>General Running>The LONG RUN Thread
There's nothing wrong with running 5 days a week, 1 hour each. If your primary goal is general fitness, this will certainly do the trick. There is no need to do long runs, especially if they beat you up. Back in the 80's Alberto Salazar did no long runs in his build up for winning the New York City marathon.
If did 5 1 hour runs a week, every week, for a year, you would improve your aerobic base a LOT and therefor your race times at every distance. The key is consistency over the long term. Find a level you can train at consistently without breaking down and do that for a long time.
"Alberto Salazar, the former American marathon record holder and a 10K standout before that, once claimed that the basic difference between training for the 10K and training for the marathon was the addition of the long run."
Wingz I have been considering that too. I am looking at all options. Those rumors are pesky though aren't they?
Roads were made for journeys...
The way I am looking at things now is:
Most of these training scheduals have if you been running 20-25 miles a week for a year start here, if less start here. The trouble is it is the same formula, 30-40% of of your weekly milage is the long run. To me that is the same as asking a person who runs a 12min mile to run one run per week at a 9 min mile. It ain't going to happen, the conditioning isn't there.
Now some may suggest to cut back on the other runs to make one long run, but that would like slowing down the 12min/mile runs so one could run a 9min/mile run. Makes no sense to me. Besides it would cut down the time spent running the rest of the days, thus cutting down on the aeroboc training on those days
I think now that they are probably correct in one sense, that is the base should be 25 miles per week for a year, before starting a training program for a Marathon or what ever. Besides the aerobic conditioning, the body needs to build the muscle and and bone mass to handle the pounding. While I have been running the distance on the TM, it has in no way perpared my body for the pounding it has to take on the road.
I'll end with a platitude. Training programs are great places to begin thinking about your training, but in the end you need to experiment. Running is an art--listen to your body; do what feels good and what makes you faster. Good luck to all!
Joe - something you might want to consider if you really want to include a long run is taking *2* days off after it instead of the one that you've been doing. Everybody's body is different, and rumor has it that we need longer to recover from stresses like the long run as we get older.
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The Salazar comment was just for perspective, not saying we should (or could) all emulate him. I've seen his logs and there were long stretches where his longest single run was 12 or 13 miles leading up to a marathon. Not what most people would consider a long run for a marathoner, not much longer than his every day easy runs. Regarding burning out at 23, I'd trade a lifetime of jogging for winning 3 NYC's and a Boston and holding several ARs every day of the week. He wasnt just running mileage, he was absolutely hammering a lot of it.
The point is for what Joe is trying to do he doesn't need a long run, especally if long runs are beating him up. Basically I agree 100% with the platypus above.
Patience is also an important trait to develop when marathon racing, says Salazar. The marathon doesn't start until the 18-20-mile mark and anyone who doesn't exhibit restraint in the early miles will pay fort such exuberance in the tough, final miles. To maintain proper pace during the early miles takes extreme patience which must be learned during long runs of two hours or more.
I'm going to start doing this. As totally awesome and ON as my Saturday 13 miler was, I think I hit a mileage threshold that requires that I take 2 days off to recover enough after my long runs, rather than the 1 that had worked well in the past. Yesterday I did a 5 mile that just felt stiff and slow, and I kept thinking how much I would have rather been napping. Today's 5 mile was about the same (with the added annoyance of a pouty bladder that had me walking to avoid peeing my pants before I could get to the nearest public restroom). I wouldn't have even run today, but we have some really crappy rain-mixed-with-sleet-and-snow in the forecast for the next few days, so I wanted to avoid running in that stuff as much as possible.
A new mileage threshold should not cause you to have to take more days off. To me it means you're not yet ready for 13 mile long runs, or that you ran that one too fast. If a long run is causing you to take the next 2 days totally off then, to me, thats almost the definition of overemphasizing the long run. As always this is just my .02
The Logic of Long Distance
Nice link to the Salazar article. The part about patience in racing is important, but patience in training is even more important. I wonder whether some training models overemphasize the long run because they are intended to be a short cut to the completion of a marathon, rather than emphasizing a balanced approach to running in general. Of course my experience is different from most of those posting here--I've been running for 15 years and am only now thinking about training for a marathon--but it seems to me that there are (at least) two ways to go about developing endurance. One could put in years of consistent mileage or try to shortcut those years by increasing the length of the long run as quickly as possible. I've had success with the first method and no experience with the second, but it always amazes me how folks with relatively little running experience are heading out the door for such long runs. It's clear that this approach will give you the strength and confidence to finish a marathon, but I wonder whether it is the best approach to long-term improvement.
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