With each new phase, my marathon pace (the time per mile that I could run steadily) would improve, and as Woods slowly increased my mileage and the speed, the times within the phases increased as well. For both long runs and total weekly mileage, the number of miles ebbed and flowed, with “down” weeks with less miles and “up” weeks with more. This allows your body to further recover throughout the process. Woods also tried to keep my longest runs slow, but, as it turns out, I hate a good slow jog, so she set a limit of no faster than an 8:30 minute per mile pace for any recovery, easy, or long run—no exceptions. For ideal training, though, long runs should be at a pace that is about 60 to 90 seconds slower than your goal speed for the marathon.