Seeking how to run faster run longer?
I get questions all the time from Soldiers on how to improve their run times.
Do a long run each week. It is the most important training tactic to not only improve times. Remember, lay the foundation first to improve later.
Long run mastery
The long run teaches your body to store glycogen or carbohydrate more so that your body uses fat more efficiently.
Ever see the Kenyans finish a race?
They are usually smiling as if they are warming up after running 26.2 miles under 5 minutes per mile pace.
Faster efforts yield results
Why is that?
They have trained themselves well. In addition, doing consistent long runs to use fat as more of a fuel source than carbohydrate.
They have adapted their bodies through long runs each week. In addition, to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in their blood stream.
The key to doing that is hard workouts and long runs.
there are three physiological adaptations that occur when you run for a long period of time and they are enzymatic, musculoskeletal and capillary
So, when you train longer you build capillary beds and enzymes within the blood. Capillaries work to help transport more oxygen to your working muscles. In addition, give you the ability to train for longer periods of time.
Quality over Quantity
Arthur Lydiard had his men running upwards of 25 miles for their long runs. He trained Peter Snell who was an 800 meter specialist. Peter could train longer than his counterparts. He knew how strong Snell was would become from training for longer periods of time.
Peter Snell went on to win an Olympic Gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics. Also, Snell went on to set a world record time of 1.44.3 in 1962. I told my friend and 2.14 marathoner, Nate Jenkins, during one of my training build ups
I did 15 miles today at 5.40 pace
Jenkins, in true Renato Canova fashion says,
Well, thats good but does that really prepare you to race 26.2 miles at 5.18 pace?
Obviously, we all have various goals and times we want to run.
Pace over distance
The key is not to neglect running long.
We had a saying while I was competing at Malone College, “Hurt, Adapt!”.
Remember, the benefits come from after the workout itself, not before. So, you deal with the pain and then while you sleep you reap the benefits. I strongly encourage you to read up on supercompensation.
Increase Energy Production
The more oxygen you can bring to your muscles, the better your performance will be.
So, training longer should be the bread and butter workout to do in order to run easier and farther. There are no short cuts.
People that are great at what they do are that way for a reason. The long run is the key component in making you a stronger runner.
Strength in distance
What is a 2 mile run going to feel like afterward if you trained 3 to 4 times the distance?
How much more prepared and confident will that Soldier be knowing he or she has done what the others have not been committed enough to do?
My coach, Lisa Rainsberger, while a part of the Army World Class Athlete Program, always stressed to me the importance of training for long periods of time.
Length time spent at goal pace
You should never run hard early on in your long runs. So, start easy and build the foundation. Then, gradually lengthen and speed up the effort in your weekly long run.
So, distance can start as little as 4 miles building up to as far as 25 miles. Lisa, the last American female to win the Boston Marathon, understands this very well. She won with a time of 2.34.04.
Lastly, look at the great runners, what do they do? What characteristic do they possess? They are consistent, persistent and lastly, they run long!
The long run was the one training tool I used to drop my marathon best time from 2.43.36 to 2.19.35.
So, running long will help you gain all the physiological and psychological benefits.
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