A long run is something that you might want to add into your training plan and it might seem a bit daunting at first, but don’t worry, we’ve put together some tips to help you get through it.
So what do you need for a long run? Well the most important thing is probably a watch because you need to know how long you’ve been running for. Some watches also tell you pace, so make sure it’s fully charged before you go. The next thing you need is a good, sturdy, and well-cushioned pair of shoes. You don’t want to wear a brand-new pair because you don’t want to get blisters as you’re gonna be out there for quite a while.
An emergency energy source, such as a gel, is a perfect thing to put into your back pocket to make sure that if you do hit the wall, you can get back home. Another thing that you can put in your back pocket is some money, in case you really hit the wall and you need to get the bus home or a taxi. Sunglasses or a cap are great in sunny environments so that you’re not squinting while you’re in the sun. You’re gonna be out there a long time. You need to see where you’re going as well, so these two are a perfect combination to keep the sun out of your eyes.
A lightweight running jacket is perfect in case the weather changes and the heavens open and if you don’t need it, you can simply just tie it around your waist. And finally, some chafing cream that you can rub into those irritable areas. You probably know where yours are.
I’ve typically done a long run once a week for my whole career and to keep it interesting and enjoyable, I like to mix up the terrain. So a bit of off road and then on road is an absolutely fine way to do it. You’ll find that some triathletes do the full duration of the long run on tarmac and this is to replicate what you’re going to get in a race and condition the legs for it, but I’d suggest not doing this every week because you want to reduce the risk of injury.
So how long should a long run be? Well typically it refers to a duration of maybe over an hour, but start with a duration that you’re comfortable with and that you know you can complete. Don’t worry about pace too much and a good guide for this is that you should be able to hold a conversation for the full duration.
So why do we do it? Well we do it to build strength and also work on that cardiovascular system, and part of the run is that you’re gonna fatigue, which is okay, because as long as you keep good running form, you’re gonna build good strength endurance.
Now you can do your long run with someone else, but it’s probably easier running on your own because the last thing you want to do is run with someone that’s faster than you and clinging on for dear life for 90 minutes. And for me, the beauty of the long run is being out in the elements and seeing where your own two legs can take you and for me, it’s all about the adventure.
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