Long runs are not longer than 21k in a marathon build


I’m currently training for my next marathon with Athletica, after finally breaking the 3-hour barrier last year - also by using Athletica.

I am now targeting a sub 2.50 marathon, and I have a similar pattern in my block which leaves me confused. My longest runs are only 21 km (13.2 miles), and I only have them every few weeks. At the same time I have HIIT sessions reaching 20 km.

Therefore, I am wondering if I am missing something in my training plan, or if it is by design that the longest run reaches 21km? Mentally, it would be great to incorporate some 30k runs. In my last block, I just extended the 21 km runs to 30 km, but I would love for Athletica to give me these workouts rather than me incorporating them.

I’m currently on the medium-volume training plan.

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Hi @Graim,
Congrats on cracking 3h with Athletica :slight_smile:
2:50 is a great next goal.
We get your question a lot. Ultimately the goal of Athletica is to slowly and progressively increase your fitness using the principle of consistency in your training. Note that your final build week even today is about 100km which is a decent run load. What we need to remember however is that Athletica is an adaptive, not a static plan. You’re more likely used to getting static plans where you know ahead of time what you’ll be doing. We really don’t. As you continue to follow the plan, and even push things out by 5% occasionally if you feel good, you’ll notice that Athletica lets out the leash. It knows you are fit, so it knows it can recommend you fatiguing more because it knows you’ll be able to withstand such training. I attach your current ‘leash’. If you stop training, the long run distance will get smaller. But if you stay consistent with training and even push things out a bit and appropriately, the leash is allowed to go higher, and your long run that you so desire will reveal itself to you. For example, long time user @cmaloney just posted about her personal best marathon performance. She too was on the mid volume marathon plan and her longest run week grew to 107 km, with a long run at almost 30km. Soooo… hope that helps. In a gist, stick with the plan as best you can, do all you can to stay healthy and injury free, and lets see what happens. Please keep us posted and good luck!