Two weeks ago I ran my first 17 mile long run, part of my training to run 1:20 at the Fairfield Half-Marathon on June 23. On Friday, I ran the same 17 mile course and improved my time from 2:06:38 to 2:03:11 (reducing my mile pace from 7:26 to 7:14). It is a challenging course with 896 feet elevation gain, with a couple of monster hills at miles 11 and 14.
With 3 months until the race, running the second 17 mile long run provided very useful feedback:
- Dropping my time another 3:30 will enable me to run 17 miles in under 2 hours, about 7:00 mile pace (again, on a flatter, faster course, my times would be better). I think I can do that by end of April (2 months before race day). It is making me hopeful that I may be able to run the 17 miles in 6:30 to 6:45 before race day.
- Recovery was faster this time with less soreness and fatigue (I did not measure my resting HR as suggested by @FunFirstCoach – will do next time). I was able to complete a 4×1200 interval workout at 6 mile pace within 48 hours of the long run.
Below are the key stats, course map and elevation profile, and mile splits (compare against my first 17 mile run), measured with my Garmin 610 GPS. Note that the Garmin calculated 846 feet elevation gain vs. 896 feet last time (50 foot difference). Checking with another software confirmed that 896 feet is correct.