Okay, I have a training question for you all. Today I ran my second 20 miler in preparation for Rome. I did the first 13 miles with the SBRC, and the last 7 miles on my own. This is the same approach I followed two weeks ago. This time, the group was feeling frisky, so the pace was a good deal faster than I had intended for a long run. The two loops I did with the group were at, or slightly faster than, marathon pace. The last 7 were at my usual LSD pace. On the whole, the run was a confidence builder. I was able to go fast for a big chunk of the run, and didn't feel too bad at the end either. I had a bit of a scare, when my right hamstring cramped on me at mile 10, but I was able to stretch it out, and it let go after a bit.
Anyway, I have two questions. The first is about the wisdom of hard long runs. I've always thought the goal was to work on speed and turnover during the short to middle length runs, and just work on staving off glycogen depletion during the longer runs. Is there value to going harder for longer? Or is the result more likely to be injury? The second question is about how to organize a hard long run? Today, two of us were running long. C_ arrived at the start having already run 6 miles nice and easy. She then drove the pace during the group phase of the run. I did it the other way around, with the easier part at the back end. Any thoughts on which is better?