• Helen Phillips

How to Get Your Long Runs Right


If you’re training for a marathon or half marathon, or just running for longer and further just for fun this spring then you’ll probably be heading off at some point during the weekend for a long run.

The Long Run is THE most important run to get right if you’re training for a marathon or half

It’s when you’ll train your body to get used to running further and as well as training your mind for running for longer, and keeping going even when things start to hurt!

A lot of people compromise their long run training and train in the 'dead zone', trying to run at the fastest pace they can, or trying to run each long run at the same pace they’re aiming for for their marathon or half.

Follow my How to Get Your Long Runs Right tips and you'll get it right!

You need to SLOW DOWN!

Yes … go SLOWER on your next long run. Run at an easy conversational pace. It should feel no harder than a 5 (on an effort scale). You need to feel, at all times on the run, that you are running “frustratingly slow”, barely raising your heart rate and breathing easy.

Really … YES!

And here’s why.

The aim of the long run isn’t a time trial, to challenge yourself to see how fast you can run a certain distance, by all means do this, but it’s not long run training.

The aim of the long run is to train your body to burn FAT as fuel in the presence of OXYGEN

When you run at a high intensity your body relies on carbohydrate to power the run but to run for longer the body needs to use FAT to power you along.

FAT BURNING running takes place at a slower pace

We’ve all got plenty of fat stores to power our way through numerous marathons, but burning fat is a slow and complex process. It’s an AEROBIC process, so you need to be taking in and getting oxygen to the muscles.

The purpose of your weekly long run is to TRAIN YOUR BODY TO BURN FAT

You want to make it an efficient FAT BURNING MACHINE so that you can run for further for longer.

Over the weeks of your training programme, as your mileage increases you’ll be making physiological adaptations and training your body to be a better FAT BURNER, so race day you’ll be a more efficient runner.

Running SLOW is HARD

It’s easy and so tempting to speed up. But DON’T! Make your long runs super effective by SLOWING DOWN.

Give it a go!

If you want to learn more about how to master long runs, including tips for pacing and recovery, get my FREE Long Runs Made Easy guide by clicking HERE.


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