Iron Distance Long Run/Rides and Taper

Yo TT massif!

Been looking at my training plan…I’ve done three centuries since April, got another five in the pipeline.
Happy with my bike for the first time in a long time, it’s not stellar, but it’s not going to kill me for the run, either.

Onto the run…I’ve seven 2+ hour jogs planned over the next eight weeks, too.
(27km, 24km, 29km, 32km, 35km, 17km, 32km, 32km)
Looking at them, it’s just a quirk of fate they are on consecutive weeks, I do have recovery time in between.

That last 32km jog is 11 days out from race day (the Wednesday of the previous week).
I am not a fan of a massive 3 week taper, preferring 7-10 days of half session, maintaining pace slightly above race pace and getting some good sleep.

What is the TT consensus of doing a long run 11 days out?
Or, should I can it, having bagged my three 32km+ jogs already by that point?


Ok my 2cents worth

It looks to me that you are already in a good place in all three disciplines and that you have some great training targets set up. So if we assume that you do those bike sessions / run sessions, as outlined above, then the 32K 11 days out does not seem necessary. You already will have three 32K plus runs in the bank. If it was me I would make it a 25K run and at the risk of stating the obvious all seven runs should be slow and perhaps you can experiment with nutrition


Completely agree with @Sparky. I’d say after that 35km beast. I’d wind the distance of those long runs down

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That far out???
That’s three weeks, I reckon I’d go mad - pent up.

Cheers @sparky - due to the way the cookie crumbles, my last “big” session is actually on Monday 21st June (I have moved my planned 325km ride, from the solstice, as that was deffo not a good idea!)
Just pretend this in the Sunday prior, here is my penultimate week;

I guess see how you’re feeling and dealing with the fatigue.

You’ll have some big runs in the bank. Not sure you need to running north of 30kms

I have overlooked you only have 17km planned the week after your 35km though

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IMHO 11 days from your A race is not enough time to gain the benefits of doing that session, but you will incur the costs. So it’s a no from me


So to me that June 21st session is key and from it you should get some useful information as to where you are. However if you are knackered from a 32K training run then in essence you are ruining that session and loose that useful information

So as everyone seems to be saying in this thread the last 32k ish run I believe should be 18-21 days out from race day.

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Cheers folks!

I like that analogy @r0bh :slight_smile:
None of the benefits, all of the costs. It’s a no from me.

@Sparky - excellent. I shall go back and have a count back 18-21 days and leave the last long run there.

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As @r0bh says, benefits from the distance will not really be had - all the training you’re doing in that time is just stopping your body removing the stuff it’s built up to support the load you need - it doesn’t need 32km to remind itself of that.

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removed it now :slight_smile:
Replaced with a nice trail/off road 10 miler instead.

As @sparky says, that 21st June session is my course familiarisation session, so is really key to do well there for the race day confidence boost.

Last 32km run is now exactly 18 days out.
I’m not a weekend warrior usually, doing my long runs Wednesday, then long bikes the Sunday or Friday.

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I can’t remember if it was Mark Allen or Dave Scott that said they did their final long run 4 wks out from race day.

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Dave Scott says 18-22 days out :slight_smile:

Must’ve been Mark Allen. You can go with either strategy but we want 6 x Hawaii off the back of it. :grin:


Pretty sure it was 5 weeks out at the latest

I don’t see any value in a 32km run 11 days out. 18 days? I’m also unsure why you’d be stressed about not do a very long run. 1h45-2h aerobic running seems to be the sweet spot physiologically.


Although, I’m not sure we should blindly follow what he says.

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Well…I did a year of double run days once, so my 32km runs were done as 2 * 16.1km to work the long way, then home the short way to drop my bag off, then finish off.

I didn’t run so well that year off the bike, but, that could’ve been due to the wind and me over biking - ha ha ha!

Just to get that psychological distance in the head when it starts to hurt, to know I can keep running (or run/walk, just not walk-walk-walk)

Well, I think it’s a lot of physical damage to sustain for a psychological advantage - but you’re light years ahead of me when it comes to running.

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Knock out a 50k the week before. Race day will be a breeze. All about the journey isn’t it :wink:


This is the thing, isn’t it?
You can hit all of your “sessions” but what if they’re the wrong ones? :see_no_evil::rofl:

Or you can miss a few “key” sessions and it’s actually a huge benefit.

See, iron distance is horrible.
Half’s are where it’s at.

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Whilst I agree with the advice given so far for your situation, I don’t think it’s as black and white.

It all depends on what you’re used to in training. If you’ve a big run background and you run your 32km the way it’s supposed to be done i.e. slowly, then it won’t necessarily take all that out of you. For example a 3 hour run wouldn’t put me in any kind of a hole even if it was super hilly.

I guess the real point is whether the run has enough benefit as Rob and Jim mentioned, but the cost isn’t going to be the same for everyone. Again, for example, I have mates at a traditional running club that call a 10-12 miler their long run. But then other mates, me included, that will run 25kms in a lunch break.


I personally think that you need to know yourself, and no ‘one size fits all’ answer exists.

I find that if I taper too much, I get distinctly stale. My best bike efforts are on the back of a short but tough effort the day before (when i’m well trained and can recover well)… if I take a day off, I seem to get sluggish… YMMV.