Long Run Training Explained

Long Run Training Explained

 Running coach Fiona Bugler explains long run training, what the benefits are and how to do it.

Tip: Great for half marathon or marathon race training.

What is it?

The length of a long run is relative to the person running it and the distance that they are training for, but generally speaking a long run is between an hour and three hours, run at a low intensity.

The Benefits
Long continuous duration runs will develop your aerobic endurance by improving V02 max (maximum oxygen uptake). A high V02 max, i.e. the body's ability to get plenty of oxygen to the working muscles is a key determinant of middle and long distance running success. Long slow runs also boost the number of mitochondria (oxygen carrying cells) in your body, making you a more efficient aerobic machine!

How to do it
Long runs should be run at a steady pace, at a heart rate of up to 75 percent or up to six out of ten on a perceived rate of exertion, and you should be able to chat comfortably.

Pace your long run so it's 80 per cent of the speed you could race the same distance - or slower. The 'or slower' part of this is important. Time on your feet is what counts when you start running long, especially with marathon training.

Following the 80 per cent formula: if you can race 10 miles at 7:30 pace, you should do your training runs at 9:23. To convert a race pace to an 80 per cent training pace, multiply by 1.25. However, it's also a good idea to try to some runs at marathon pace, especially if you're a faster sub 3.30 marathon runner.

Building up the distance
The key to building endurance conditioning is to keep it slow but steady. Add one mile a week to your weekend long run. Every fourth week, reduce your mileage by missing out the long run, or keeping it at the same length as week three. Then starting building again, one mile at a time or as general guide increase the volume by 10 per cent a week.

Long running for marathons:

  • When starting out, the goal is to build up to at least one run of 20 miles, over a period of three to four months.
  • Many coaches suggest running five 20 mile-runs in the build up to a marathon, over a period of 16 to 18 weeks.
  • For more advanced runners higher intensity marathon-paced long runs of between 10 and 15 will be done every three to four weeks. Or a pace can be increased by doing a negative split, for example, the last 10 miles faster than the first.

 


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Mitochondria are not oxygent carrying cells. They are found inside your cells and 'generate' the energy you need for movement.

An oxygen carrying cell is a red blood cell.

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Your site is helpful to me, I have only been running since October 2013, I am this year running the 10k I have built it up at a steady pace so far, thanks to the running bug I have taken on board many tips to help me achieve ..........

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Really interested to hear your explanation about mitochondria carrying oxygen. My medical training tells me red blood cells do this via haemoglobin.

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Definitely glad I read over this. Training for the London Marathon will be a bit easier now

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Thank you for all the marathon training and  the Marathon 16 week plan i have did 7 hf marathons but never afull marathon so i am looking forward to completing my 16 weeks training  if i can do that then i will know it is possible for me to do a Full marathon after all

all advice welcome

Catherine

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Thank you for all the marathon advice i am looking forward to doing a 16 week training plan am not sure if i could do a full marathon i have did 7 hf marathons  but would like to give the training a go and if i can compleat the training i will know that its possible xx

Catherine

All advice welcome

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Love it all got the Love Bug

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My philosophy is get out there and feel some pain...Ave it!!!

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Can anyone explain the figures used in this article? For instance, since when does 75% convert to 6 out of ten. Also the conversion from race pace to training pace!!!!! It's all upside down.

Not a very inspiring article. Rubbish

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Hi...I was having real problems with breathing and stitch until I watched an a video on you tube which showed how doing 2 breaths in then 2 breaths out helped....I tried this and it has worked...I have not had stitch since (and it was crippling me before). I use a stride per breath so 2 strides to breath in and 2 to heath out....hope that makes sense! x

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