Can You Split Your Long Run?

I told Emily this weekend that I’d need to run an extra 4 miles yesterday since I was 4 miles short of my long run on Saturday. 

“Can you do that??” she asked. I told her that my intuition was that if it’s not a new distance to you or not a new race length that you’re training for, that I thought it was probably not ideal, but still okay once in a while.

Why? Why can you split up a long run in training and be okay on race day? Well, while the long runs are the most important type of run for race training, it’s the sum of the long runs, the tempo runs and the speedwork and the total of your mileage and months of training that ready you for a race.

I looked it up tonight, and it turns out that I was basically right. It’s apparently most beneficial for slower runners in marathon training. If you’re spending more than 3 hours running (like I did here and here) for a long run, that’s apparently when you’re most likely to get injured, and that article suggests considering splitting up a long run that will take more than 3 hours. (I don’t think I ever will, but it’s an interesting consideration.)

Last night, I did the last 4 to round out my 10 miles for the weekend.

Approaching my buddy, the West Side Highway.

There was a little light when I set out…  (This is what it looks like in total light.)

But it quickly got dark.

And then I ran right onto a path still completely covered in snow.


So, if you’re a runner, do you think it’s okay to split your long run? Would you do it if you had to?

And if you’re not a runner…

…well, isn’t my dog cute?

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