Reviewing the Whippet plan, you’ll notice this weekend’s run is the longest of the training plan – 22 miles. The reason for the 22 mile suggestion is to narrow the time and/or distance gap between the longest training run and the race distance with each type of marathoner having a different reason for achieving this goal.
For beginner marathoners, achieving the 26 mile race distance is a tremendous feat and this run helps achieve that goal. As is the case for many beginners, the pace of your long run is not much different than your marathon pace. If your goal is to break 4:00 (9:09 per mile), a 22-23 mile run at that pace means, on race day, it’s another 25-35 minutes to the finish line so the running time between this weekend’s run and race day becomes shorter.
Intermediate marathoners will be trying to finalize their marathon goals so, similarly, a 22-23 mile run also narrows the time/ distance gap between this run and race day distance. And, when combined with the highest mileage week of the plan – last Sunday’s race, 10+ mile run Tuesday and Thursday’s workout – confidence should be very high.
For advanced marathoners, the suggestion is to run as many hours and minutes at easy pace as your goal finish time for the marathon. For example, if your goal is to break 3:30 for the marathon (~8:00 per mile), the goal should be to run 3:30 at your easy pace (~8:45 pace) which is 23.5 to 24 miles.
As always, we’re here to help so let us know if you have any questions. Have a great week!