The Long Run is the cornerstone for the entire training program. This is the most important run of the week where you will gather the strength and endurance.

In the Base training stage ALL especially the Long Run are to be at an easy pace.You will derive the benefit from the time spent, not how hard you run.

If you happen to compare these workouts to the other levels, you will notice you get the max distance of the base phase by the end of the first month. However, we will spend more time building up compared to athletes that can run under 3 hours. I am not a giant fan of building up a little at a time. It is like slowing getting your self more and more wet in a lake or ocean. One learns that each step is more painful. I am for slightly bigger jumps. In this method, one also learns that going from say 60 mins to 75 mins is certainly not all that monumental of a deal. It also helps with pacing. If you do three weekly Long runs at 10 miles for example, the third workout you will have a better feel on what your sustainable pace is.

This realization will help you physiologically as we will never run any run over 18 miles. One must understand that during the marathon one will have the crowd, the adrenaline and the fellow runners that will help carry you through the last miles. One can not underestimate how this energy alone will allow you to complete your task.

The first 2 miles of the long Run should be at your very easiest of pace. For people that like to stretch I would suggest that this is a opportune time to stop and spend a few minutes on stretching. I am not a big fan of stretching on cold muscles before any run. If one observes what a dog does first thing in the morning, there is one big stretch where they separate all their vertebrate. So before the run do one long stretch. Please see the stretching section for more info on this.

If possible, we want to run the same day every week. Instead of distance, we will be basing the workouts on time early in the training schedule. For instance, by the end of the ten weeks you will be running or run/walking 90 mins. It wont matter if you are running 9 minute mile pace or 12 minute mile pace.

For the majority of the Long Runs, you will be working out for under 2 hours. There will be two runs where we will focus on distance, not time. In these runs you will run for 16- 18 miles just to get you used to running the extended time. These will be near the end of the workout phase of training. You will still have several weeks to recover before the marathon takes place.

Some people have a running background and can run a sustainable Pace. Others will have to walk a portion or even most of the time. That is OK. The main goal is to be exercising for extended periods of time.

First we will address the issue on just how hard do you run for people that have virtually no running background. If you browse through the other levels, including the Elite runners you will see that there is an emphasis on running relaxed.

Our primary goal here is to get you used to the progressively longer runs. Now I say run in only a general sense. Many will incorporate active walking interspersed with running.
Make sure the walking pace you choose will allow you to recover. At the same time, the walking should not be so easy where you now have to run hard to make up for lost time. The run should be as easy as you can, provided you are going faster than your walk. The goal, over time is to get you to run longer and longer distances.

Now I use the term semi aggressive walking instead of walking hard. Walking hard can be just as tiring as running slowly. If you walk too hard, then you will never recover. Do not turn the walking portion into race walking.

One way to walk aggressively without expending too much more energy is to make sure one is swinging one arms. This natural action will increase the forward motion and will help move you forward.

I am solid fan on pacing. At first, it may be hard to figure out for the beginning runner. The object find a pace that is sustainable over time. This is an extremely valuable concept. If one goes out too hard early in the run and then slows down, the time will always be slower than if the correct pace was practiced at the start and maintained it over the entire distance. This takes practice.

So the same concept applies to the runners/ walkers. Do not wait until you are too tired to start walking.

Close Menu