Marathon Block Choice and Final Long Run Feedback Requested

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    I’m in the final weeks of the Build Endurance Level 1 (HR) plan. My body has done well with the load. I have just confirmed my bib for a marathon in November and need some input for my planned training block. I’ll be paying for a gold subscription this weekend so I’ll have access to all plans and the ability to change and adapt things as needed.

    Currently running 6 days a week between 6 to 8 hours depending on the endurance run duration and if it’s a step back week. Recent weeks have had a minimum of 50km (31mi) and around 7 hours.

    Marathon Level 2 sounds like the sweet spot for training based on my current load. It’s 5-7 workouts a week with 5-9 hours each week.

    Marathon Level 2 (Custom Hybrid) + Strength/Core. My thought is to have my foundation runs and long runs done by heart rate. Any runs that are more of a workout/session (Fartlek, Intervals, Progression runs) would remove the HR version and import the PACE version of the workout from the library manually (same workout just different metric to track). This would allow for running by HR for the easy runs (helping me to keep them easy) but also giving myself the chance to push harder on the other sessions and get a better feeling for pacing.
    My fall back option in case of injury or poor adaptation to the program (need for more rest/recovery) would be switching to the MASTERS Level 2 plan and see if that modified load works better for me.

    One additional question. I believe that I will have the opportunity to join a half marathon on my last scheduled long run before the 2-week taper. However, a half is obviously not long enough to meet the requirements of that final long run. Would it be ok to split that with a minor rest in the middle. Wake up early, run 11k, then travel to the location and run the half to meet the total distance prescribed?

    Any thoughts or insights on this would be greatly appreciated.
    – Steven Sensei

    Leyla Porteous

    Hi Steven,

    Your plan level selection and approach to do your easier runs by HR, and intervals sessions by pace is sound. I would go one step further to use RPE for those low intensity session in addition to HR to really ensure they are low intensity particular if you live somewhere hot.

    As the saying goes “racing is the enemy of training”. As this run is your last long run, splitting it is not ideal. If the race is really important to you or something you don’t want to miss then I would be more inclined to suggest you run the half marathon and add on the mileage at the end to meet the scheduled workout TSS for that session.

    Hope that answers your questions,

    Coach Leyla


    Thanks so much! I’m glad I’m on the right track. Your advice has helped me center my focus for sure and the point about RPE for low intensity is solid for sure.

    I took your advice about not splitting the run and decided to upgrade from a half-marathon entry to the full on the same day instead. I’ll run the workout as perscribed for the 31K and then drop and walk slowly and stop to stretch etc at that point. The extra cost for the chance to simulate the environment at a smaller race is worth it.

    I also got lucky in looking at local races and found a 30km event on the scheduled 35K long run day, so of course I had to enter that. And it looks like there are multiple paced training runs for the first and second half of the actual marathon course I’m targeting as well. This training block is really starting to come together.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and advice!

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