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Having come unstuck in my last marathon at about 21 miles, I'm going to make sure I go over that in training in future. I wprobably won't run over distance, but will look to get at least 5 or 6 of 20 or more, going up to 23 or 24.
I remember years ago when the marathon boom was on, the top runners would have a long run of 23 miles. This was on the grounds that if you can do 23 without blowing up then you could do 26. If you enter a race with a longest run of 20 miles then there is a question mark on whether you could find another 6 miles and, if you were to try and do it any faster than your training run, the question mark would be an even bigger one.
I think the 20 miles is one for a runner who has maybe already done a few marathons and knows that they can do the distance and that 20 miles is not going to take so much out that it will interfere with their training. I used to reckon that 24 miles was best if you had the recovery rate.
I am a marathon runner and have done 3 full and 1 half. I need to improve my timing as all I have finished in 6+ hours, though my aim is 5.30 hours. I train hard and my next marathon is Paris Mararhon in 2014.
Any tips and means to improve my timing. Please let me know.