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runners: should I run 20 miles tomorrow when I've not really trained for it?

(8 Posts)
Hatwoman Sat 01-Oct-11 16:05:07

really can't decide. I've averaged 14 miles a week for the last two months - including several 10 milers. I did 20 a year ago - in the 2 months prior to doing it I'd averaged 20 a week. It's a very hilly, off road race which means people tend to walk bits of it. am I just going to knacker and or injure myself? or could I treat it as a long slow walk-run training?

Sleepwhenidie Sat 01-Oct-11 16:18:06

I'm no expert, but unless you plan on taking it very easy I would be careful. The recommendation for increasing your running training is no more than 10% per week, or no more than 10 mins if greater. Doing more risks injury, not because you aren't cardiovascularly fit enough but joints and muscles aren't used to it. I sort of got lost carried away and increased my typical regular run of 6.5m to an 8.5miler a month or two ago, felt fine doing it but have had problems with my hip flexor since. wish I hadn't!

You will probably get some great advice on the runners united thread, lots of v friendly experienced runners and racers there, maybe re-post your OP there?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 01-Oct-11 16:32:30

I don't think you will be doing yourself any favours tbh.

When I've done 20 milers my weeks mileage has been nearer 45 miles. Currently I am doing a long run of 15 miles with a weekly mileage of 35, but I know that there is no way I could increase my long run to 20 next week. 20 miles hurts.....a lot, even when you have trained for it.

20 miles is a very long run and unless you are prepared for it, it will feel horrid and you will very possibly injure yourself.

Hatwoman Sat 01-Oct-11 16:46:12

my instinct is kind of with both of you. when I did the 20 miler before I did gear myself up to it (but less so than when I did a marathon).

But - the one reason I'm contemplating it is the nature of the race - it's very slow - 3700 feet of climb slow. all my running these days is very hilly, over rough and varied terrain and subsequently slow. it's soft underfoot and very different from 26 miles of pounding pavement(I've done both). 2 friends - who do similar amounts of training to me, or less, did 25 miles a couple of weeks ago. neither had run more than about 10 in training. I was quite shock at how laid back they were about it - but it left me wondering if the nature of the beast is so different from road running that you can get away with it. the hills are so steep that, unless you are uber fit you don't run them. so it can be very much a run-walk thing.

having said all that I think I've decided no. there's an 8 mile race I can do instead and my head says to stick with that. and wait for spring to do the 20 miler.

StrangewaysHereICome Sat 01-Oct-11 19:53:46

That sounds like a sensible decision to me. I agree totally with doyouthink, when I have run 20 miles I was doing about 40 to 45 miles a week and even with training it was very tough. I don't know about you but whenever the word race comes into it my competitive streak kicks in and all rational thought goes out of the window! I think you would either worry about injury so much you wouldn't enjoy it or overdo it and actually injure yourself. Enjoy training for the spring smile

StrangewaysHereICome Sat 01-Oct-11 19:55:04

Forgot to add good luck for the 8 miler!

DrNortherner Sat 01-Oct-11 19:55:35

Hat you are a very experienced runner and have made the right decision. 8 miler it is! Good luck and enjoy smile

Merle Sat 01-Oct-11 20:06:32

Hi Hat - glad to see you're still running. Agree with Sleep, Doyou and Strangeways - best not to, even though you probably could get round. Makes the decision a bit easier because there is an 8.5 mile alternative? From the looks of the event website (by my powers of deduction!), there will be enough people grateful for your number for the long race.

Will be gorgeous out there tomorrow - have a good one.

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