My long runs aren’t going to be that long for a while since I am making the switch to minimalist shoes, but I wanted to write a post on this crucial piece of race training.
When runners formulate a training plan there are typically four different components: the easy run, the tempo run, speed work, and the long run.
The general consensus is that the long run should be about 20-30% of your weekly mileage in distance. So if you run 20 miles a week, your run would be anywhere from 4-6 miles in length. This rule is not set in stone—you will often see college athletes logging 13 mile long runs on the weekend, even though they only compete at the mile distance.
Long runs are very important for increasing your aerobic endurance. You should complete your long runs at a conversational pace, although it’s perfectly okay to throw in some speed bursts when you become more accustomed to the longer distance.
If you decide to incorporate the long run into your weekly training schedule, try taking a recovery day the day after. This recovery day can be total rest, cross-training or a VERY easy run. Personally, I like to move the day after a long run. I think it helps my muscles recover and flushes out any lingering soreness.
Always make sure that your are well hydrated on your long runs (try to take a hand held or wear a Fuel Belt if you are going out for more than an hour or if the weather is really warm). You also want to look into nutrition on the run. For me, I take along a GU or other sports nutrition when I run 9 miles or longer.
You may also want to look into compression socks or calf sleeves to help minimize soreness from long runs. I finally had a chance to try out some calf sleeves a few weeks ago. Zensah sent me a pair of bright pink tie-dyed ones to test out.
I went out on a pretty warm morning and felt a bit warm with them in the beginning. But after a mile or so, I didn’t really notice it. I will tell you that I got more compliments on my “socks” than I have ever received on a run. Everyone loved them. They were very comfy and did their job well. You can check out all of the colors they come in HERE.
Zensah provided 30 Something Mother Runner with a pair of calf sleeves in exchange for sharing my opinions on the product with my readers. All opinions and writing are 100% mine.