Improve the Benefits of your Long Weekend Training Run
So we are now in the New Year and many of you will be ramping up the training for this year’s London Marathon, or maybe another marathon or half over the course of the first part of the year. Either way there is no getting around the long Sunday runs to build your base, improve tissue tolerance and help get you mentally ready for race day.
Here are 3 top tips to get you through your long Sunday run more effectively.
- Walk – Now I can hear you saying how is walking going to help my long runs. Well there are two factors to this; firstly the vast majority of runners do not run for more than 60 minutes at any one time. So a long run of over 90 minutes is quite a shock to the system. Give your body time to adjust and develop the tissue tolerance (adaptability of tendons, muscles & ligaments) for these long runs by adding short walk sections into your session. A major part of the long run is to develop tissue tolerance however overloading the tissues too quickly can lead to injury, and that is no benefit to your training.
Secondly it allows you some recovery time so you can maintain a good pace. Early on many runners run at their comfortable speed for as long as they can, often sticking to the generic training plans. Unfortunately what this happens is most runners pace slows down, as they get tired, understandably, they spend more time on the ground, load the tissues and increases injury risks. Walking allows a refresh and you can focus on the next run phase aiming to keep a good pace for the period.
So how would this work? If you have a 90 minute run on your Sunday long session (note we do not work on distance) then put in 3×25 minutes with 3×5 minutes of walking.
**NB if you are tired do not just push through your long run, it is still helpful to run for 60 minutes and then a good paced walk for 30 will help tissue adaption and develop base fitness levels still.
- Change Your Speed – Wow this is hard on a long run however can have a huge benefit to you. It toughens you up mentally to be able to work at different speeds while running however more importantly it prevents your long run just becoming a slow run. No matter the time you are aiming for you will have a time and you need to train your body to work at that speed and feel comfortable.
Breaking your run up into longer manageable intervals will help you improve your running speed endurance and get you to your goals. These are like longer intervals and should be completed when you are about 60% through your training plan onwards.
So how does this work? You have a 120 minute long run. Split it up into 30 minutes easy, 30 minutes at half marathon pace, 30 minutes easy pace and 20 minutes 10km pace finish with 10 minutes easy to finish.
- Get your food intake right – It is frustrating to hear so many stories of runners who have worked hard training and not actually got their food intake right for them so that race day goes well. The long run on a Sunday is the time to test your personal preferences for food intake, fluid intake, timings before you run to make sure you do not feel bloated, and do not finish your run feeling light headed and fatigued because your body has run out of fuel!
This is always a challenge so the sooner you start to manage this and work out what works best for you the better. Below is a blog that will help you if you are starting out and not sure what you should be thinking about – what you eat and the timings of the food intake are the key areas to work on and get right. Remember what works for someone else might not work for you!
Build A Better Runner