Developing a solid aerobic pace is one of the main principles of distance running. Almost every distance runner follows Arthur Lydiard’s model of easy distance, in particular that of Kenyan athletes who spend around 85% of their time running at an ‘easy’ or ‘recovery’ pace. Yet this is an error I see in many recreational runners and even some sub-elite athletes. Running ‘easy’ doesn’t feel right (or hard enough), so they run at a ‘moderate’ pace, or go too hard on long runs because they want to run with their friends. Since it isn’t a workout, they think it is easy even though it is not. Then by the end everyone is struggling to hold a conversation, and it ends up being way too hard for the goal of the day.
If you are running long on the weekends, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Keep it aerobic, unless you have a big race coming up, you want to think hard before running too hard on your long runs. Long runs have a purpose, and hard long runs have a different purpose. Remember that the goal in training is to get the most out of your workouts and training doing the least amount of work. There is such thing as too much of a good thing, or too much stress, especially in the summer heat.
Regular aerobic training will train your body to utilize oxygen, preserve glycogen stores by using fat for fuel and generally become more efficient.
Not only do you train a more efficient fat-burning body, but the benefits mean you recover faster, and can therefore put in some harder efforts, rather than being chronically fatigued from ‘mid zone’ running’.
Remember that the benefits to running slower as stated above are important, but also not getting lazy with your form. Good form needs to be in check when running long, especially the second half.
IT TAKES MORE CONFIDENCE TO RUN SLOW THAN IT DOES TO RUN TOO FAST ON EASY DAYS. PUT AWAY YOUR EGO AND DO IT RIGHT!
Without Limits™ Endurance Coaching and Training. Our professionally trained and certified coaches design customized training programs tailored to your goals. Expert coaching, proven results.