Split Long Runs

As I mentioned at the start of my marathon training, I am following a (self) modified Doug Kurtis intermediate plan that includes several split long runs. So instead of going out and running 14 miles at once, you'd do 2 runs on 7 miles in the same day.

I've been wanting to write a post on my opinions of the split long runs for awhile, but I haven't been able to come to a conclusion on whether or not I like them. I gave up on trying to make a judgement and instead will just share my thoughts.

  • Each run is mentally easier, but the day as a whole is harder. It is less daunting heading out for 8 miles than for 16, but at the same time you don't get that "I'm done!!" feeling when you finish your first run. One of the things I love about being a morning runner is that feeling of accomplishment so early in the day. On double days I feel like I have the second run hanging over me all day.
  • It takes a lot more time out of your day to run twice for an hour than once for 2 hours. By the time you factor in getting dressed, finding your watch/i-pod/hat/mittens/waterbottle, warming-up, post run stretching, showering, etc and then multiply it by 2, you've wasted a lot of time!
  • Physically I think I get the same benefit as a single long run, but I don't get the same mental boost. Seeing that 18 miles on my Garmin at the end of a run gives me so much confidence that I might actually be able to finish the marathon. Seeing 9 miles twice doesn't do the same thing. But, I feel the same level of fatigue. 
  • I need to get a second pair of running shoes! Normally, I alternate running and cross-training days so I am also mixing up my shoes. But, when I run twice in a day I have to put on the same wet, tired shoes a second time. 
  • So much more laundry!


  1. I never even thought about the time wasted running long twice in one day (especially in the winter)! That's a good point. I would think first about what you mentioned with the mental boost. Why does the plan recommend the split, again?


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