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The question is – how long should my long run take? What sort of pace should I be pushing for?
The optimal long run pace has been subject to significant debate since the beginning of marathon running. Running too fast can impact your recovery for the next run. But on the other hand, taking it too slowly will not stimulate sufficient training gains.
Research suggests that the optimal pace for a long run is approximately around 55-75% of your 5km pace.
This pace should feel pretty easy – and that’s the idea – minimal fatigue without the compromise of the physiological benefits.
So, why do we run long distances?
- Increased glycogen storage (muscle fuel)
- Increased mitochondria development (energy makers)
- Increased myoglobin content of muscle fibres (available oxygen in the muscles)
The benefits are clear and proven, and the good news is that the research shows running above 75% of your 5km pace does not provide any additional physiological benefit. So on your next long run, turn off the turbo and just enjoy the miles!
Tuesday, April 5th Fartlek/Interval
- Warm up x 10 mins (2km), 6 x 3 mins (60 secs recovery between each), and cool down (3km)
Thursday, April 7th Fartlek/Interval
- Warm up x 10 mins (2km), 1 x 4 min/2 x 3 mins/2 x 3 mins/2 x 1 min (60 secs recovery between each), and cool down (3km)
Saturday, April 9th Hills/Tempo
- Warm up x 15 mins (3km), 10 mins tempo, 6 x 30 secs (fast/jog), 6 x 150m hills, and cool down (3km)
Sunday, April 10th Long Run
16km long run = 16km.
Weekly total: 41km.
It’s a shorter post from us this week, so that you can get out there and work on your longer distances. Time’s running out until the event, so we hope you’re still enjoying your running. Keep training hard and check back next week for another update!