Forgot username?     |     Forgot password?

Show Blog Categories
Hide Blog Categories
September 17, 2018

What's so Special about the Long Run?

Written by Neely Gracey

You may have heard it, but we will say it again: The long run is the most important run of your week.

rcpic Personally, the long run is my favorite run of the week too. It doesn’t always feel good, but I am always proud of myself once it’s completed because I know fitness was gained and mental strength too. But why is the long run so important? Why does the training plan have up and down weeks with total mileage/minutes? Is it really possible to finish a marathon if my long run never covers the entire distance in training? Here are our answers.

First, the importance of the long run stems from the cells. Runs exceeding 60 minutes help create more capillaries within the system, the more capillaries in your body, the more efficient oxygen can be transported and delivered to your muscles. Thus, increasing your endurance level and ability to run faster and further. As you feel stronger, and you accomplish mileage you never thought possible, you gain confidence.  You start to learn that you can push harder and longer than ever before, and that is huge for the mental game come race day.

Next, the up and down weeks of mileage may look random, but we have a plan. We train you to run 2 weeks hard, 1 week easy. This cycle of training prepares the body as you work to build up fatigue, push through fatigue, and then recover. The adaptations that build fitness come when we soak up the training during the down week before increasing the mileage higher than before. For our marathon runners, these two challenging long run weeks back to back can help simulate the second half of the marathon with the accumulation of fatigue.

 Last, the long run is more about time on feet than actual miles covered. Exceeding more than 3.5 hours of running during training has been known to have diminishing returns. Meaning that running longer than 210 minutes can negatively affect your body’s ability to have quality in training and could leave you sick, overly fatigued, or injured. Depending on your pace, any run 16 miles and over will allow you to successfully finish the marathon distance. It’s important to trust the process and know that with a taper, you will feel strong and ready to conquer 26.2 miles at the peak of your training program.

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for the next long run to get out the door and increase your body’s efficiency now that you know the goal of your most important run of the week.

Runcoach is a brand owned by Focus-N-Fly, Inc Copyright 2018