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Sep 22, 2012

I'm in it for the long run

12 miles on the schedule today.  Felt great the entire time and even got some hill work in.


I'm in it for the long run.  I'm not talking about keeping with it.  Although I would say that I am in it for the long run for running.  As long as my body will hold up which is hopefully many years to come.  What I'm talking about is the long run.

The other day one of my running buddies ran 16 miles of my 20 mile run and then a couple days later mentioned that his midweek runs seem easier.  He said that his 6 mile run felt like 3 miles.  Absolutely, I said!

I told him that the long runs(longer than he's used to) are really helping him improve and he's getting stronger from them.  To be frank, I kind of pushed him to finish the 16 but I know he was happy when he did finish it.  Here are my thoughts on long runs(and no I'm not talking about any other kind of runs - tempo, speed, intervals, etc)  Those runs have other places in training but I'm thinking about just the long run here.

1) The long run certainly helps build stamina
  • Makes you stronger
  • Makes you more confident
  • Helps you feel like your short runs are much easier
  • Even helps you enjoy your rest day the next day more knowing you ran long.
2) The long run also helps your racing
  • Run 20 miles; 13.1 race will feel easy(ok, maybe feel like less effort, not easy)
  • Run 15 miles; 10k is no sweat!
  • Run 10 miles; that 5k PR is coming
3) The long run shows your dedication to the sport.  How many people do you know that run 20 miles on the weekend?  Hell, how many people do you know that run 20 miles ever?  I bet not that many.  Your dedicated - it's proven in the long run.

I know there all kinds of technical reasons to run the long run(burning more fat, glycogen increase, etc.)  I'm just talking from a layman terms.  It's how I feel and what I notice from others that run long.  Yes, there's lots of science to it but frankly I'm not that interested in learning all those reasons - I just want to do it.

Do you love or hate the long run?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. Love the long run, and probably a little too much, since I've been doing 20 milers and taking too long to recovery for the other workouts. But there's something I get out of those long run territories that I don't get anywhere else.

    Enjoy Grand Rapids! and I'm curious to hear your report. As I think I told you, I have some special fondness for that marathon.

    1. Yes, Mark, you do seem to really do the 20 milers a lot! I think it can only help you in the long run on the marathon. You PR'd GR, I remember. Maybe NYC will be the new PR.

    2. No way. I ran a 3:20 in GR. (My pr's a 3:16 but this was ten years ago) I'm getting old and just not trained for that fast. I will be very happy with a 3:29:59 seconds.

  2. Thanks for this! I'm glad I read it after my first 20 mile long run this a.m. It was slow going, and frustrating at points trying to get out of my own head and then diving back in to some memory that took my mind off my aching and burning muscles. I can't imagine adding on 6.2 miles for the full marathon I am training for (Marine Corps in Oct). Then again a year ago I couldn't imagine running a half marathon and I've finished 3 of those this year! I have noticed that shorter distances do feel shorter since I have been running longer runs.

    Thank you from the bottom of my slightly achy very happy feet.

  3. I truly believe that my long runs are helping my short runs. 5 miles to me feels like nothing nowadays and I can do them at a faster pace.

    Great post!