The long run adapts the runner’s endurance fitness to exercising for an extended period of time. The major advantages of the long run is that prolonged running burns a lot of calories, improves your endurance in the working muscles, and strengthens the connective tissue such as, the ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
The most common error in distance running is running the long run too fast. By inserting, running for 10 minutes and walking for 1 minute combinations, during the long run, you run longer, at a faster pace and improve your recovery. Call them intervals, sets, or wind sprints, with them you are able to greatly extend the distance of your long run.
Combining additional stress, through an increase of about 10% per week to the long run will result in a great improvement in your endurance capabilities. This gentle and yet progressive approach will prepare you for the marathon distance and minimize your injury risk. As you build up your long run and total weekly mileage you will become stronger, fitter and more confident.
The half marathon peaks at a long run of 20K and the marathon at 32K.
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.