Everyone should be doing a long run, most weeks, most of the year. The physiological benefits of running long are huge and provide gains for athletes of all levels. During this article the benefits of a long run will be explained, how to complete a long run will be explained and who should be doing a long run will also be explained – although the answer to that last bit is essentially anyone who races for longer than a minute. All of our custom training plans include a weekly long run alongside a series of other sessions each week to maximise your running potential and help you achieve your goals, if you’d like a custom training plan – click here. Often overlooked, the long run is also a very fun session – a two hour jog with friends is a great way to start a Sunday!
So, what are the benefits to a weekly long run? Well, simply put these are…
- Increased efficiency
- Improved running economy
- Stronger heart
- Improved endurance
- Stronger muscles and ligaments
- Improved confidence
All of these factors will improve your times from 1 mile to 26.2 and beyond, but the way you do your long run should change depending on what distance you’re racing. For distances of 5 and 10k and below the long run should be steady and it’s not really necessary to run more than 2 hours. For half marathon training it’s quite athlete dependent, if you’re a faster athlete you should run up to 2 hours but for beginners or more moderately paced runners then completing a long run of up to and around race distance would be sufficient. This individuality is reflected in our training plans.
It’s clear to us though, anyone wanting to improve their times should be completing a weekly long run as a part of a balanced training week. If you would like to get a custom training plan which includes a weekly long run – click here!
The author of this blog is a 33:09 10k runner, each week in the lead up to this race I completed a 90 minute easy run with my friends early on a Friday morning. This consistency was part of my success.