage on the long run, and many beginners are led to believe that it doesn't really matter what else you do as long as you do that one long run. That might be ok if you are just looking to finish the marathon. I guess what it comes down to is if you're doing a relatively low mileage plan, maybe it's not much worse with the miles spread out and no run longer than about 2 hours, as is the plan Jamie posted above. I would still try to find a "beginner" plan that has you doing a bit more mileage.
2015-04-13 3:09 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

I agree. And weirdly enough, some of the other plans that I found were even shorter on the weekly mileage.

2015-04-13 7:28 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Do you split up your long run?

Yeah, I like what you're describing better too. 

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