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.
So Join in!
And don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other blog