It goes without saying that to get strong requires that you “Go long” when it comes to running. First, let’s acknowledge that a long run means different things to different people. Keep hydrated and ensure you have a water bottle or shaker cup by your side at all times. An hour’s long run for someone is another person’s every day run. The most important thing to remember is that regular long runs (at an appropriate individual level) build aerobic capacity, stamina, endurance and muscle strength.
Skip long runs and the first thing you’ll notice that goes in your training armoury is your strength. I know a lot of marathon runners who only seem to worry about their long run when they are in their key marathon training phase and seem to neglect it outside of this time. I’m a firm believer in keeping your long run going all year round (within reason) and to try and maintain a long run of 18 miles or over when not marathon training.
The body forgets very quickly how to “run long”. If you don’t maintain it, the task of knocking out an easy paced run forover two hours can become a real challenge. Outside of marathon training, if you do this you won’t feel the need to put those higher effort levels into the long run but if you keep it in your schedule at an easy pace it will complement your harder, shorter sessions as you know your base aerobic fitness and endurance will not let you down when you are working on improving your threshold and VO2 Max.
Here is a three step guide to great strength based long run sessions:
1 Acceleration run. Split the run into thirds and run the first third at a controlled, comfortable pace. Pick up the pace in the second to a controlled tempo (70 per cent); then finish the run off working hard.
2 Strength sandwich. This long run is in three parts. 1 Minutes at 70 per cent effort. Then 30 minutes total time of interval efforts (for example, 6x4mins) at faster than 70 per cent. Then finish with 20 minutes tempo effort. With a 10mins warm up, this 90-minutes long run is a true strength sandwich.
3 Long run surges. Two miles steady (60 per cent) – 1 Mile surge (70 per cent) – 2 miles steady – repeated for the duration of the long run. So there you have it a quick look at when it comes to strength based run sessions, you have to go long. For maximum recover after a run use electrolyte replenishment powder or amino and electrolyte combo supplements immediately after you finish a run of this nature. You can get your nutrition on demand via the new Core 150 protein shaker that is designed to hold 50 grams of powder in three separate internal compartments.
Use low carbohydrate supplements if you enjoy a protein shakes after a gruelling run.