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Questions about long runs (Read 312 times)

Gustav1


Fear is a Liar

    From what I have read it seems that 2 1/2 hours is about the best or maximum for recreational runners. Since this is still a fairly taxing workout, how often should they be run? Once a week? Every 2 or 3 weeks?

    About me - I try to run 6 days a week for about 50 mpw.  Pace is about 9-ish.

    I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

    JimR


      If you're not doing marathon training, about 2 hours once a week if you can, or once every 2 weeks.


      Gang Name "Pound Cake"

        You also don't have to do 2.5 hours every week. You can cycle, 2 hours, then 2.5 hours, then repeat. Then as you get in better shape you could go 2, 2.5, 2.5, and repeat. Many plans have cycling long runs. The 18 week 70 mile Pfitzinger plan that I just started has long run day miles of 15, 17, 15, 18, 20, 14, 21, 20, 15, 15, 22, 18, 20 and then taper. Takes the stress level up and then back down for some recovery before stressing again.

        - Scott

        2014 Goals: First Marathon - BQ2016 <3:40 - 1/2M <1:45 - 5K <22:00

        2014 Marathons: 05/04 Flying Pig (3:49:02) - 09/20 Air Force - 11/01 Indianapolis Monumental

          You also don't have to do 2.5 hours every week.

           

          I'll say. I've done a grand total of 12 training runs longer than 2.5 hours in the past 12 years. And one of them was more of a hike/bushwhack than a run.

           

          If I wasn't training for a marathon or longer I'd probably never do a training run longer than about 2 hours.

          Runners run.

          ulikunkel


            Long runs are tradtionally run once a week.  Some people run them on Sundays, others run them on Sat or any other days.  Kenyans runs them on Saturdays with Sunday being a rest day for church and family.  Lots of Americans insist you should not have a rest day the day after a long run but instead, should go for a "recovery jog."  Personally, I find that tends to give me minor injuries.

             

            Long runs are generally anything above 90 minutes.  Some recreational runners run 3.5 hours, others limit it to 2.  It's personal preference and scientifically the jury is still out how long "long runs" should be.  I personally limit them to two hour and then run a 90 min middle of the week run.

            From what I have read it seems that 2 1/2 hours is about the best or maximum for recreational runners. Since this is still a fairly taxing workout, how often should they be run? Once a week? Every 2 or 3 weeks?

            About me - I try to run 6 days a week for about 50 mpw.  Pace is about 9-ish.

              Long runs are tradtionally run once a week.  Some people run them on Sundays, others run them on Sat or any other days.  Kenyans runs them on Saturdays with Sunday being a rest day for church and family.  Lots of Americans insist you should not have a rest day the day after a long run but instead, should go for a "recovery jog."  Personally, I find that tends to give me minor injuries.

               

              Long runs are generally anything above 90 minutes.  Some recreational runners run 3.5 hours, others limit it to 2.  It's personal preference and scientifically the jury is still out how long "long runs" should be.  I personally limit them to two hour and then run a 90 min middle of the week run.

               

              Prior to 2013 a long 90 to 120 minute run per week was enough to force me to take a day off for recovery; the problem was, I felt I was running at too fast a pace after my rest day and often felt as if I was nearing injury following those runs.  This year I tried something different; I ramped my mileage up and up and up, to the point where I now run 100 to 180 minutes per day; this keeps my pace safely down in the "no injury" zone.  Following that protocol I bested my previous best mileage year by over 1000 miles in 2013; that and I'm faster than I've been in over a decade.  Smile


              Gang Name "Pound Cake"

                 

                I ramped my mileage up and up and up, to the point where I now run 100 to 180 minutes per day; this keeps my pace safely down in the "no injury" zone.  Following that protocol I bested my previous best mileage year by over 1000 miles in 2013; that and I'm faster than I've been in over a decade.  Smile

                 

                That's interesting Shipo. I've heard that by definition, an EASY run is one of no more than 90 minutes and that easy runs should make up the bulk of the week. But your "easy" runs are 1:40 to 3:00. Up to twice as long as the typical easy run. Yet you say you are faster and less injured. It seems you don't need a long run day as everyday seems to be a long day for you.

                1) Do these many long-easy runs allow you to be recovered enough for higher intensity faster pace workouts?

                2) Do you do interval or hills or tempo workouts around these long-easy days?

                Thanks.

                - Scott

                2014 Goals: First Marathon - BQ2016 <3:40 - 1/2M <1:45 - 5K <22:00

                2014 Marathons: 05/04 Flying Pig (3:49:02) - 09/20 Air Force - 11/01 Indianapolis Monumental

                  Depending upon where you are in running and what you're training for, 2.5 hr runs could be run weekly. But if that's too stressful, then run them less frequently or shorter.

                   

                  In general, what's considered a long run depends a lot on your general training and what you're training for. An ultra runner may not consider anything under 4 hr to be long. Others may consider 1.5hr long. Some consider whatever their longest run in a 7-day period (or 14 days, if using 2-wk microcycles) is to be their long run.

                   

                  Left to my own devices (ie not trying to avoid ice storms or whatever and no meetings in the way), I generally run 5 days/wk with most runs in the 1.5 hr plus/minus 15min range. This time of year for me,  a long run is about 3 hr, usually every 2-3 wk, but would do them more frequently with better snow conditions. Later in the summer, my long runs are 4-6 hr, or maybe 8 hr if training for ultra. But generally every 2 wks when they're that long. They're generally on trails (or a mtn road in spring) and may include hiking on long hills, so they're not constant running. And even when they are all running, there's usually up and down, so variety in muscle usage.

                   

                  MTA: Appropriate long run durations / lengths depend on how much you're running in each microcycle.

                  "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                  CT JEFF

                     Later in the summer, my long runs are 4-6 hr, or maybe 8 hr if training for ultra. But generally every 2 wks when they're that long.

                     

                    Good to know. My longest run has been my one (only) FM so far. 4:40. I think I can shave minutes off that time this year. Im looking forward to doing an ultra. Maybe just 50K to get started.

                    RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28

                     

                    --8/17 Canton Lobster Loop 5k -((with speed or with son?))  -

                    Sun 9/7 - 6am (volunteer- Womens TRI) -

                    Sat 9/27 (scheduling conflict) Hogsback HM - October Hartford Marathon. November - Spartan Race with DW in Fenway

                     

                       

                      That's interesting Shipo. I've heard that by definition, an EASY run is one of no more than 90 minutes and that easy runs should make up the bulk of the week. But your "easy" runs are 1:40 to 3:00. Up to twice as long as the typical easy run. Yet you say you are faster and less injured. It seems you don't need a long run day as everyday seems to be a long day for you.

                      1) Do these many long-easy runs allow you to be recovered enough for higher intensity faster pace workouts?

                      2) Do you do interval or hills or tempo workouts around these long-easy days?

                      Thanks.

                       

                      Before I respond to your questions I think it might make sense for me to explain why I've upped my workouts to almost daily 10+ mile runs.

                       

                      Over the last three decades I've endured numerous injuries which can be at least partially tied to running too fast for whatever level of conditioning I happened to be up to when the various injuries occurred.  Last summer as I was getting my fat butt back into shape once again I found that by running every day versus every second or third day, I had to run at a much slower pace than I otherwise would have run, and even though I was logging way more miles, I felt far fewer twinges and other warning signs of potential injury.  By the end of June I had worked my way up to roughly six miles on the week days, and eight to ten on weekends.  In July I moved up to a daily eight miler on week days and ten to twelve on weekends; a level I maintained through late September.  Starting in October I upped my mileage once again to run ten miles a day with optional longer days sprinkled around for good measure.

                       

                      My thinking was to build as large a base of LSD miles as I could prior to spring 2014, and then to start adding in the occasional speed drill.  Now that my base is pretty well established, and now that I've seen what has happened to my racing times, I'm undecided as to whether to start deliberate speed drills or just stay the course of LSD training with the occasional 5K or 10K race.

                       

                      So, answer #1:

                      I think my body has learned how to recover fast from all of the back-to-back-to-back workouts I've been doing; I can be completely spent from say a seventeen mile run on Sunday, so much so that my legs feel weak the next morning, however, by noon or better still, late afternoon, my legs typically feel like they're rarin' to go; this in stark contrast to previous years where I'd feel sore and exhausted for at least a couple of days after a (then) long ninety minute run.  As fortune would have it, I got recruited at the last minute (as in two days before the event) to run with an "Ultra" Reach the Beach - NH team this last September, meaning I was going to have to run 33 miles in a little over 24 hours broken up in to 6 legs.  In spite of the fact that I was the oldest on the team by some 25 years, and in spite of the fact that my first leg was run at the slowest per mile pace of any of my team mates, as the miles went by I got faster and faster, and ended up running my 6th leg at a pace well over a minute per mile faster than my first, and my total time was much faster than two of the younger guys.

                       

                      As for "higher intensity faster pace workouts"; I don't do them per-se, however, I often end one of my daily 10-milers by amping up the pace for the last three or four miles, that and I run the occasional 5K race kind of as a speed drill.  Smile

                       

                      Answer #2:

                      I am a trail runner as a general rule, and my trails are pretty darned hilly, so "hill drills" are kind of a daily event.  As I mentioned above, I don't do any interval or tempo training drills, and if I start employing such training devices it probably won't be before this spring, and even then, only if I can lose another 20 or so pounds.

                       

                      To add a little more context to the above:

                      • I'm 56 and have been running off and on (more off than on) for over 40 years.
                      • I'm 5'8" and weighed over 250 as recently as April 2013.
                      • After a badly broken leg in 2003 I was told I'd walk with a limp for the rest of my life and would never be able to run again; each attempt to start running again for the following six years was met with injury of some sort.
                      • In 2009 I discovered that if I ran very slowly on a soft dirt of a trail, I could run without getting injured; I managed to log some good miles that year and lose some of the weight I'd gained over the previous six years, however, between 2010 and April 2013, work related issues kept me off of the trails and added back all of the weight I'd lost (and then some).
                      • I'm now down to about 190 (which is still ~30 pounds overweight) and even though I've not done any speed work, I've progressed to the point where I can run a 5K in about 22 minutes, a 10K in about 47 minutes, and last week I ran my first timed mile since 1975 and finished with a surprising (to me at least) 5:50 flat.

                      Sorry for the long winded post; I know my current workout plan is a bit unconventional for someone who has no desire to race any event longer than a half marathon, so I felt a detailed explanation why I'm doing it this particular way was warranted.  Smile

                         

                        • I'm now down to about 190 (which is still ~30 pounds overweight) and even though I've not done any speed work, I've progressed to the point where I can run a 5K in about 22 minutes, a 10K in about 47 minutes, and last week I ran my first timed mile since 1975 and finished with a surprising (to me at least) 5:50 flat.

                         

                        IMHO - a 5:50 mile with your mileage should mean you are ready to crush 22 and 47 in the 5k and 10k respectively.

                        (Of course if these are trail races that's not a given)

                           

                          IMHO - a 5:50 mile with your mileage should mean you are ready to crush 22 and 47 in the 5k and 10k respectively.

                          (Of course if these are trail races that's not a given)

                           

                          That might well be, I haven't run a 5K since mid-September and my 10K time was on a very slippery snow covered course on Thanksgiving day, where as the 1-mile event was just last week on New Year's day.  At this point I don't have any 5Ks scheduled between now and the "Cinco de Miles 5K" coming up on 04-May; I may have to look around for a 5K to enter between now and then.  Smile

                            Good to know. My longest run has been my one (only) FM so far. 4:40. I think I can shave minutes off that time this year. Im looking forward to doing an ultra. Maybe just 50K to get started.

                            I know some schools of thought suggest not running longer than something like 2.5 hr in training. Most ultra runners that I know routinely run 4-hr long runs and longer. Part of that is to adapt endocrine system to longer runs, part to figure out fluids, electrolytes, fuel; and part to figure out gear (shoes, clothes, carrying fluids, etc). Shoes may be fine for 2 hr, but hurt like crazy after 4 hrs. For a training run to allow me to test anything seriously, it probably has to be at least 4-5 hrs since I can do an easy run in 3hr with no food, but some water.

                             

                            You can also use b2b runs, but they don't work quite the same as single long runs.

                            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                               

                              ...

                              Sorry for the long winded post; I know my current workout plan is a bit unconventional for someone who has no desire to race any event longer than a half marathon, so I felt a detailed explanation why I'm doing it this particular way was warranted.  Smile

                              Great post with good explanations. Thanks for sharing.

                              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog