How to Prepare for Your Next Long Run

How to Prepare for Your Next Long Run

Embarking on the journey of a marathon is an impressive commitment. It takes endurance, determination, and a well-thought-out training plan. There are four critical questions many runners ask when preparing for their long run. We're here to shed light on them and also suggest a couple of essentials to fuel your training.

When should I do my longest run in marathon training?

The timing of your longest run in marathon training depends on your personalized plan, but typically, it occurs about a month before the marathon date. This run is crucial for both physical preparation and psychological assurance. You'll need to acclimate your body to the lengthy duration and build confidence in your ability to complete such a distance.

While the timing may vary based on your training schedule and fitness level, the longest run shouldn't be done too close to the marathon day to allow sufficient recovery time. During this phase, you should replenish yourself with the perfect brew of Boston Finisher Coffee, a testament to your grit and determination.

Should you run longer than 3 hours in marathon training?

Running longer than 3 hours during marathon training is a topic of debate among trainers. Some argue that extending past 3 hours exposes you to an increased risk of injury and may cause more harm than benefit. Instead, they suggest focusing on the intensity and consistency of your training.

Other experts suggest that a 3-hour limit isn't necessarily a hard-and-fast rule. Experienced runners may benefit from occasionally running longer to prepare for the marathon mentally and physically. This decision largely depends on your fitness level, training history, and personal preference. Remember to listen to your body and not push beyond your current fitness level.

And if you need an extra jolt of energy to fuel your longer runs, consider a cup of Unicorn Chaser Extra Caffeinated Coffee.


Curious about when to take your coffee before hitting the road? Check out our blog post on When is The Best Time to Drink Coffee Before a Run?

When should you do your last big run before a marathon?

The last big run, often the tapering run, should ideally be done about two weeks before the marathon. Tapering is the process of reducing your mileage to allow your body to recover from the months of training and be in the best possible condition on race day.

This run shouldn't be as long as your longest run but still substantial - often around 10-12 miles. Following this, your runs should decrease in length and intensity as you approach the marathon date. During this tapering period, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and resting adequately are critical.

How many 20-mile runs should you do before a marathon?

Most marathon training plans include at least one or two 20-mile runs. This distance is considered a psychological barrier; crossing it gives runners the confidence to complete the full marathon distance. However, the number of 20-mile runs can depend on the specific training plan, your running experience, and how your body handles long distances.

The 20-mile run should be done at a slow and steady pace. Remember that the goal is not to achieve your best time but to accustom your body to the distance. Also, ensure you are well-fueled before, during, and after these runs. A cup of Boston Finisher Coffee might be just the thing you need post-run.


Marathon training requires patience, resilience, and a good strategy. Answering these key questions will help you create an effective training plan that keeps you healthy and ready for race day. And remember, everyone's journey is unique. Listen to your body, adapt your plan as needed, and stay committed to your goals.

As you lace up your running shoes and head out for those long runs, remember the essentials: determination, a well-crafted training plan, and your favorite brew to refuel. Happy running!


Photo by Frank Cone: 

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