I suggest that your long run on the weekend is about 8.5 or 9 miles and that you for sure run the half distance about a month before the actual competition. You need to run the distance for mental reasons and physically to see how your body handles the distance....without all the race day hype.
The author is a cross country coach...his guys run everyday. I run every day but I do a medium length...about 3.5 miles and then the next day I do speed work..easy jog and sprints. The weekends I will go long on Saturday and cross train on Sunday. When I trained for a 1/2 marathon I ran four or five days a week for about 2 months before the race. I then took three days off, ran the entire distance and then rested four days. The day before the race, I jogged three miles and then ran the 1/2 the next day.
I'm confused by the "not too far" one. You're not supposed to run every day, right, because your body needs recovery time? But if you run five days a week, won't your AVERAGE runs be 20% of your weekly mileage? How DO I set the length of long runs so I go farther and farther without overtaxing my body?
For the record, I trained for a 5K by run/walking 5K each morning and adjusting the number of running paces to walking paces to do less and less walking (sort of a modified Galloway). But that doesn't have me doing anything to add distance and I want to try my first half marathon this May. I need advice.
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Ed Eyestone of Runners World wrote this article that appeared in Active Runner at Active.com.
Improvement in runners largely due to cardiovascular development. 1.Long runs deliver a slew of physiological benefits: heart gets stronger, ventilatory capacity increases. 2. Muscle strength and endurance improves because mitochondria and capillaries become more dense. Body is taught to use fat for fuel rather than stored glycogen. 3. Going long calluses you mentally and gives you confidence in your ability to cover many miles.
To reap rewards and avoid injury: 1) Not Too Fast--usually thirty seconds per mile slower than 5k pace 2) Not Too Long-5K runner-long run is about an hour; marathoner up to three hours 3) Not Too Far-appropriate distance is 20 to 30 percent of overall weekly mileage
Go Far: Long runs should last between 1 to 3 hours...anything longer the benefits are outweighed by the stress on the body. Save it for race day!
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