Long runs are a BIG stress on the body so we need long run rules to keep the risks for injury and prolonged recovery to a minimum.
Here are a few you can take to the bank:
3 hour rule
Cap long runs at 3 hours max.
Research has shown that your body gets the most physiological aerobic benefits from runs between 60-90 min in duration.
Long runs over 3 hours start to have diminishing returns, too! Essentially, the risk for injury becomes much higher!
This means that many athletes should do back to back mid range efforts (Thursday, Friday at 10 miles each) instead of one (20 mile, in this example) long run.
The risks just don’t outweigh the benefits when it comes to running longer than 3 hours (for marathon training).
I don’t care how much CBD gel you use- you’ll be sore and debilitated.
Bi weekly rule
Don’t do long runs each week.
Seriously, don’t do it.
I recommend doing key runs each week, but they aren’t all long efforts- they’re key.
“Key” can also mean speed work.
Yasso 800s are great for marathon prep and you’ll find them bi weekly on my training plans.
If you must do a long run (you stubborn silly goose), do not increase your long run mileage by more than 10% each week.
The name of the game here is decreasing the risk for injury.
Long runs should not be more than 33% (⅓) of your total weekly mileage!
Sticking to this rule or close to this rule will decrease your risk for injury.
Athletes who are doing more like 50% (half) of their weekly mileage in one run will likely need to take extra time off the following week only to repeat the cycle again the following week.
Note: if you do a lot of cross training or have a strong background in the sport of running, you may be able to get away with a higher percentage.
Here’s where I hang out in between podcast episodes, working full time, and spending time at the beach with my Husband and 4 kids: