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The LONG RUN Thread (Read 1758 times)

    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.
    We're just gonna keep bumping heads, aren't we? Big grin Because I've heard from several sources that Salazar's training was unique in that he barely changed it from his 10-K training, except that he *DID* add a long run. In fact:
    "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."
    Besides, since he was reportedly running 120-200 miles a WEEK at the time (Jesus!), all of his runs were probably long by my definition. Of course, at his pace they probably didn't take him very long. Big grin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Salazar (Off topic a bit - but in light of your comments on the other thread, take a look what that mileage did to poor Alberto!) By the way, the source article for that Salazar quote has another interesting perspective on long runs in general and long race pace in particular. Might be interesting to some of you: http://www.runningwarehouse.com/LearningCenter/Training/BestMar.html For more on Salazar's ungodly training - which definitely included a long run and which ended his career at 23 - check this out: http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/longrun/different.html My favorite part of his training has got to be his 5:20 "recovery miles." Ay, caramba.
    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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      Wingz I have been considering that too. I am looking at all options. Those rumors are pesky though aren't they?
      LOL! Wouldn't know anything about it! Wink Big grin

      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.
        Hey, Joe: I think the bottom line is that you'll have to try a few things and see what works and what doesn't. If the 5-mile runs work for you, and you ain't hurting, and you're accomplishing what you want -- well, why fix what ain't broke? If on the other hand you're looking to change or improve, you might have to do some experimenting. And I completely agree with Wingz that at 58 years young, you might oughta start with adding an extra day off. The best advice I've heard comes from Jeff in the post right above yours, in this little platypus, I mean platitude, that he left:
        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!
        E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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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.

          Runners run.


          Needs more cowbell!

            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.
            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. Tongue k

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              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.
              Salazar is definitely teaching long runs now - although like some above, he suggests limiting them to 3 hours: http://www.runtex.com/web/1-23.asp
              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.
              Admittedly he does claim to have limited his own 80-82 weekly long runs to no more than 2 hours. Then again, for Salazar a 2-hour run, even if he ran them at least 60 seconds slower than MP, was at least 20 miles. Must be nice. And when he trained for - and won - the Comrades Ultra in 94, he ran several 40+ mile training runs: http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0390.htm It's 54 miles long, and he ran it 5:38. That's two sub-2:40 marathons in a row. Damn. I bet the Prozac really helped. Shocked
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                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. Tongue k
                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

                Runners run.

                  Thanks everyone for the advice. Now I need to take a recovery walk to loosen up from the stretching I just did!
                  Age is not an illusion


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    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
                    I was kind of wondering if maybe not having run a long run for 2 weeks prior might have made that 13 miler a bit of a shock to my system, too. And my prior long run was 11.5 miles, so that was a bit of a jump in distance (as well as a bit faster than my 11.5 mile run). k

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      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.
                        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.
                        That's actually a really good point. There are a lot of 3-day-a-week beginner marathon programs that are basically one easy 3-7 mile day, one day of weak speed work (like 4 x 1 mile at MP), and then a steadily increasing long run day - all designed to get you psychologically and physically able to get to that finish line. And interestingly enough, some of the lowest mileage plans also seem to have the longest long runs. I'm not sure repeating that process over and over is the best long-term way to maximize potential. I think you're on to something, and at some point I'd like to experiment. Do more speed work, more tempo runs, limit the long run to 16-18 miles. Something about that feels right. But then the question becomes ... WHEN are you (I) ready for that? How many years of that steady training before it might be best to lose the longest runs and raise the training intensity? I really liked your comment about running being an art, and I guess this is more of that. It'll be fun experimenting to see what works best for me. Clowning around
                        E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                          Good questions, Jake. I guess I think that the distinction between quantity and quality is somewhat helpful here. I'd say shorten the long runs now, if you don't feel like they are giving you quality. What does quality mean? That's between you and your body. On a related note, I also find in my own experience that running stays more interesting for me if I aim for different sorts of races--say use three months to train for a 5k and do hardly any long (10+ mile) runs but focus on getting more foot speed, then take a 6 month period of time to vary things up and shoot for a longer race. Which leads me to me next platitude: variety is the spice of life! This sort of variety on the macroscale doesn't necessarily have to be repeated on the microscale to be effective: that 5k training you did back in May will still contribute to making October's marathon pace feel slow, which is a good thing around mile 22! Of course, all of this depends on your own goals in running, but it is good to keep in mind that what works for completing your first marathon won't necessarily work to make you faster in your second one.
                          Scout7


                          CPT Curmudgeon

                            In terms of being ready to add speedwork....My opinion? Never. Kidding, kidding. Seriously, though, I know there are varying schools of thought on this issue. At what point are you done building your base and can now begin to work on the other systems? I think that ultimately, it is hihgly dependent on your goals. Me, I generally have one or two races a year I specifically train for, and the rest has been just running for a given distance or whatever. I still enter races, but I don't taper for them, I don't have a plan leading up to them. One idea is to sort of break down your year into specific training foci (or focuses, whichever). 3 months is base building, 3 months is focusing on incorporating hills, 3 months of speed, 3 months of peak and taper. Those are random numbers and examples. I think Friel talks about his in one of his books. Either way, I don't know that there's a magic formula that says you're now ready to incorporate speed work. I would say, however, that if you can successfully complete your chosen distance successfully, you can go for some speed. Does any of that make sense to anyone?
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