When to decrease percentage of the long run?

  • Creator
  • #59796

    on page 294 of TftUA under aerobic base workouts the long run is described with: “aim for 30-40 percent of your overall weekly distance/vertical” and “as your weekly volume increases, you may need to make the long day a smaller percentage”.
    I was wondering at which duration it makes sense to distribute the time on to other runs?
    At: https://www.scienceofultra.com/blog//the-long-run they argue that after 3 hours the fitness gains become smaller and smaller and the injury risk rises. After this duration, the advantage of longer runs lies more in figuring out nutrition/gear.

    Is it a good rule of thumb to begin to distribute some time to other runs after the 3-hour mark?


Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    daniel.justice on #60121

    I ran across the same article when I was studying up on training for long runs. I started running late in life and have only been doing it seriously for about 18 months now. In other words, take my opinion with a grain of salt and some tequila. I ran my first 50-miler last a few weeks ago based on the UA book. I am a slow runner due to my age and inexperience. I think if you are out there pushing yourself in the upper heart zones, you are probably going to get hurt like the article you shared says (or if you increase distance too quickly). On the other hand, I worked some temp jobs this summer where I was up and down ladders and lifts and on my feet all day for 14 or 16 hours. Was I risking injury then? The human body can take quite a bit if it’s conditioned to do so. My long runs (15+ miles) are always 3 hours or more. I take them low and slow like the book says. That means I walk a lot of steep sections, too. I think walking is the bastard child of this sport that few people talk enough about. It’s not sexy, and I think it makes some people feel like less of a “runner”. I believe it’s an absolutely essential tool on your road to longer, faster running. Like I said though, my résumé is an impressive 2 halfs (1 paved, 1 trail), 1 marathon, and 1 trail ultra.

    Tester on #60615

    thanks for your answer! A lot of good insight for me. So would would say to simply slowly increase the long run to the point where you can still recover in a day or two?

    Scott Johnston on #60633

    This depends a lot on the athlete and while there are certainly diminishing fitness returns from going longer than 3 hours there can some gains to be made mentally, and in terms of conditioning the connective tissues to the repeated pounding. But only if you don’t break.


    Tester on #60810

    Thank you for the fast answer!


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