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# What distance is a "LONG" run? (Read 309 times)

Altair5

What distance should be considered a "LONG" run? I am in the process of marking all my training runs over 8 miles as "LONG" runs. Up to now I just have had them all marked as "EASY" since I haven't done much speed training and there are some hills on almost all my routes. Right now 8 miles feels like a long distance, but looking back at my log I see there were weeks when I would do like five runs of 11 to 15 mile distances and also have done 20 miles or more runs in training for a marathon. At that stage of fitness an 8 miler would be like a walk in the park, hardly feeling like a long distance. It might be said that the long run is such as when compared to the other runs you are doing, so if I do 4 runs of 12 miles and then go 18, I would just mark the 18 as being a "LONG". Another way would be to use time, like any run over 2 hours would be considered long. However, I like to have a standard distance as my long. It should be at least 6 miles minimum and certainly half marathon distance (13.1) or greater is definitely long to anyone but an ultra runner! Now it would be great if I could categorize a variety of distances, like runs up to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, etc., but don't expect a big demand to modify how the logs are set up. So what I would like to know is if you think 8 miles is really enough to be considered as "LONG" or should I use like 10 or 12 miles instead?

"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

My own criteria is roughly as follows:

Short run is a run that I can do every day and not wear out.

Medium run is a run that I can do 2 or 3 days in a row, but then I need to take a break for recovery.

Long run is a run where attempting to do it two days in a row would be a mistake.

Ten years ago, my long runs were 20 miles.  Five years ago, my long runs were 15 miles.  Now, a long run is about 7 miles.  But, at 70 years old, I'm happy that I can still run at all.  YMMMV.

DavePNW

the long run is such as when compared to the other runs you are doing

Basically this. If your usual runs are 1 mile, 3 miles is long. Make it whatever you want. And make it a standard distance if you want, but if you go through cycles of higher & lower weekly mileage, that may not make sense. For me, general rule of thumb is that long=16+, and I created a workout type “medium-long” for 10-15(ish). Anything shorter is just classified as easy. But I’m not necessarily consistent; runs in that 10-15 category might be called easy or long, depending on what my weekly mileage is.

Dave

The Dementor

Got Run, eh? in 2022

Agree that a "long" run is relative to the runner and their training and condition.  Like JRMichler, my long run use to be 15+.  Now that I live at 9700 ft, a long run is 10+.  Also, the category of Long, could be different as time goes on for you.  You don't need to switch it if you decide that long is 8 miles now and then it is 12 miles in the future.  When you did the run, it qualified as long regardless of whether in the future it might be just an "Easy".  Take a look at my log and you'll see very consistent categories.  Also, I adjust all my races to conform to the standard distance so that I can click on the PR of say Marathon, and all my marathons will show.

Safe running!

Dwight

What distance should be considered a "LONG" run? I am in the process of marking all my training runs over 8 miles as "LONG" runs. Up to now I just have had them all marked as "EASY" since I haven't done much speed training and there are some hills on almost all my routes. Right now 8 miles feels like a long distance, but looking back at my log I see there were weeks when I would do like five runs of 11 to 15 mile distances and also have done 20 miles or more runs in training for a marathon. At that stage of fitness an 8 miler would be like a walk in the park, hardly feeling like a long distance. It might be said that the long run is such as when compared to the other runs you are doing, so if I do 4 runs of 12 miles and then go 18, I would just mark the 18 as being a "LONG". Another way would be to use time, like any run over 2 hours would be considered long. However, I like to have a standard distance as my long. It should be at least 6 miles minimum and certainly half marathon distance (13.1) or greater is definitely long to anyone but an ultra runner! Now it would be great if I could categorize a variety of distances, like runs up to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, etc., but don't expect a big demand to modify how the logs are set up. So what I would like to know is if you think 8 miles is really enough to be considered as "LONG" or should I use like 10 or 12 miles instead?

Altair5

JRMichler - I'm 70 as well and I suppose that is part of the issue. Before now I might not have thought a 7 or 8 mile run much of a challenge, but now I seem to struggle towards the end. Now that I retired last December, I have more time for running and I'm trying to build back to where I was before, but progress is slower than I hoped. If I get back to doing 10 to 14 mile as typical distances then having 8 miles as "LONG" might not convey the information I want, however, I'd like the "LONG DISTANCE" to be standard. Note the longest run I've been doing right now is a little over 10 miles and if it involves a lot of hills, I'm wiped out afterwards. Just talked to a local legend who ran Boston 46 years straight and now, also at 70 years old, his running days seem to be over. As we age you never know when a disability might sideline you.

DavePNW - For my written log I can call the workout type anything I want, but can you add additional workout "TYPE" s to the settings of the RA log? I just looked and don't see if it can be done. I'd like to be able to designate runs from 8 miles to just under 13.1 as "MEDIUM-LONG."

"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

Altair5

Dementor - Looking at your log and then DavePRN's I can see that you can designate addition workout types to the RA log. Maybe someone could explain how this is done? Yes, I like having standards for distances, but as you say what feels like a long run can change with circumstances and I'd like to have the color graphs differentiate between going for a quick 8 and being out several hours doing 20!

"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

DavePNW

DavePNW - For my written log I can call the workout type anything I want, but can you add additional workout "TYPE" s to the settings of the RA log? I just looked and don't see if it can be done. I'd like to be able to designate runs from 8 miles to just under 13.1 as "MEDIUM-LONG."

Go into your log.
Settings

Manage My Activities

Run

+ New Workout Type

Dave

Altair5

DavePRN - Thanks! I created a new workout type, Medium Long, which I'll use for runs of 8 to just under 13.1 miles! I also made different color selections for the graphs. This solves the issues I had, but now will have to go back and modify a lot of the workout data!

"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

HappyFeat

My thoughts on this:  It's your personal log, so "LONG" is subject to your own definition. It doesn't have to be standardized or match up with anyone else's definition. Yes, it's true that what qualifies as long in terms of the actual distance varies depending on changing circumstances. It's not possible to "standardize" your entire running life because "life happens" as they say and the water gets muddied.

(As an example of your log definitions being your own to make up, I used "Fartlek" for my  recent run/walk return to running even though that's not how it's typically defined. )

I ran up against this question myself in recent times, Altair5, so I'm not unsympathetic to your dilemma. Rebuilding since a medical issue in December and dealing with an ongoing low iron issue, I HAD settled on labeling nearly every run as "Easy" and giving up on using "long" or "medium long" since they don't compare to what my training looked like in the past.

Since reading this thread, however, I've decided that the labels like "long" or "med-long" do matter to me because they provide a current assessment of where I'm at and what sort of progress I'm making.

I love JRMichler's criteria (the entire post, in fact). So apt. Thank you for that!

Don't make excuses for why you can't get it done.

Focus on all the reasons why you must make it happen.

wcrunner2

Are we there, yet?

My basic criterion for a long run is 2 hours or more, though I might still call a 1:55 run as long. I don't use 1:30 because I have interval and tempo runs that can be that long.

2023 Races:

On IR for now

ccoakley

I would also add that long run often has a different mindset.  My 10-12 mi runs are probably 50-50 easy runs/long runs depending on how I was approaching them.

5k 24:53 (2020) |10k 52:24 (2021) |HM 1:57:14 (2019) |FM 4:24 (2007) |50k 5:57 (2022)

old rule of thumb was 25-30% of your total weekly miles. If you run 40 miles a week, then your "long run" would be 10-13 miles.

Now, people are figuring out they are not constrained by the calendar, and don't need to have 7-day training cycles and always do a long run on Sunday. So, a "long run" is one that is about twice as long (usually distance) or more than your average run.

M59

For me, lately anything in the double digits is chalked up as a "long run", even though I do a 8.5 mile route a few times a week. Or did, until illness, injury and work conspired to cut my last two months down to about 80 miles total (10 miles a week).

60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

Altair5

HappyFeat - It is true that what you may consider long is tied to whatever your current state of fitness is. Back in December I started doing runs that were all under two miles and further distances would be considered long. On the other extreme a RA member just did a 6-day race and completed 451 miles! I think even doing a 20 miler would seem short to him! But even if your current distances are low it is useful to have an indication of days where you are going longer. I just wanted to standardize because I am looking at my data from the past several years where I have been in various states of fitness and running different distances.

wcrunner2 - You're an example of using time as the criteria for calling a run long. I guess since in the past I was mostly concerned about being able to complete the marathon distance I've been more concerned about how many miles I've traveled.

ccoakley - Your idea is something I never thought of but seems very logical! The approach to the run can sometimes decide if you call it easy or long. Although I think many do their longer runs at an easy pace anyway as "long Slow Distance".

Surly Bill - The rule that the longest run should only be 25 to 30% of the weekly distance is something I have tried to follow in the past, but don't always adhere to the rule. For example, I've been working on my garden and have only done 3 runs this week for a 21 mile total and one of those was a ten miler! That's nearly 50% of the weekly distance! Another thing I've tried is to keep all my runs close to the same distance, they may vary by a few miles, but the longest is not twice that of the shortest! Many things can cut down what we would like to have as our weekly millage and it can be a struggle to build back.

I now have set up 4 different categories of distances: Easy - less than 8 miles, Medium Long - 8 to less than 12, Long- 12 to less than 16 and Extra Long - 16 miles or over. I also now know how to change the graph colors and the distance will show as light blue for Easy and get progressively darker blue shades as distances increase. Walks are marked in green and bike rides orange. This will allow me to see what distances I was running when I do long term graphs. Thanks for all the input to my question, your answers were helpful in resolving my problem!

"My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

wcrunner2

Are we there, yet?

wcrunner2 - You're an example of using time as the criteria for calling a run long. I guess since in the past I was mostly concerned about being able to complete the marathon distance I've been more concerned about how many miles I've traveled.

I run mainly ultras now.  As far as any training benefit, that flattens out after 2.5-3 hours, so the only reason to run longer would be for the mental discipline.  I can get a lot of that from the back-to-back long runs running when already tired.

2023 Races:

On IR for now

kcam

old rule of thumb was 25-30% of your total weekly miles. If you run 40 miles a week, then your "long run" would be 10-13 miles.

Now, people are figuring out they are not constrained by the calendar, and don't need to have 7-day training cycles and always do a long run on Sunday. So, a "long run" is one that is about twice as long (usually distance) or more than your average run.

M59

For me, lately anything in the double digits is chalked up as a "long run", even though I do a 8.5 mile route a few times a week. Or did, until illness, injury and work conspired to cut my last two months down to about 80 miles total (10 miles a week).

M61.   Exactly how I define them since I retired.  I don't adhere to a 7 day cycle like I did in the 'olden days'.  I run long whenever I feel like it.  This morning's 'Long' run was only 10 miles.  The max I ever do these days is 13 miles.  I used to consider a long run to be anything longer than about 15 miles

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