Importance of a Weekly Long Run

As Bill Squires once said “The long run puts the tiger in the cat.”  Isn’t that the truth?!

While Carly and I were in Florida over the weekend, I got to thinking about the long run, why it’s so special, and why we need to treat it differently than every other run we do .  Below, I’ll outline how a long run should be treated and why these runs are so important.

First off, running requires more than “just going out for a run”. If you haven’t figured that part out yet, you need to.  The first three are a must for living, not just running. So they’re pretty important.

Non-Running Specific:


Sleep – professional runners log upwards of 10 hours of sleep a night. Add in an hour nap and there ya go.

Hydration – you don’t need water on a run unless you’re running Badwater or going longer than 3 hours. There are water fountains around and if you hydrate properly throughout the day, you don’t need water during a run.

Post-run recovery food – pbj

Nutrition – what you put in is what you get out. Fuel yourself with food that will sustain you over the long run (no pun intended).


Running specific:

Pace Yourself – chances are you won’t reach your mileage goal if you run your first mile like Speedy Gonzalez. Run even (or even slow in the beginning) to ensure you log your miles AND finish feeling strong.

Solo Run vs Group/Partner Run – long runs with company is great, especially when their pace matches yours. Running on your own is great too. It’s a great chance to clear your mind, focus on your pace, and run your own run.all-i-needed-was-some-accountability-and-a-reason-to-stay-consistent

Be Prepared – do you know where you’re going? What about what the weather is like? Do you have party plans? Make sure you’ve planned so that you get your run in uninterrupted.

I leave you with this: long runs are important. And they should be done with regularity. So remember… Next time that social life gets packed, ask yourself what’s more important: the race you’ve paid for or a night out? When you’re running your best, draw on the strength from your long runs!

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”
Priscialla Welch, Olympian & NYC Marathon winner

Here’s an article about the long run – I actually read this after I wrote this…so I can’t be that far off!

Want to run fast?  Send Marc a message @ TrainWithMarc, on  Facebook or on Twitter.  To get started with a plan of your own, visit TrainwithMarc’s training plans..

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