FFF: Do Those Long Runs

Ok, so you may not be signing up for BIG races yet.  Or maybe you are not running any races..

Time to slow down, right? Run fewer miles. Take it easy.

Yes, if you are injured.

But, NO, not necessarily.

(Many runners may define a long run differently.  For this post, I am defining it as at least 8 miles.)

Here’s why it’s good to run LONG on the weekend:

1.Builds resiliency and mental toughness.

The Long Run is the most specific mental preparation you’ll get before a race. Psychological fatigue is real!

It builds your confidence.

And as they say “It’s all about that base.”  With long runs of at least 8 miles, you do not have to start over when you start training for a long race.  You can quickly be prepared for that half marathon.

2. Improves mechanics.

In other words, your running form becomes more efficient in a Long Run. Muscles learn through practice and your stride will improve through consistent long runs.

You have time to work on your cadence, breathing, etc.

3. Increases the efficiency of fuel use.

The Long Run teaches the body to use a higher percentage of fat as fuel rather than stored glycogen, while also teaching the body to store more glycogen.

It also gives you the opportunity to experiment with different types of fuel and when your body needs to fuel.

4. Builds stronger muscles.

Running for prolonged periods increases the strength of the leg muscles and connective tissues, but also those of the respiratory system (including the diaphragm and core region).

This is especially important for those of us who use running as our primary form of strength training.

5. Makes you faster!

Yes, with more endurance you’ll be able to hold a certain pace for a longer period of time. But after a certain level of fatigue, slow-twitch muscles get tired so the body recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers to help out.

The end result? You actually improve speed by running easy for a very long time!

It took me awhile to realize how running longer actually helped increase my pace for those 5ks races.

Happy Running! Have you been doing your weekend long runs? Why or why not?  How long are your weekend runs? Please share.






It’s Friday so I’m also linking up with bloggers, Me (My First 5K and More), Running With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida!

So Join in!

And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other blog

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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12 thoughts on “FFF: Do Those Long Runs

  1. Of course I disagree with many of your points, sorry. Especially building better form — form has a tendency to fall apart when we get tired. Now I get that you’re saying that doing it will hopefully acclimate your body to it and therefore your form is likely to stay better longer.

    Everyone is different and everyone trains differently. For me personally it’s about consistency. When you get into trouble is when you stop running for whatever reason (other than injury, obviously).

    Consistency could be exchanged for maintaining a base. If you have a good base, you can increase your runs relatively quickly. Base may vary for different runners, too.

    Running long runs when you’re not training for anything can be an invitation for injuries and/or illness, because it is hard on the body. Again different runners will have different experiences with. No matter how good a runner you are, though, you can’t escape the wear and tear on your body.

    Elite runners put in many more miles than recreational runners. Yet they take time completely off of running after a goal race. We could learn something from them.


    • Yes. I figured you’d disagree. I got my info from experts. I didn’t make up these benefits. And of course my own experience.

      If long runs are not one’s preference then of course short consistent runs are a good substitute.

      I’ve been running long slow runs on the weekend for years. But they are not those hard trainings the elites do. No injuries. I plan to continue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love my long runs! They definitely build strength, physically and mentally. I agree that the 8-mile distance is a good base for long runs. Through the winter, or any off-season, I can usually keep 8-milers in the rotation for weekends, and it’s (usually) to build from there for races of longer distances 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. they sure do build mental toughness and endurance. Long runs are a staple of my training as well. Being consistent helps the most for me. thanks for the link up

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, i haven’t been doing long runs lately (ARRRRG! Stupid foot!) but I agree with you that regular consistent long runs are beneficial, for all the reasons you mentioned- plus the mental benefits. When I’m doing my long runs they’re the highlight of my week. I read Judy’s comment and while I see where she’s coming from, I think a sensible approach is to do “shorter” long runs on a consistent basis, and then increase the distance if you’re in marathon or half marathon training. You’re not recommending that everyone go out and run 20 miles every week- but keeping a longer run on the weekends is good because you’ll be ready to increase it if needed for a longer race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. Consistency is key. But go longer on one run. It is important. It may be 8 miles but if you are training it could be 12 or 20.


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