The run we all do- the long run! Oftentimes a long run is considered a certain workout or pace. That is not the case. Long run is exactly what is sounds like, a longer run. Therefore, there are different long run approaches to consider. This week on the A to Z Running Podcast we give you the reasons behind different kinds of long runs and when they are most effective in training.
World of Running
WHEN: Friday, July 9, 2021
WHERE: Monaco, Europe
WHAT: Meeting Herculis – Diamond League, Monaco
Fun fact: Monaco is the smallest sovereign state in the world apart from the Vatican. The city state forms an enclave within France.
- Nijel Amos of Botswana runs a world leading 800m time of 1:42.91.
- Nijel is 3rd on the all time list way back in 2012 when he was 19 years old. That time is also the World Junior Record. (David Rudisha).
- Kate Grace runs YET ANOTHER PR in a time of 1:57.20 for third place.
- The winner of the women’s 800m was Great Britain’s Laura Muir in a personal best time of 1:56.73.
- Following Muir in a close second was teammate Jemma Reekie of Great Britain also running a personal best in 1:56.96 .
- Proving he should go to Tokyo yet again, Timothy Cheruiyot runs a dominant 1500m win in a time of 3:28.28 which is a leading time this year .
- (countryman and Olympic team selection Charles Simotwo finished 2 seconds back in 5th)
- Second was Mohamed Katir on Spain in a personal best time and national record.
- Although commentators said Jakob Ingebrigsten wasn’t looking great, he ran close to his personal best and he ran a season best time for third in 3:29.25. Apparently Ingebrigsten has been sick this month.
- But that’s not all, in 4th Stewart McSweyn of Australia ran an Oceania Area Record and National Australian Record in 3:29.51.
- One more national record to note. Marcin Lewandowski of Poland ran a Polish National Record of 3:30.42.
- 11 of 13 men in the race finished in the world top 20 this year.
- 10 of 13 men ran personal best times.
- In an exciting duel, Faith Kipyegon outran Sifan Hissan, running a new world leading time and personal best of 3:51.07. This time also earned her the new Kenyan Record.
- Kipyegon kicked a couple second lead on Hassan only in the final stretch with Hissan running 3:53.60
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
- An unusual mistake was made in the men’s 3000m steeplechase this weekend in Monaco, a volunteer rang the bell lap early.
- Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen took what he thought was the last lap very hard. He couldn’t believe it when they rang the bell again. He ended up jogging a bit before he finished 7th. He missed out on a $10,000 payday.
- Team USA’s Hillary Bor was in the race. Getting 5th in a season’s best time of 8:14.69.
- Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia won the race in a world leading time of 8:07.75.
- Team USA’s Benard Keter ran a personal best time in the race as well of 8:18.
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
- Strong steeplechase field that went out blazing fast from the gun.
- Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng won in a 9:03.82.
- Beatrice Chepkoech also of Kenya in second in 9:04.94.
- Emma Coburn was with the top ladies and fell at the finals steeple pit, still running a solid time of 9:09 and 4th place finish.
- Japan has banned ALL spectators for the games (reported by Reuters).
- Only applies to events in Tokyo (marathon and things like that may have some limited spectatorship).
- To those who purchased tickets, the word apparently is “sorry.”
- Why are athletes not competing in the games still racing right now?
- Qualify for next year
- Helping others
- Making money
- Satisfying contracts
MAIN TOPIC: Types of Long Runs
Long runs are exactly how they sound, a long run. They are not a certain workout or prescribed effort. That being the case, there are many different long run approaches and effective uses for each kind. In this week’s episode of the A to Z Running Podcast we break down types of long runs and when to include them in training.
Covering 3 most common
- Easy and long
- Hard effort (3 variations)
- Jogging – used as a recovery run
Goals and Needs
- Know the purpose/goal for training big picture and at any given time.
- Know what you need to achieve the goal.
- *Smart training is doing the right thing to meet the immediate need in light of the larger goal
- Remember Dr. Todd from the Science of Building Fitness
- Consistency is key
- Increasing the number and size of our mitochondria
- Mitochondria is where we use the oxygen to provide us the energy
- Capillary density highly influences VO2Max
- We wrote a short article a while back about long runs which I will link at atozrunning.com
- All aerobic running increases adaptations so that over time, your system becomes more capable of sustained aerobic running. The goal of training is to achieve the highest degree of adaptation possible in a given period of time.
Long Run #1: Easy and Long
Easy long runs are the staple for ALL distance runners.
- Every distance runners needs aerobic condition
- Aerobic condition is the combination of musculoskeletal strength, oxygen transportation, and aerobic energy systems
- Best way to adapt all three of those is by running long
- Most effective way to run long is running easy (recovery + reiteration)
- Long and easy it is!
- EASY = moderate aerobic effort
- Not pushing, not draining the well, but definitely tired at the end
Things you need to avoid for this to work:
- Too hard
- Fueling like a race
- Too easy (specifically later in the training)
Long Run #2: Hard Effort
In general, this kind of a long run is almost only necessary for those competing at longer distances
- Why? Because it’s not as efficient as other kinds of workouts, takes more recovery, has less of an impact (unless you’re racing long)
- ONLY do these after you have already established good aerobic condition (otherwise, recovery is too long, fitness impact is less efficient, etc.)
- Gentle Steady long run
- Ease into a gentle steady effort for the whole run
- Manageable and sustainable effort, trying to keep it mostly even or slightly progressive
- Fast finish or progressive long run
- Start easy, last 25-50% at harder effort
- OR do phased progression
- Race Effort or long fartlek
- For a portion of the run, often anywhere from 10-20 miles, run race effort
- Race effort runs should be rare, as the taxation on the body is high
- Another approach here that accomplishes a similar end goal is a fartlek variety that induces race effort but for shorter periods with easy running between
- It should be noted that the most common recommendation we give for this is near-race effort stuff
Things to avoid for this to work:
- Trying to do these things BEFORE you have built sound condition can be detrimental and is rarely very effective for building fitness
- Do NOT set a pace goal for these runs. They are EFFORT workouts. Let your body do what is can on the day
- Build up to it, ease into the effort both in the individual run and over the course of weeks as you are able
Long Run #3: Long Jog
Especially valuable for those runners who may not be doing the long races but understand the need for high aerobic condition…
- When you are not a marathoner and have begun working on things other than aerobic conditioning…
- Long runs at a very easy jogging effort can be very effective for sustaining your aerobic condition without requiring additional recovery
- Keep them as easy as needed (you should have no trouble recovering if you’ve done the rest of the training right)
- Should be able to run hard both the day before and the day after
- The jogging should also help improve recovery from hard efforts (blood flow)
Things to avoid for this to work:
- Obviously need to keep the effort low
- Thinking that you need to go shorter because you are sore (remember, the long jog can help reduce the soreness, though not in the moment)
Which Long Run is right for you?
Depends on the goal and training need.
An easy template to consider:
- Early training season – regardless of your end goal, you likely will benefit from strong conditioning work, and easy long runs are key there.
- Later in the training, depends more on what else you have going on…
- Marathoners ought to be looking for opportunities (not all the time, but at least some) to do harder effort long runs of some fashion
- Shorter distances? Consider keeping a long jog in there between your shorter fast workouts or early racing