Saturday, April 8, 2023

The Benefits of Long Runs

In my last post, I discussed the benefits of easy runs and how they can benefit your running. Today, I want to talk about long runs and why they are essential for building endurance and preparing for races or long-distance events.

Long Runs

Long runs are longer than your average easy run and are typically done at a slower pace, ideally conversation pace. Typically, a run of 45 minutes or longer is considered a "long run" for the average new runner. However, for higher mileage, more experienced runners, you may be looking at 60-90 minutes or more. 

Here are some of the benefits of long runs:

  1. Build endurance: Long runs are essential for building endurance and preparing your body for the demands of long-distance running. By gradually increasing your long run distance each week, you will develop the stamina needed to run longer distances without getting tired. General advice, if you search google, is to increase mileage 5-10% each week. However, my advice is to increase mileage by 5-10% each week for two or three weeks and then cut back for a week. Then proceed to start increasing again for a few weeks. 

  2. Improve fat burning: Long runs help to improve your body's ability to use fat as fuel, which is important for endurance running. By running longer distances, your body is forced to rely more on fat for energy, which conserves glycogen stores and delays fatigue.

  3. Increasing mental toughness: Long runs are mentally challenging, and completing them can give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Running for a long time can also help you learn to cope with discomfort and fatigue, which is important for endurance events.

  4. Enhancing recovery: Long runs help to flush out waste products and bring oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, which speeds up your recovery and reduces the risk of injury. Running at a slower pace during long runs also helps to promote active recovery, which can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.

  5. Preparing for races: Long runs are an essential part of any race preparation plan, particularly for half marathons, marathons, and ultra-marathons. By gradually increasing your long run distance, you will build the physical and mental endurance needed to complete these longer races.

    Next week, we will look at the importance of speed work. It's not just about getting faster...

    If you need any running gear, please consider using my Amazon link for great deals on Running Gear 

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