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Eight Great Long Runs

Marine Corps and other fall marathons are still months away, but that means it’s time for the crucial long runs that will make up the majority of your marathon-specific training.

Here are a slew of great long run options in the D.C. area. There are plenty of out-and-back choices out there — the C&O Canal Towpath, the Capital Crescent…any trail — but what we offer here is a collection of loops, and a few point-to-point runs, that will give you a reason to get out of bed early on the weekend to get the hard training in.

Each route has a pin that will take you to an individual page with a map and more details and particulars. Start wherever you want! Go whichever direction you like! Have fun! Try something new!

Naturally, you can add on to any of these loops, but here are the basic routes that shouldn’t be too hard to follow your first time around. Feel free to comment with the flourishes you add to each loop.

I’ve also avoided too much off-road real estate, because I feel (and physiologists agree) that training for a road marathon without exposing your legs to pavement on long runs could leave you in for a rude awakening when your body is otherwise fatigued, but also because as running form breaks down at the end of a run, roots and other obstacles on trails can suddenly grow a lot taller.

Special thanks to John from the August Shack Track and Field run, who suggested this. Good luck training for MCM!

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