Length of the long run

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  • #6848

    This year I’ve gradually increased my endurance training until I’ve been clocking in around 7-10 hours recently. In the book it’s said that I should have one long run (or, steep run/hike rather) of 50% of weekly volume and one with 25% of weekly volume.

    Doing the 2.5 hour long run is no problem. But the longest one is at this point 5 hours, which can be tricky to find time for and extremely hard to get motivated for.

    I’ve been reading up on it and it seems there is at least one study saying the aerobic benefits of long runs don’t increase after 3 hours. Also I’ve been reading what ultrarunners tend to say and a lot of them seem to rarely do more than 3-4 hours.

    Wouldn’t such a long run also be risky in terms of injury?

    I figured it might be more effective if I did two long runs back to back (consecutive days) of 2.5 hours rather than one 5 hour long session? So I’d do the first long run on thursday of 2.5 hours, and then 2.5 hours on saturday and one on sunday.

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    Anonymous on #6856

    You can definitely benefit from 2 shorter long runs back to back on weekends. We do this ourselves often with coaching clients especially we approach a big goal. The first day’s run leaves you a bit glycogen depleted so you start the next days long run pre-fatigued which will increase the aerobic training benefit.

    As for not running longer than 3 hours. One of the biggest aerobic training stimuli is intra muscular glycogen depletion. If you are well fat adapted and staying Z1-2 you may not experience significant glycogen depletion in 3 hours. So, this can be a very individual thing. If a 3 hour run leaves you feeling pretty drained and you are feeling your legs and general fatigue 48 hours later then it clearly had a major training effect and did its job. If you can do back to back 3 hour runs for a week without feel wrecked then you’ll need to make your long runs much longer.


    Thrusthamster on #6863

    I was hoping you wouldn’t say that Scott… Probably back to the 5 hour stair climbs then.

    cramblda on #6878

    I take it you’re in a part of the world that you can go on hikes? 🙁

    I plan a Z1 Run @ 25% of weekly volume, a Z3 Run @ 10% of weekly volume, and then a Z1 hike for the remaining 65% of weekly volume. For the Z1 hikes, I try to increase the amount of elevation gain each week (except recovery weeks) and add increasing amounts of weight to my pack after week 8.

    I realize if you don’t have any mountains close by, this doesn’t work. My weekend hikes are some of the best parts of my life. Seems terrible that you have to look down five hours on the stairclimber. I can’t even stand an hour on the treadmill.


    Thrusthamster on #6891

    Not really the stair climber either, but the stairwell in my apartment.

    I can go on hikes here but nothing steep enough compared to the stairs. However, this is a bit of an in between period. Any other time of year then I can go on hikes or ski. Right now there isn’t quite enough snow, but the hikes are icy. I think this weekend I can start doing laps in the ski slopes of a ski resort here though. Go up the hill with skins, take them off and go down again. Rinse + repeat for 5 hours.

    redsoxchamps2007 on #6893

    Coming from an ultra running background one thing you need to be prepared for in a long mountain race…its not so much the climbs but the descents.So many race reports talk of the suffering/DNF’s due to that.Even long distance hikers would agree.The only way to truly be prepared fro that is training in the mountains doing long SUSTAINED descents.As above do long hikes along with runs…hike hills ,run descents.Good luck in training.Just my 2 cents.

    Thrusthamster on #6905

    Yeah I typically do the longest run each week by going both up- and downhill (either hiking, skiing or stairs). The others I do in the stairwell and take the elevator down to not trash my legs for the other training I do during the week (strength, climbing).

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