The Two Types of Long Runs - How to Train for a Marathon
Who’s ready for their fall marathon? Hopefully you are more prepared than I am. Chicago is in just a few weeks and I have not been sticking to my long run schedule (please tell me there’s someone else out there in the same boat).
If you are in the midst of marathon training you probably have some very specific plans for your long runs but do you know why you are doing them? Is there a method to your marathon madness?
While every training plan is different there are two types of long runs that are typically incorporated in marathon preparation: Long Slow Distance and Fast Finish Long Runs.
Long Slow Distance
Also know as LSD runs, this training method increases your ability to burn fat thus sparing your limited stores of glycogen and mentally prepare you for the extended time you will be on your feet. In the traditional long steady run, you don't run fast. These runs are typically run at 45-90 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace (GMP).
Fast Finish Long Runs
This type of marathon preparation is fun to some and torture for others. Fast finish long runs train your body to work more efficiently at marathon pace and mentally prepare you for the extreme fatigue that accompanies the faster pace. These segments are done just above your goal marathon pace and certainly spice things up in the training regime.
These two types of long runs are integral to marathon training and hopefully understanding why you’re doing them can at least make them seem less insane and maybe even make them slightly easier.
Want to read more about marathon training runs? Check out this blog post by former Feetures Ambassador, Glen Wiener.
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