Yesterday, I ran a lovely 17 miler. Finally, Mother Nature gave us a break from 90 degree weather. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the 75 degree air was such a sweet gift.
I always have to remind myself to RUN SLOW, especially in the beginning of my long run.
I am following the Hal Higdon intermediate marathon training plan. And Hal normally recommends that runners run their long run 30-90 (or more) seconds slower than marathon pace.
Why is this so important?
Hal says, “The physiological benefits kick in around 90-120 minutes, no matter how fast you run. You’ll burn a few calories and trigger glycogen regenesis, teaching your muscles to conserve fuel. Running too fast defeats this purpose and may unnecessarily tear down your muscles, compromising not only your midweek workouts, but the following week’s long run.”
The above statement is so true. So I’m trying to do my long runs at a nice comfortable slower pace, and saving my fast running for the marathon itself.
There is also the marathon strategy of… Jogging the first 20 miles of the marathon and racing the last 10k. Desi the female Olympic marathon is one known for running her marathons like this.
I will not be running my marathon like this, but Hal brings up the point of running your long runs slow, if not for the whole thing, at least in the beginning. This is easier said then done. But it is a technique that I want to try during my next couple long training runs.
It would be so awesome to be able to run the last couple miles of my long run, fast and strong.
I need to remind myself that my long training runs are just an opportunity to practice for my actual marathon race. So if I have a bad long run, brush it off and move forward, there will be plenty of other times to practice leading up to my marathon.
And of course, if I have a great long run, then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll keep practicing the way I have been.
Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope you guys have some great long runs this week. And just remember a common mistake runners make is running their long run to fast. It is okay and actually quite beneficial to run your long runs slow. There are other days during the week that you can run fast or at marathon pace, but use your long run, as a practice run for your marathon.
Run ALL the Miles!!
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