Final long run

Anyone else find the last long run before a marathon kind of bittersweet? Don’t get me wrong–I am always ready for it and ready to embrace the taper. But it’s also kind of hard to let go after a long training cycle.

Time to lighten the load on the feet

I find the long run–the cornerstone of most marathon programs–to be my favorite part of the training. What’s better than spending several hours doing what you love? And if the company is right, the weather is perfect, and the legs are flowing, it just doesn’t get any better.

After months, not having more of the really big ones left is kind of a letdown. The final long one, in fact, is rather like a punctuation mark on your training cycle.

So I’ll embrace this weekend’s long run and savor it. This one should be extra special because 16 miles of it will be spent leading a pace group in our club’s Metric Marathon. I’ll do two miles before the race, then line up with my “pacees” and lead them to their goal time. Afterward, I’ll add on another four miles. Should be the perfect way to finish out.

How do you feel about the final long run before a big race? Happy, sad, or a bit of both? 

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  1. says

    What no more long runs, I know I really shouldn’t be running a half this weekend before my marathon, but I’m not racing the marathon, so I should be OK. but this last weekend was my last long run. First on the Saturday I did 2h20 on the mountain (only 20km 950m climb, and mostly rocky single track) then on Sunday I ran a half marathon followed by 9km. Long run done…

    This weekends half is on Saturday, so I’ll try and stay off the mountain on Sunday, as I should start to think about a taper.

    Enjoy your race.
    Coach Dion recently posted..TRAIN FOR A MARATHONMy Profile

  2. says

    Your last long run plan sounds great! I totally get the bittersweet feeling… I did my last 20 miler last Sunday with a half marathon thrown in. It was so nice to just run the race without any time goals, crossing the finish mats having completed 19 miles and knowing the last mile would bring me to my final 20. That’s so cool that you’ll be a pacer! Have a great time!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..No Naps, No Problem?My Profile

  3. says

    Enjoy the pace gig!
    Yes I find the final long run to be kind of momentous (especially if the training cycle was a decent one and I actually DID some long runs). I tend to review the entire training journey while I”m out there. THe race is icing on the cake!
    Marcia recently posted..Going Gluten FreeMy Profile

  4. says

    Final long runs always make me sad because I know I have done all I can do and it is time to slow down and trust my body. I hate recovering after big races so knowing I won’t run that far on my own for a long time makes me even more sad. I haven’t run more than 13 miles since May, I can’t wait to run long!!!!
    Robin recently posted..Mommy BribesMy Profile

  5. MJ says

    Both……and long runs are my favorites too, tho I’m starting to like speedwork way more than I’d expected. Now fighting the onset of serious taper nerves and snappiness, about to leave the house for the drive to the Richmond half.

  6. says

    Bittersweet totally captures my feelings on the long run, but the dread mostly comes from the fact that the taper is so tough! A mental collapse during the taper (did I train hard enough, fast enough, long enough, Can I actually do this?) usually sets in about 2 weeks post-last long run so the last long run shows what’s around the corner!
    Sheil recently posted..Holly Jolly Half MarathonMy Profile

  7. says

    Pacing a group for your last long run sounds like a great way to finish up your training cycle!
    I have opposite feelings about my last long run. I’m always SO ready to be done and start my taper! Long runs have never been my favorite (imagine that for a marathon runner!) so I’m always happy to get it over with.
    Have a great last long run!
    Jen B. recently posted..Cold Weather CommandoMy Profile

  8. says

    I can’t believe that your last long run is already here. Time flies when you are having fun, right? I usually really look forward to them and use the last one as my final gauge towards my anticipated finishing time. After I am done then I start freaking out about the race itself. :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..Friday Favorites: Adios 28!My Profile

  9. says

    Oh that’s an awesome way to end a training cycle! I bet you will be a fantastic pacer. Soak it up. I’m kinda looking forward to ending my training as this is the hardest I’ve worked thus far and I’m pretty tired coupled with lots of other things to cross my “to do” list.
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Long Run MissedMy Profile

  10. says

    Admittedly, the marathon is not my favorite distance, which is why I continue putting off a 4th one. So the last long run comes with a bit of elation that I don’t have to focus as much on running for a few weeks. We have one of those relationships where I love running when I love it, but when I need a break, I don’t even wanna think about it 😉 Have fun leading your pacers! I think that’s a great way to do your last big run before the taper!
    Jen @ ConcreteNCoffee recently posted..Back From the Brink (of cell service) & #20aDay Winners!My Profile

  11. says

    It is a little bittersweet that last long run…I tend to reflect on how far I’ve come and obstacles I’ve overcome to get to that last run! Enjoy it!!…then it’s taper time!!
    Fancy Nancy recently posted..Why I Run…My Profile

  12. says

    I have one last long run next week before CIM, so I’m not quite there yet. It’s a nice feeling that there’s only one “big one” before the marathon, and also that I’ve come so far in the last few months. Before September, I had never run longer than 13 miles and last weekend, I ran 22 miles of trail! That said, I’m looking forward to my first taper. Enjoy your run this weekend!
    Jen recently posted..HatersMy Profile

  13. says

    YES to both! I so look forward to the last run but I hate knowing that it’s over…The runs where everything is perfect are the runs where I want to run forever. I usually have multiple cry periods during those runs b/c life just seems so perfect =)
    Enjoy your last long run this weekend!
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Race for Recovery 5k/10kMy Profile

  14. says

    Ooohh, a 22 miler! Nice! Can I ask, do you prefer doing 22 over 20, or why do you chose to run 22 instead of the more common (I think?) 20 mile max long run distance? A lot of runners I look up to do 22 and I’ve always wondered why. I’m considering doing them for my Boston cycle and would love to hear any personal preference/insight!
    Efo recently posted..Rest DayMy Profile

  15. says

    Enjoy yourself. I LOVE long runs and like them even more when I just take it easy and have some nice company. I’d really like to lead a clinic some day in the future.

    PS: are those the new instincts??
    Ali Mc recently posted..Dog or Child?My Profile

  16. says

    Long runs (for marathon training) have been a mixed bag for me. Good or bad, they rarely tell me how my race will go. I also much prefer distances between 10 and 12 miles to the Big Daddy 15 to 20 milers. So I guess I’m always glad when they’re done. Long runs feel like homework. The race feels like graduation!
    Terzah recently posted..Guest Post: Kyria’s Tips for CIM!My Profile