Including a long run once a week in your training plan is equally useful, no matter what distance you are currently training for. It should be remembered that a long run is usually preceded by the shortest rest or (less frequently) a rest day.
A long run is a relative term, as it is calculated based on your total weekly training distance. But it is generally accepted to call a run long when it exceeds 80-90 minutes. However, you may not run enough in a week for your longest workout to approach that time. But it doesn’t change the point.
The general rule of thumb is that this longest weekly run should be 20 to 30 percent of the weekly distance. Accordingly, for those who run 50 km per week, a long workout would be 10 to 15 km, and for 100 km per week would be 20 to 30 km. For those with a short weekly run, you should aim for the upper percentage limit and vice versa.
As you realize, some races will not exceed 60 minutes, but we will still call them long.
The speed (pace) of running depends entirely on your level of training. If you are a beginner, you should run at such a comfortable pace that you can run the entire distance without stopping. Even if this pace is minimal, it is not important at this stage. Much more important is that you do not overload your cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system. Remember the conversational pace?
Experienced runners by all canons run the long training distance at a pace 30-90 seconds per kilometer slower than a marathon.
Nutrition and hydration
Depending on situations such as hot weather or running longer than an hour, you should provide ways to drink and eat. Having a drinking system and an energy gel (or bar) is a great option. You can also route through a water outlet, spring, fountain, etc. The main thing is not to carry anything in your hands, which is more relevant for beginners who have not developed the right technique and a stable feed.
What’s in it for you?
Long regular runs build your base – the body’s overall endurance – while strengthening the cardiovascular system and increasing the ability to continuously deliver blood and oxygen to the working muscles. The efficiency of your heart, lungs and circulatory system (including the number and size of blood vessels) develops.
The metabolic system is also subject to improvement by creating more mitochondria (cell powerhouse) and better fat oxidation. Finally, the stress of prolonged movement causes muscles to become stronger and bones and joints to become more resistant to injury.
For many people a psychological moment will be very relevant, when long races play the role of a rehearsal before the competition. It is possible to run on the course declared by the organizers, making preparations before that, as before a marathon with the same daily routine.