Skip navigation
Community: Exchange advice in the forums and read running commentary Resources: Personal running log, calculators, links and other tools for runners News: Running news from around the world Training: Articles and advice about fitness, race training and injury prevention Races/Results: Find upcoming races and past results Home: The Cool Running homepage
Cool Running homepage  Search Cool Running Community

3129 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2012 12:38 PM by Jefftheprogrammer
Jefftheprogrammer Rookie 3 posts since
Apr 21, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 21, 2012 5:47 PM

I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

Hello, I'm new to the site.  I'm training for my first ultra, hopefully a 60k.  If I'm understanding the most common recommendation for long runs, it's to do them 1 or 2 minutes per mile slower than my race pace.  This baffles me.  If I'm aiming for a 9:00-per-mile pace, then I think my 20, 25 mile runs should be 9:00 or faster.  Otherwise, I'm just training my body to run slower than a 9:00 pace.  Also, can anyone comment on this?  I use the long runs as the focal point of my week, where the other days are more recovery runs.  Does that make sense?

 

Thanks very much in advance.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,430 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    Jefftheprogrammer wrote:

     

    Hello, I'm new to the site.  I'm training for my first ultra, hopefully a 60k.  If I'm understanding the most common recommendation for long runs, it's to do them 1 or 2 minutes per mile slower than my race pace.  This baffles me.  If I'm aiming for a 9:00-per-mile pace, then I think my 20, 25 mile runs should be 9:00 or faster.  Otherwise, I'm just training my body to run slower than a 9:00 pace.  Also, can anyone comment on this?  I use the long runs as the focal point of my week, where the other days are more recovery runs.  Does that make sense?

     

    Thanks very much in advance.


    "where the other days are more recovery runs"  And therein lies the problem.  Traditionally, long runs are meant to develop endurance.  You work on speed on your shorter, weekly runs.  But if the long runs are too fast, you're too tired to do anything but recover the rest of the week.  Another school of thought is to do long runs at your anticipated race pace.  But in this case the length of  those runs is constrained.  For instance, you wouldn't go over 16 miles in training for a marathon.  The point is still to have the energy to do the rest of your weekly workouts.

     

    Len





    Len

  • ALatteCrazy Pro 105 posts since
    Feb 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 23, 2012 10:41 PM (in response to lenzlaw)
    I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

    Hey Len - I just had a question for you about the 16 miles - so you don't advocate running over 16 mile long runs even when training for a marathon or an ultra? I have trouble slowing down my long runs too, typically I run them at marathon pace (right around 9). One of the reasons I wanted to run up to 20 was to see if I ended up slowing down or not AND to see how I felt after the 20. My thought is that if I still feel good and like I could keep running, even if I don't slow down much, then I shouldn't end up feeling rotten at the marathon either. I'm going to try and run with a pace group because when I run alone, I run negative splits which may or may not wear me out - since I've not run further than 14 miles at once, I haven't hit the point where I stop running negative splits, so I'd kind of like to see where that point is... before I discover it in a race.





    ALatteCrazy


    Ontario Mills 10K Jan 21st 2012 - 49:32 3rd place women (PR)

    ARMC 5K March 10th 2012 - 23:02 1st place AG women (PR)

    SoCal Ragnar April 19-20 2012 Huntington Beach to Coronado Island - 24.5 miles total, 8:30 avg

    RoC Race Del Mar May 19th 2012 38:28 8th for div

    Fontana Days Half Marathon - June 2nd 2012 - 1:37 PR!!!! (1:48 in 2011)

    Wasastchback Ragnar June 15-16th 2012 Logan to Park City UT - TBA!

    Mojave Narrows Half - June 30th 2012 - TBA!

    Rockin the Desert Mud run - August 25th 2012 - TBA!

    Red Rock Relay - Sept 7-8th 2012 - Brian's Head to Zion UT - TBA!

    St George Marathon - Oct 6th 2012

    Las Vegas Ragnar - Nov 9-10th 2012


  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 24, 2012 8:23 AM (in response to ALatteCrazy)
    I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

    I don't think Len was saying not to go over 16 on a training run for a marathon, just not to do a training run at marathon pace over 16.  I think that most people agree that the risk is not worth the gain to run over 20-22 for a marathon, unless you are a world class runner.  For my cycle now I use time more than distance 2 1/2 hours maybe 3 at the most.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,430 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 24, 2012 10:27 AM (in response to ALatteCrazy)
    Re: I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

    ALatteCrazy - The 16 mile thing is just one example of a training method, by the Hansons if I remember.  It was featured in Runners World a few months ago.  I personally go for longer and slower.  (BTW, there is a lot of difference between 14 and 20.)  The point in any case is not to use up so much energy on your long run that you spend all week recovering.  Your long run should be "easy" enough that you have no problem doing that tempo run or those intervals on Wednesday or Thursday.  If you do all you long runs at your anticipated marathon pace (i.e. 20 miles @ 9:00) and feel fine during the week, then maybe you should reconsider your marathon pace.

     

    Len





    Len

  • ALatteCrazy Pro 105 posts since
    Feb 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. May 24, 2012 11:16 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

    Thanks! I was just curious because I haven't really followed a written training plan. I usually run at least one event or race a month so I have to work my training around the dates of whatever I have coming up, as well as try to work my training around other people's schedules and kids. For the record, I am never really worn out after 14 miles, I could keep going. Sometimes I take the day after a long run off, other times I run maybe 5-6 miles the next day usually somewhere between 9:30 and 10 pace, depending on my company. I don't take a lot of days off because I feel sluggish and lazy when I don't run. I also find it easier to run less mileage and not slow my pace than to run slower and keep the same mileage. I don't think I'm a fast runner but a lot of people I run with think so. My claim to fame is that I never stop... at least not until the workout or time limit is over, or I cross the finish. Some would call it tenacious - and a good thing, some would call it stubborn - and a bad thing. I can't do much about it, I've been that way my whole life in just about every arena you can imagine. It's hard to beat someone who doesn't quit lol.





    ALatteCrazy


    Ontario Mills 10K Jan 21st 2012 - 49:32 3rd place women (PR)

    ARMC 5K March 10th 2012 - 23:02 1st place AG women (PR)

    SoCal Ragnar April 19-20 2012 Huntington Beach to Coronado Island - 24.5 miles total, 8:30 avg

    RoC Race Del Mar May 19th 2012 38:28 8th for div

    Fontana Days Half Marathon - June 2nd 2012 - 1:37 PR!!!! (1:48 in 2011)

    Wasastchback Ragnar June 15-16th 2012 Logan to Park City UT - TBA!

    Mojave Narrows Half - June 30th 2012 - TBA!

    Rockin the Desert Mud run - August 25th 2012 - TBA!

    Red Rock Relay - Sept 7-8th 2012 - Brian's Head to Zion UT - TBA!

    St George Marathon - Oct 6th 2012

    Las Vegas Ragnar - Nov 9-10th 2012


  • ALatteCrazy Pro 105 posts since
    Feb 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 24, 2012 11:20 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    I don't understand why long runs should be slow.

    The last time I ran 14 on the trail, my friend picked me up after she had already run 6. That meant she ran 20.... at the end she was telling me she still felt okay and I would have been fine if I'd had the time (I had a time constraint that day). It took us about 2:30 to run the 14 so I'd probably have to add another hour for the 6 more. Single track and hills is a lot harder than road running, that's for sure! The views are worth it though!





    ALatteCrazy


    Ontario Mills 10K Jan 21st 2012 - 49:32 3rd place women (PR)

    ARMC 5K March 10th 2012 - 23:02 1st place AG women (PR)

    SoCal Ragnar April 19-20 2012 Huntington Beach to Coronado Island - 24.5 miles total, 8:30 avg

    RoC Race Del Mar May 19th 2012 38:28 8th for div

    Fontana Days Half Marathon - June 2nd 2012 - 1:37 PR!!!! (1:48 in 2011)

    Wasastchback Ragnar June 15-16th 2012 Logan to Park City UT - TBA!

    Mojave Narrows Half - June 30th 2012 - TBA!

    Rockin the Desert Mud run - August 25th 2012 - TBA!

    Red Rock Relay - Sept 7-8th 2012 - Brian's Head to Zion UT - TBA!

    St George Marathon - Oct 6th 2012

    Las Vegas Ragnar - Nov 9-10th 2012


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...