#AskCoachCourtney: Do I have to run a 20 miler when I train for a marathon?

#AskCoachCourtney: Do I have to run a 20 miler when I train for a marathon?

Welcome to #AskCoachCourtney! Each week or two, I take questions from my loyal readers and followers. I had a few submissions this week, and this one stood out to me because it’s often debated: Is a 20 mile run a standard necessity during marathon training?

The short answer: No.

There are a lot of coaches who would disagree with me (Hal Higdon included), but based on what we know about the science of running and high impact exercise, whether you run 20 miles during marathon training or not is individual and varies depending on your easy run pace, goals, and more.

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5 Facts About Heel Striking And Correcting Your Foot Strike

5 Facts About Heel Striking And Correcting Your Foot Strike

My husband recently began going on the treadmill. He walks most of the time, but he’ll toss a few tenths of a mile worth of running in there, too. He suffers from shin splints, and this has been an issue for him since he was on the cross country team in school – at least 20 years ago.

I took a look at his foot strike one day, and suddenly, the reason behind the shin splints made sense: he heel strikes. In fact, over 80% of runners heel strike. There is conflicting information regarding whether or not heel striking is problematic, but most of the research points to a loud “YES” – heel striking is detrimental to your training and body for many reasons.

This week’s #fridayfive provides you with some insight!

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The Power of 48-72 Hours

The Power of 48-72 Hours

Ah, runners. We can be undoubtedly dedicated to our sport and our training (I’m trying to say that nicely, but what I really mean is that we don’t know when to quit). Running long distances requires the mental stamina to push through physical pain, so we are used to working through pain vs. stopping to rest.

Something I coach all of my athletes to understand, though, is that it may be better to rest for 48-72 hours rather than continue to push when each step hurts worse and worse. Hear me out.

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I’m Getting Faster, And I Think This Is Why

I’m Getting Faster, And I Think This Is Why

Oh hi there! It’s been way too long with out a blog post, don’t you think? You may have noticed that while my blogging decreased, my speed increased. Many of my followers have been asking what the deal is with that, so I want to take some time to explain my not-so-secret secrets. Hint: NO SPEED INTERVALS!

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I’m Finally Ready To Talk About My DNF

I’m Finally Ready To Talk About My DNF

Anyone who follows me knows by now that I did not finish my last half marathon. I was side lined completely at little under 10.5 miles. I’ve already beat myself up, consistently, for not just finishing the damn thing when where were less than three miles to go. Anyway.

I didn’t blog for a month now. I haven’t consistently posted on Instagram, either, and that’s pretty unlike me. I guess I was just so distraught over the outcome of this past race that I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.

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