McMillan Custom Marathon Plan: Week 4 Day 6

Week 4, Day 6
Phase: Pre-Marathon
Workout: Long, Steady Run: 14 to 16 miles
Purpose: Time on your feet is more important than pace in a long, steady run. Run easy and run long.
Comments: You can move this Long Run to Saturday if you prefer more rest before your 5k on Tuesday.
Knowing I have a 5k race next Tuesday evening, Coach McMillan very kindly suggested I could move tomorrow’s long run to today if I “prefer more rest before your 5k on Tuesday”. I figured this would be a good idea, so headed to First Landing State Park early this morning to run my 14 to 16 mile run.

McMillan stresses that time on your feet is more important than pace and based on the training paces at his famous running calculator I needed to stay in the 7:12 to 8:12 zone. Nice!

I ran the first two miles on the road which left me a seven mile out and back on the main Cape Henry Trail of First Landing State Park. Usually on a long run, I’ll focus on pace and always end up trying to beat the clock. Today, taking McMillan’s advice to heart, I focused on how hard I was working and set my Garmin 405 to display heart rate in beats per minute.

Every quarter mile or so I would glance down to check my heart rate with the aim of keeping it in the 130 to 140 beats per minute range (about 72-77% of my max) and this seemed to work well for me.

The run went really well, my legs felt great and I must be honest it made a pleasant change not to be running like a madman chasing some arbitrary pace I’d made up along the way.

I covered 16 miles in around 2 hours 5 minutes and managed to average 136 beats per minute for the run. Pretty good effort and my legs don’t feel tired at all.

Maybe this McMillan guy knows what he’s talking about after all?!

Actually, the most painful part of the run was removing my singlet to reveal two bloody nipples, no doubt caused by the friction from repeated rubbing of the saturated singlet. Think I’ll be running shirtless for a few days…


I hope he’s right about the time on the feet being more important than pace. I’ve felt rather slow lately. ;)

I actually think he is right. Time on your feet is probably the most important part of training…

It’s definitely a good day when you run 16 miles and your legs don’t feel tired afterward. Good luck on the upcoming 5K.

Thanks! I’m curious to see what time I can run….

Can’t believe 4 weeks of the marathon plan are almost over; just 16 to go.

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