Whether you’re just starting your journey with 5K races or you’re a seasoned marathoner, there’s one thing that’s crucial for your training success: the long run. It’s like the secret ingredient in the recipe for achieving your running goals.
Trust me, it’s the real deal.
Long runs are the backbone of any effective training program. They work wonders for building your stamina, increasing your speed, and toughening up that mental game of yours. Think of them as the essential building blocks that pave the way for efficient training and impressive performance on race day.
Now, I get it. Long runs can be a bit perplexing. Questions like “What exactly is a long run?” and “How long should it be?” might be buzzing around in your head. And don’t even get me started on figuring out how to schedule these babies into your training routine. It can feel like trying to solve a complex puzzle.
But fear not, my friend! I’ve got your back. In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of long runs. We’ll uncover their true essence, unravel the mystery of their ideal duration, and shed light on the art of scheduling them just right. Get ready to have all your burning questions answered.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
What is Considered a Long Run
The long run is a runner’s ultimate endurance adventure. It’s like embarking on a journey to the unknown, where time stretches out before you, and your limits are put to the test. But what exactly is considered a long run?
Simple. A long run is your longest session of the week. It’s all about pushing your boundaries, increasing your endurance, and building that stamina that will carry you through the toughest of races. It’s a time to connect with your inner thoughts, reflect on life’s mysteries, or even belt out your favorite tunes (just be careful not to scare off the squirrels).
Ideally, these runs will last anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes, or maybe even longer for those craving an extra challenge.
But here’s the beautiful thing about the long run – it’s a personal journey that evolves with you. What might be considered a long run for a beginner could be a modest 7-miler, while seasoned veterans might scoff at anything under a 16-mile adventure. It all depends on your fitness level, training goals, and that inner fire that fuels your running aspirations.
And here’s the kicker – as you continue to train and get fitter, your perception of “slow” will undergo a magnificent transformation.
Those long runs that once felt like a daunting task will become a playground for testing your limits. You’ll find yourself finishing those miles faster and stronger than you ever thought possible.
Long Runs Benefits
Long runs, my friend, are like a secret treasure trove of benefits just waiting to be discovered. While some advantages of running can be found in shorter jaunts, it’s during those extended periods on your feet that the magic truly unfolds. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of long runs and uncover some of their glorious benefits.
First up, we have the magnificent gift of stronger muscles. As you clock in those miles during a long run, your primary running muscles, such as the glutes, quads, and calves, are given the opportunity to shine.
They grow stronger with each stride, powering you forward like a well-oiled machine. But that’s not all—your connective tissues, those magical threads that hold everything together, also get a chance to toughen up. And let’s not forget about the respiratory system. Your diaphragm and core muscles work in harmony, pumping oxygen into your lungs and giving you the stamina of a marathon champ.
Long runs also do wonders for your bone strength. Unlike intense running sessions that put significant pressure on your bones, the slow and steady nature of long runs provides a gentler experience. Your bones, though still susceptible to overuse injuries from high impact, are given the chance to adapt and become stronger.
In fact, research suggests that gradually increasing your mileage stimulates your bones to create more tissue, resulting in denser and sturdier bones. So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself avoiding those pesky injuries that used to hinder your running journey.
And here’s an extra tidbit of information that might pique your interest. Studies have shown that the weight-bearing bones of runners, such as those in the spine, pelvis, and legs, tend to be stronger than those of sedentary individuals.
Imagine your muscles as a bustling metropolis, constantly in need of energy and resources to thrive. Long and easy runs have a remarkable way of strengthening the infrastructure that supports this vibrant city. Let’s delve into two fascinating benefits of these runs: the development of capillaries and the boost to mitochondria.
First, let’s talk about capillaries—the unsung heroes of our circulatory system. These tiny blood vessels are like the superhighways that deliver oxygen and nutrients to our hardworking muscle tissue. When you embark on those long and easy runs, you’re actually encouraging the growth of these vital capillaries.
Research has shown that the more capillaries you have surrounding your muscle fibers, the more efficiently you can transport energy to your working muscles. It’s like expanding the road network of your metropolis, allowing resources to flow freely and support the growth and performance of your muscles.
Now, let’s venture into the realm of mitochondria—the powerhouses of our cells. These microscopic organelles are like the energy factories within your muscle cells. They use oxygen to convert carbohydrates and fat into Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel that keeps your muscles going strong.
And guess what? Long and easy runs have the incredible ability to boost the number of mitochondria you have. The more mitochondria you possess, the more powerful your engine becomes. Studies conducted by Holloszy and Dudley have shown that the greatest development of mitochondria occurs after approximately two hours of running at 50 to 75 percent of your VO2max.
Improved Aerobic System
Think of the aerobic system as the engine that powers your running adventures. The more time you dedicate to those long and steady runs, the more your cardiovascular system flourishes. Studies have shown that spending ample time on your feet during long runs strengthens your heart and enhances the efficiency of your aerobic system. It’s like upgrading your engine to a more robust and powerful model. As a result, you’ll experience improved endurance, enhanced oxygen delivery, and increased overall running performance. It’s the ultimate fitness makeover for your cardiovascular system.
The long run is also a golden opportunity to fine-tune your running technique. During those extended sessions, you have ample time to focus on every aspect of your stride, posture, and cadence. By dedicating quality time to perfecting your form, you’ll become a more efficient runner, reducing the risk of injuries and unlocking hidden speed potentials.
What is A Long Run – The Complete Guide
To start (and keep) a long run routine, use these four vital principles to guide you throughout training:
- Your distance
- Your pace
- Your recovery
- Your nutrition
Let’s dissect each one.
Your Long Run Distance
The ever-elusive question of how far should you go on your long run. It’s a puzzle that varies from one runner to another, like finding the perfect fit for your favorite pair of running shoes. But fear not, my friend, for I’m here to guide you through the maze and shed light on the factors that determine the ideal distance for your long runs.
First things first, let’s consider your fitness level. Just like a tailor measures your body to create a custom suit, your fitness level sets the foundation for determining the length of your long runs. A beginner runner may find their sweet spot with a 7-mile long run, while a seasoned marathoner might thrive on a 20-mile epic adventure.
Next up, let’s talk about your training goals. Are you aiming to conquer a 10K race or perhaps tackle the demanding terrain of a trail marathon? Your goals serve as a compass guiding your training journey. The distance of your long run should align with the demands of your target race. Just like an architect designs a blueprint to create a magnificent structure, you must tailor your long run distance to match the requirements of your racing aspirations.
Another crucial element to consider is the timing of your event. Is the race just around the corner or do you have several months of training ahead? The date of the event influences the progressive nature of your long runs. If race day is looming near, you might gradually increase your long run distance to simulate race conditions. However, if you have ample time to prepare, you can build up your mileage more gradually.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the precious resource we call time. How much of it are you willing to dedicate to your running endeavors? Your inclination to sacrifice a significant chunk of your schedule for running plays a role in determining the distance of your long runs. It’s a personal decision that requires finding the right balance between your running ambitions and other aspects of your life.
The general rule of thumb is to allocate around 20 to 30 percent of your weekly training volume to the long run. Just like a chef expertly balances the ingredients in a recipe, this guideline ensures that your long runs contribute to your overall training without overwhelming your body. For example, a recreational runner logging less than 30 miles per week might embark on a 10-mile long run, while an elite athlete conquering 80 miles may venture into a 16-mile long run.
How Long is a Long Run?
Running is good for you, but that doesn’t mean that you can do it 24/7. Log in too many miles, and you might experience chronic fatigue, muscle damage, and prolonged recovery, which outweigh the long run benefits.
The long run should make up about 20 to 30 percent of your weekly running volume as a general guideline. Those logging fewer miles can aim for the higher end of that range, whereas runners running more will likely be close to the lower limit.
For example, if you’re logging 50 miles every week, your long run could be anywhere between 10 and 15 miles.
Here are more recommendations for long run distance based on target distance goal.
- Mile or 1500m = 4- to 10-miler long run
- 5K = 9- to 15-miler long run
- 10K = 11- to 17-miler long run
- Half Marathon = 14- to 20-miler long run
- Marathon = 17- to 22-miler long run
Your First Session
If you’ve already taken that first step and have a starting point, congratulations! You’re on your way to unlocking your true long run potential. Now, let’s talk about building it up, step by step. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
As you embark on this exciting journey, keep your pace comfortable and enjoyable. Picture yourself on a scenic road trip, taking in the breathtaking views at a leisurely pace. Now, here’s the trick: when planning your long run route, aim to add one extra mile or approximately 10 minutes to your run each week. It’s like adding another layer of paint to a beautiful canvas, gradually creating a masterpiece.
But hold on, my friend, there’s an important caveat. We must tread carefully to avoid pushing our bodies beyond their limits. Just as a tightrope walker maintains their balance, we must never exceed the upper range of what our body can handle. Going beyond our limits increases the risks of injury and burnout, casting a shadow on our running dreams.
Now, here’s a word of encouragement: don’t give up. Time has a funny way of flying by when we’re focused and committed. Before you know it, those initial 5 miles will transform into 10, 12, 16, and maybe even 18 miles every weekend. It’s like witnessing the growth of a majestic oak tree, standing tall and proud.
Your Long Run Pace
The cardinal rule of long-distance running is to go slow and steady.
More specifically, long runs should be performed at roughly one minute slower than your marathon race pace, or around 90 to 120 seconds per mile slower than your current 10K pace.
Now, let’s talk about your heart rate. Keep it in check, my friend, within the range of roughly 65 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. Think of it as finding the perfect balance on a tightrope, where going too fast or too slow can throw off your equilibrium. By staying within this range, you’ll optimize your training without pushing your body to the brink.
Ah, but here’s a word of caution: don’t be tempted to zoom past the upper end of that heart rate range. It’s like revving your engine too hard for too long—a recipe for potential injury, excessive fatigue, and the dreaded overtraining syndrome.
Now, let’s imagine a scenario where you don’t have a fancy heart rate monitor or a precise 10K or marathon pace time. Fear not! There’s a simple solution. Just focus on maintaining a conversational pace.
It’s like having a friendly chat with your running buddy, effortlessly exchanging words without gasping for breath. On a perceived exertion scale, aim for around a 5 out of 10. If you catch yourself panting like a dog on a hot summer day, my friend, it’s a clear sign that you’re pushing the speedometer a tad too far.
How Fast Should Long Runs Be – The Ideal Pace
Long runs can be a delicate balancing act. It’s like walking on a tightrope—find the perfect pace, and you’ll reap the rewards; veer off course, and you’ll risk injury or missing out on the benefits altogether. So, let’s unravel the mystery of long run pacing, shall we?
First things first, let go of the notion that there’s a one-size-fits-all pace for your long runs. Just like a fingerprint, your pace will be unique to you and influenced by factors such as your current running ability, goals, and overall training plan. Embrace the freedom to find your own rhythm.
If you’re new to the running game and your primary goal is to increase your mileage, focus on a pace that allows you to comfortably sustain the run without needing to hit the brakes. It’s like embarking on a leisurely stroll through the park, savoring each step without the pressure of speed.
But my friend, if you’ve been pounding the pavement for a while and you’re hungry for progress—whether it’s shaving seconds off your personal best or conquering a new distance—let’s talk about stepping up your pace. Aim for an average long-run pace around 55 to 75 percent of your 5K race pace, with the sweet spot being around 65 percent. It’s like finding the groove in your favorite song, where each beat propels you forward without leaving you gasping for air.
Now, let’s sprinkle some scientific evidence into the mix. Research supports this approach, showing that running faster than 75 percent of your 5K pace during long runs doesn’t provide any additional physiological benefits. So, stay within that range and maximize the benefits of your training.
But let’s not get lost in percentages alone. I want to give you some practical methods to put these numbers into action.
One approach is to use the “talk test.” During your long runs, strive for a pace at which you can comfortably hold a conversation. Imagine running alongside a friend, sharing stories, and discussing life’s mysteries without gasping for air. If you can maintain that level of exertion, you’re right on track.
Another method is to incorporate interval training into your long runs. Spice things up by adding bursts of faster running, mimicking the ebb and flow of a river. For example, you could alternate between one minute at a slightly faster pace and two minutes at your regular long-run pace. This not only adds variety but also helps you practice running at different intensities.
Remember, my friend, the key is finding a pace that challenges you without pushing you over the edge. It’s about striking a balance between effort and sustainability, so you can consistently build your endurance and achieve your running goals.
The Talk Test Explained
Ah, the Talk Test—a trusty companion on your long run adventures. Let’s dive deeper into this concept and unravel its secrets.
Imagine yourself hitting the pavement with a running buddy by your side, embarking on a journey of sweat and laughter. As you begin your long run, the Talk Test comes into play. It’s as simple as it sounds—while you’re jogging along, you should be able to engage in conversation without gasping for air like a fish out of water.
Picture this: you and your running buddy exchange stories, share insights, and maybe even debate the meaning of life—all while maintaining a steady rhythm of slightly labored breathing.
But what if you’re running solo, you may ask? Fear not, my friend. The Talk Test has a solution for that too. Instead of chatting away with a companion, challenge yourself to recite the pledge of allegiance out loud. If you can proudly declare those sacred words without wheezing like a broken accordion, then you’re right on track.
Now, let’s sprinkle some scientific seasoning into this conversational mix. Studies and research have shown that the Talk Test aligns with the ideal long run pace. By maintaining a conversational pace, you’re training your aerobic system and building endurance, all while reducing the risk of injury and excessive fatigue.
If you find yourself struggling to keep up the conversation without huffing and puffing, take it as a sign from your body that you’re exceeding the recommended long run range. It’s time to take a step back, slow it down, and allow yourself to find that sustainable pace that will carry you through the miles.
The Nose Test
This is another effective assessment if you don’t have anyone to talk to while performing your long runs.
Just like the conversational pace, the nose test is a fantastic way to assess your pace. It examines how efficient you’re at sustaining your breathing while running.
As a rule, you should be breathing comfortably from your nose the entire time. Can’t do it? Then you need to slow down until you can.
Rate of Perceived Exertion scale
Imagine running without any fancy gadgets or high-tech devices, just you and the beat of your own heart. That’s the essence of the RPE scale—it’s the embodiment of running by feel. No heart rate monitors, no GPS tracking, just your intuition and inner sense of effort.
So, how does it work? The RPE scale is a simple yet powerful way to estimate the level of effort you’re putting into your runs. It’s like having a personal trainer whispering in your ear, “Hey, how hard are you pushing yourself right now?”
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 to 3 represents easy-breezy activities that are no more strenuous than a leisurely walk in the park, and 7 to 10 signifies pushing your body to the absolute maximum, the RPE scale covers the full spectrum of effort.
When it comes to your long runs—the bread and butter of distance running—it’s recommended to aim for an RPE of around 5 to 6. This means you’re hitting that sweet spot where the effort is challenging enough to elicit training adaptations, but not so intense that you’re gasping for breath and contemplating your life choices.
But here’s the beauty of the RPE scale—it’s adaptable to your own personal fitness level, mental state, and physical condition. It’s a flexible guide that allows you to adjust your training effort based on how you feel in the moment. If you’re having a particularly energetic day, you might find yourself cruising at a 4 on the scale, effortlessly gliding through the miles. On other days, when fatigue sets in, you might ease back to a solid 6, finding comfort in a sustainable pace.
The RPE scale puts you in control of your training, empowering you to listen to your body’s cues and make adjustments accordingly. It’s a dance between effort and intuition, where you speed up when the road feels smooth and slow down when the wind starts whispering in your ear.
Different Long Runs Paces
Let me introduce you to two options that can spice up your long run paces and take your training to the next level.
The Negative Split
Picture a negative split as a masterful performance where the second act unfolds with greater intensity and brilliance than the first. The concept is simple: you start your long run at a conversational and controlled pace, setting a comfortable rhythm for the initial half.
As you reach the midpoint of your run, something magical happens. You tap into a wellspring of energy and determination, and you gradually start to pick up the pace. It’s like finding an extra gear, unleashing your inner running beast. Those miles that lie ahead become a thrilling challenge, as you strive to run them faster than the first half.
For instance, let’s say you’re embarking on a 16-mile adventure. You begin by cruising through the first 8 miles with ease, enjoying the scenery and engaging in lighthearted banter with your running buddies. But as you reach that pivotal 8th-mile mark, a fire ignites within you. You gradually increase your speed, pushing the envelope and running the remaining 8 miles at a brisker pace.
Now, it’s important to choose a pace that is challenging yet sustainable. You don’t want to burn out prematurely and stumble to the finish line. Find that sweet spot where you can maintain your momentum and conquer those miles with gusto.
The Marathon Pace Long Run
Here’s the deal: running your long runs at your goal race pace can be a recipe for trouble. It’s like playing with fire and risking extreme fatigue in the short term, not to mention the potential for injury and a painful burnout in the long run. Trust me, you don’t want to go down that road.
So, what’s the secret to finding the right pace for your marathon pace long runs? It’s all about finding that sweet spot—one that challenges you without pushing you over the edge. Research and experts suggest aiming for a pace that’s about one minute to 90 seconds slower per mile than your marathon goal pace. It’s like finding the perfect tempo to dance to without tripping over your own feet.
But wait, there’s more! You can also spice things up with a negative split during your marathon pace long runs. For example, if you’re going out for a an 18-mile session, start off easy, running the first 9 miles at a comfortable pace. Then, as you hit that halfway mark, gradually shift gears and start picking up the pace, steadily working your way up to your goal marathon pace for the last 9 miles. It’s like revving up the engine of a sports car, gradually building momentum until you hit full speed.
Long Runs Variations
Long runs can take many formats. And pace tends to vary from one variation to the next.
The most common long runs variations include:
Classic Long Slow run
Let’s talk about the classic long slow run, or what the running community likes to call “LSD runs.” These workouts are like the foundation of a sturdy building when you’re just starting out as a runner. They not only help you develop basic endurance, but also strengthen your muscles and bones.
Numerous studies and research papers have shown that LSD runs can have a profound impact on your fitness level. As you become fitter, these runs play a crucial role in improving your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. It’s like giving your body a metabolic upgrade, where it becomes more efficient at utilizing its fat stores to sustain your running efforts.
To make the most of your LSD runs, it’s recommended to focus on time rather than distance. By doing so, you’ll be able to pace yourself better and avoid the pitfalls of fatigue, improper technique, and potential injuries. Think of it as taking a measured approach, ensuring that you’re progressing gradually and safely.
Now, let’s talk about the pace of these runs. Picture this: you’re out for a leisurely stroll in the park with a friend. You’re having a casual conversation, enjoying the surroundings, and not even noticing the passing of time. That’s the kind of pace you should aim for during your LSD runs – easy and conversational.
The idea here is to maintain a consistent and steady pace throughout the entire session. No sudden bursts of speed or fluctuations in your running rhythm. By keeping a steady pace, you allow your body to adapt and develop the endurance necessary to tackle longer distances.
Progression Long Runs
Imagine this: you start your run at a comfortable pace, like dipping your toes in a calm stream. But as you continue, you gradually increase the intensity, like the water flowing faster, gaining momentum and power. That’s exactly what a progression run is all about—building up your speed as you go.
Why should you give progression runs a shot? Well, let me share some fascinating findings from studies and research papers. They have shown that incorporating progression runs into your training can lead to significant performance improvements. By gradually increasing your pace during the second half of your run, you challenge your body to adapt, pushing your limits and enhancing your aerobic capacity.
Now, let’s dive into the details. The key is to start with an easy pace, allowing your body to warm up and find its rhythm. But as you progress through the run, you begin to turn up the dial, increasing your speed gradually. It’s like shifting gears in a sports car, smoothly transitioning from one level to the next, feeling the thrill of acceleration.
Depending on where you are in your training cycle, your progression run might take you to new heights. Towards the end of the session, you might find yourself logging miles at a pace that’s close to your marathon goal or even your lactate threshold pace. It’s like reaching the pinnacle of a challenging climb, standing proudly at the summit, knowing you’ve conquered the road ahead.
Fartlek Long Runs
Ready to take your long runs to a whole new level? Buckle up, because we’re about to explore the exhilarating world of interval training within your long runs!
Think of it as adding a little spice to your running recipe. By incorporating intervals into your long runs, you unlock a whole new dimension of training that activates different energy systems and amplifies the impact on your fitness. It’s like switching gears and unleashing the full potential of your running machine.
When you vary the intensity and pace throughout your long run, you challenge your body in unique ways. It’s like a symphony of energy systems coming to life, harmonizing to create a powerful training effect. This dynamic variation boosts your cardiovascular fitness, enhances your speed, and improves your overall performance.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics. After warming up for 10 to 15 minutes at a comfortable conversational pace, it’s time to introduce those invigorating intervals. Picture it as bursts of energy propelling you forward on your running journey. Every 10 to 15 minutes, unleash a surge of speed, injecting a thrilling dose of intensity into your run.
The length and intensity of these surges can vary based on your goals and current fitness level. You might choose to tackle intervals of 1,000 meters at a pace that aligns with your marathon goal, pushing your boundaries in pursuit of endurance. Alternatively, you could opt for shorter intervals of 400 meters, blazing through them at the pace you would run a 5K race, igniting your speed demons.
The beauty of these intervals is their random nature. Embrace the spontaneity and let your body respond to the challenge. Speed up for an undefined amount of time or distance, keeping yourself on your toes and pushing beyond your comfort zone. It’s like a thrilling roller coaster ride, with exhilarating twists and turns that leave you breathless yet invigorated.
However, it’s important to note that interval training within long runs is not for the faint of heart. It’s a more advanced variation that requires experience and a solid running foundation..
Fast Finish Long Run
One of the best training strategies for long-distance runners, the fast finish long runs forces you to keep logging the miles fast while fatigued.
Once you’ve built a solid base mileage, it’s time to incorporate these energizing fast-finish runs into your training regimen. Aim to schedule them every third or fourth long run, giving yourself enough recovery time and allowing your body to adapt to the demands.
However, here’s a friendly reminder: don’t turn all your long runs into fast finish sessions. You don’t want to exhaust yourself by constantly running at race pace. That’s like sprinting a full marathon every weekend! Remember, balance is key.
As I mentioned before, the foundation of your long run training should still be those classic long slow distance (LSD) runs. They provide the crucial endurance-building and fat-burning benefits. So, reserve the majority of your long runs for those steady-paced, conversation-worthy journeys.
But let’s keep things spicy, shall we? To keep yourself challenged and prevent boredom from settling in, sprinkle in those faster long runs every two to three weeks. It’s like adding a dash of adrenaline to your training routine, keeping your motivation high and your progress on track.
Your Long Run Recovery
Let’s talk about the vital importance of recovery after those challenging long runs. Just like a car needs fuel and maintenance, your body deserves some extra love and care to bounce back stronger and minimize the risk of injuries. So, let’s dive into four key things you should prioritize for maximum recovery.
If you’re eager to keep the momentum going, a recovery run can be a viable option. Just remember to keep it light and easy. Think of it as a gentle jog, allowing your body to flush out any remaining fatigue and promote blood flow to aid the recovery process. Listen to your body, embrace a relaxed pace, and enjoy the freedom of movement without pushing yourself too hard.
Hydration is absolutely crucial after a long run. Your body has been working hard, and it’s time to replenish those fluid stores. Reach for a refreshing glass of water to meet your immediate hydration needs. You can also consider electrolyte water to restore any lost minerals. However, keep in mind that water should be your main go-to, while energy drinks or supplements should be left on the sidelines. Remember, keeping hydrated is key to supporting your body’s recovery process.
Give yourself a well-deserved break, or even a couple of days, to let your body recharge. But wait, don’t fret if you’re itching to keep moving. Cross-training is your secret weapon! Engage in low-impact activities that won’t put excessive stress on your body. Think of it as a way to give your running muscles a break while keeping active.
Explore options like a gentle total-body workout, a core exercise routine, or indulge in the soothing practice of recovery yoga. And hey, let’s not forget about the wonders of foam rolling! Roll away any tension or post-run ache and pain, allowing your muscles to recover and regenerate.
Stretch Your Running Muscles
While the scientific evidence on its effectiveness for injury prevention and recovery is still a bit murky, I firmly believe in its importance. So, let’s unravel the benefits and delve into the post-run stretching routine.
Imagine your muscles as flexible rubber bands, ready to be stretched and lengthened. After a satisfying run, your body enters a post-run window where your muscles are warmed up and primed for a good stretch. It’s like an open invitation for your body to embrace the benefits of stretching.
So, what should you focus on during your post-run stretching session? Direct your attention to the major muscle groups, particularly the ones that have been working tirelessly during your runs. Give them some well-deserved TLC and let them revel in the release of any built-up tension. Breathe into those tight spots, allowing the oxygen to flow and bring a sense of ease to your muscles. It’s like unlocking knots in a tangled rope, one gentle stretch at a time.
And hey, let’s not forget about the cramp-fighting superpower of stretching! Cramps can be a runner’s worst nightmare, but by incorporating regular stretching into your routine, you can minimize their occurrence. Stretching helps increase muscle flexibility and range of motion, reducing the likelihood of those pesky cramps that might try to interrupt your running groove.
Ideal Running Program for Maximum Recovery
Here is how a typical running schedule may look like
- Monday: Interval run
- Tuesday: Rest day or recovery
- Wednesday: Fartlek run
- Thursday: Hill run
- Friday: Easy day
- Saturday: Long run
- Sunday: Rest
Overall, this is just an example.
You can always come up with your own training schedule.
In fact, I urge you to do so.
Note – Here’s how often should you run per week.
Your Long Run Nutrition
The food you eat before a run serves two important purposes. First, it provides the necessary energy to tackle those miles. After all, that’s the whole point of pre-run eating, isn’t it? Second, it can either enhance or hinder your running performance and overall comfort during and after your workout. So, let’s make the smarter choice and opt for option number one—fueling our bodies for peak performance.
But wait, there’s more! Let’s address the dreaded runner’s stomach issues. It turns out, stomach troubles caused by poor food choices are all too common among runners. According to a recent poll by @runnersworld, over 40 percent of runners have experienced stomach issues that have ruined their long runs. Ouch! But fear not, my friends, because making the right diet choices the night before a run can be your secret weapon.