What’s a long run?

It’s a run that’s longer than your other runs, typically done once a week.

Why should you do it? Here’s your top 10 reasons to add a long run to your weekly routine.

10 Reasons to Add a Long Run: 10 Benefits to making one of your runs longer than the others

Top 10 Reasons to Add a Long Run

1. You can train for longer distances

You may have trained for a 5K by reaching that distance and then running it multiple times a week. To run a 10K or a half marathon, you don’t need to run that goal distance every workout.

Oftentimes building up one long run a week can get you enough training to tackle these longer races.

2. You will get faster at shorter distances

One of the simplest ways to get faster at the 5K is to start running further than 5K. By increasing just one of your runs past 5K, you’ll gain a multitude of benefits that will speed you up.

3. You will build your aerobic base

You’ll become a rock star at exchanging and using oxygen for the high energy activity of running. Your mitochondria, capillary systems, respiratory system will all improve to help you through your long run.

4. Endurance will increase

Even if you only ever want to race 5Ks, your increased endurance will make that 5K easier. You’ll be able to keep pace for longer and cut down on that end-race fade (y’know the one…).

Endurance is often the limiting factor for new runners. A long run tackles that head-on.

5. You will get physically stronger

Stronger legs, ligaments, core…

6. You will get mentally stronger

A long run will teach you how to endure, manage stress, and manage fatigue. It will give you confidence that you can fight come race day.

Remember, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” (Archilochus)

We don't rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training. - Archilochus

7. Fit more miles in a busy life

It’s hard to find time during the week, but by increasing the length of a weekend run you can add to your weekly mileage, without killing your weekday evenings.

8. Add variety to your week

Running can get old and routine if you let it.

I think most runners will tell you that a long run becomes something different and special to them. It requires a bit more preparation, a bit more work, and it feels worth it.

9. It will become your go-to excuse

“Oh, I wish I could, but I have a long run in the morning…”

10. Add variety to your workouts

When you run the same pace and distance day after day, your body becomes super efficient at that specific workout. In order to increase fitness and force new adaptations, you need to shake things up.

A weekly long run is a great way to jolt your body into the benefits you want to see as a runner – such as fat burning, strength, and endurance.

10 Reasons to Add a Long Run: 10 Benefits to making one of your runs longer than the others

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Long runs don’t have to be hours and hours out on the road.

Come back next Wednesday for your guide to adding in a long run to your weekly routine.

Further Reading:

  1. Runner’s World: Run Long and Prosper
  2. Dr. Pribut’s In The Long Run: You’ll Find Endurance
  3. Active.com’s Benefits of a Long Run

Do you run longer one day than others?