First off the LONG in LONG run is relative. This is simply just the LONGEST run of our week!!! There isn’t a set distance when it magically becomes long. My long run right now is 9 miles… 6 months ago it was 20+. If you’re doing your first ever 5k program it might be 2 miles!
But we might notice the difficulty + nutrition specificity + planning starts to kick in during runs >60-90+ min!
Overall our long runs are a great way for us to build our ability to simply — run longer! As well as a lower stress / lower intensity way to build aerobic capacity. While we can add intervals or higher paces during this as we progress in training or goals. Overall it’s a way for us to get in long, sustainable miles. Practice this (yes long runs are a skill) + mentally get better at it + slowly allow our bodies to adapt to longer distances over times.
The 10% rule of running or long run jumps per week can be archaic but can be an easy rule of thumb for beginners. 1-2 mile jumps/week are common. And will be smaller/bigger as race and long run distance increase. I.e. you may go from 3 > 4 miles in a 10k program vs. 14 > 16 in your ultra or marathon long runs.
Long and slow runs aren’t also just for long distances. We do develop a lot of our endurance capacity through long + slow + less intense but large dose endurance. We can recover from this without the intensity component & get a lot of volume here! (Think of it as your high volume lifting blocks that help you build work capacity for your heavy hard sets later on.)
You are NOT broken if you take walk breaks on long runs! Walk:run can be an efficient strategy! And as they creep into longer distance nutrition will become more important!
Struggling with building up your running? Intra run nutrition? Building up your aerobic capacity? Or even loving running in general?
Checkout ENDURE for all the science behind running, why we do what we do + how to fuel for it. And ULTRA for stepping your game up to Trail or ultra distances! Link in my bio always to join the 1000’s of women who have crushed their goals 🤩