Updated: Jun 6
Do you do a long run each and every week, no matter what time of the year or phase of training you are in?
The origin of the modern long run each week is the misinterpretation of the very successful Arthur Lydiard. His book: Jogging with Lydiard (1983) helped explode the popularity of running in the decades to come.
I say misunderstand because like most 'new' training methods that become popular like the current 'Norwegian Method' they sensationalized and applied without context. In fact, most of these modern methods have been applied before.
Lydiard's long run was created because of the way he organized seasonal training. He used a block method that had specific ingredients in each phase of the training cycle. To maintain the gains from the previous training block, he implemented a 2-hour steady run (often run at 5:00/mile or 3:07/km!) each week. When you look at a training week from that time:
M - 3 mi + 48 x 50m sprints
T - 1200m TT
W - 6x400m @ 1500m with short rest
Th - 3 mile @ 15k pace
F - 3 x 200m all out
Sa - 8-12 x 800m repeats @ 5k pace
Su - 2 hour long run @ between vLT and vAer
- between your 1 hour and 2 hour race pace.
- in other words... these weren't jogs.
Notice that they did 6 days a week of intervals! We tend to skip over and focus only on what is convenient. Lydiard also made running 100 miles a week popular. This was something his runners did early in the seasonal plan because.. why? To prepare an aerobic and mechanical foundation for the gruelling interval block that was to come, as seen above ☝️.
"Earn the privilege to move more, by first moving better" - Jonathan Marcus
If we are blind to movement quality, then we aren't going to do things that give us bang for buck.
There is value in the long run, but you can get that through multiple modalities.
Things that help movement quality:
Comprehensive Strength Training Plan.
Incorporating sprinting in a well-designed training plan.
Kinplus can help you implement these movement solutions here.
This post is meant to get you thinking on the purpose and context of using such a useful training tool that is the long run.
Training for events that take over an hour? An important component that becomes more specific over time, insert every 7–14 days.
Shorter events? Early in training, once a week, middle of the training block? Once every 10–14 days, competitive phase? Once every 3 weeks when you can sneak one in.
This was a fun post to make, thanks for reading!