Long runs are very important for building your endurance. These type of runs make you fit whilst speed sessions make you fast. Both important but very different in their execution.
The long run is just that – upwards of 60 minutes in duration.
Schedule your long run on a weekend when people have just a little more time and you can do these sessions in a group – aha the trap!
You need to do these at your pace! We have shown you how to determine your pace based off your ability and target race time and it’s important to stay close to this pace.
A GPS is very helpful in keeping you on track here. Being able to converse is also a good measure to know you’re not over doing it in these runs. I suggest running in a group BUT I also suggest you agree on a pace to run at and if people want to run slightly slower or faster that’s fine too just have designated spots that you will loop back/regroup at to keep everyone happy.
Now for those newer to the long runs – walking is ok, but do it at regular times like scheduled water stops not too many and not for too long. This strategy may also be deployed in a first Marathon as an example.
For the more experienced – these runs should be very enjoyable, with that feeling of accomplishment and knowing your getting fitter and closer to a goal on an early morning run together with that runners high!
There are times these runs should be hard but mostly they are just long so don’t feel the need to do extra just because you feel good. These runs together with your other weekly training sessions can add up quickly to cause you to come undone if you start going longer or faster than required. But I do really enjoy the harder long run too!
For some these may be a race you schedule into your training but otherwise they are usually proscribed race paced efforts or similar towards the end of a long run. What’s important here is planning. Know when you will start your effort and where. Its much easier doing this on flat even ground and it also means your more likely to stick to your target – it will take more out of you though, so ensure adequate rest and hydration after.
Personally I start and finish most of my long runs at the ocean and when at home at the ocean baths in Merewether – post run I grab my recovery beverage then into the ocean baths for a faster recovery- works a treat.
READ MORE: Training series- speed work
Vlad Shatrov is one of Australia’s leading Marathoners and the founder of Runlab, a leading provider of group interval training sessions, group functional strength classes and personalized running analysis and programming.
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