20 Miles, No Big Deal…..

20 miles?!?!  For many runners, they will run one 20 miler during marathon training.  It’s the “big” run.  The one they dread.  The one that keeps them up at night as if the last 10 long runs before this one didn’t already scare the crap out of them.  The one that seals the deal and boosts their confidence ensuring them that they CAN run 26.2 miles on marathon day.

For most of us, 20 miles is in fact a VERY BIG deal.  However, the more marathons you run, the more 20 milers you have under the belt, the less worrisome they become.  Experience negates fear.  You may not be looking forward to those 20 mile runs but they really do become No Big Deal.  Just another day.  In fact, this “training cycle” and please allow me to use the phrase very lightly because my training has been far from picture perfect, I was scheduled to run five 20 mile runs.  No big deal.  I had to shorten the cycle so five 20 milers became four.  Tomorrow will be number 3.  However, due to family circumstances, I’ve not run all 20 miles of the last two 20 mile sessions together, all at once. My runs have been split either between the treadmill and the road, with a small break in between or even possibly split by many hours, or an entire work day.  As a result, I have no idea about my current fitness level.  None.

Tomorrow I will run my first 20 miler of the year entirely on the trail.  All at once.  Good or bad.  20 miles.  Crying face

Am I worried?  Maybe.  Do I know I can do it?  Yes.  Is it going to hurt?  Most definitely.

So who do YOU call when you need a partner for 20 miles?  I actually have a name and number.  I use it sparingly.  I only break it out when I need a 20 mile run partner.  My girlfriend is an amazing runner and she is married to an amazing ultra runner.  Her run hub may not have ran in the last 3 months but I know when I shoot them a message that if they are in town, he will show up, before dawn, to run 20 miles with me before most people get up and have their coffee.  Everyone should have at least one friend like this!

So tomorrow, my girl’s run hub will be out there pounding out miles with me in the dark.  I have no idea how fast he normally runs, I just know that he never has trouble keeping up no matter how fast I go, and he never complains no matter how much I slow.  Too perfect.  He’ll probably even hand me a Kleenex when I start crying.  Then she will pop up somewhere to offer us snacks.  Too perfect.  Thanks, Lara for once again letting me borrow your running hubby.  And yes, I know that you just send him so that you don’t have to get out there to run it yourself.  Kudos, my dear.  I’ll take it and I’ll thank you for it too!!  I’ll also thank you for having a running hubby who thinks that 20 miles is NO BIG DEAL.

** Happy Running, Regardless of the Distance ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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14 thoughts on “20 Miles, No Big Deal…..

    • I’m in it for fitness so even marathon day isn’t as stressful for me as it is for many. I have no problems walking during a marathon. None. It’s all about getting to the finish for me.

  1. Easy stuff! 20 miles? No big deal!!! Wait…I’m kind of stressing about doing 10 tomorrow! 🙂 You will do great, and I have no doubt that you will do it with a smile. We might actually have a nice sized group on Old Plank Trail tomorrow. I’ll see you somewhere along the way (although I won’t be able to keep up with you!) . Is tomorrow a green Sparkle Skirt Day?

  2. Hope your 20 fared well…I have utmost confidence you bear down and do what it takes to finish out your training!

    Wow…I have no concept of a “dude”…even unltra-marathoner….that not having run in 3-mths can easily tag along for 20-mi! He must be a god or messenger from the Gods!

    Yikes…what kind of schedule you following. Never heard of training that had 5 20-milers…or even 4 20-milers for that matter. I see you are doing them as “split-runs” so that’s technically not 20-mile long run…but 20-miles training volume for the day! There is a nice cumulative aerobic training effect for that which is essentially equivalent to running 20-mi consecutive. But the purpose of those real long runs is to train your body to much of the duration of continuously running that you will experience come race-day. It is not running those miles at goal race pace, but rather running them far slower and mimicking the duration of the marathon (i.e. over finish time) you hope to achieve. You train to race pace with on moderate distance tempo runs during the week, building up to 10-mi….maybe even 12 at race pace. And if you good and feeling strong enough…sometimes imbedding or finishing out long runs working into race pace in later stage of schedule.

    Of course I now trying this Hanson’s training method…not supposed to run longer than 16-miles! I now know why they apply that standard now in late-stage of their training program. I have yet to feel strong enough to try to run those last few miles at race pace, or only been able to do that on the 12-mile cutback long-runs.

    It’s a cruel world out there in training for marathon…depending on your race goal and expectations. None are ever easy…always elated when they are done. Can you loan me that dude sometimes to plod along with me as I struggle through hills and hills in Palos? LOL.

    Great post…great perspective you have….I say you are Fearless and got what it takes to have a great run in Lansing!

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