Runner’s World April 2004
By Jeff Galloway
Q & A
Q. How long should my longest run be if I’m training for my
first 5-K, 10-K, half-marathon, or marathon?
A. Your long run should build in length to at lest the race distance
one to three weeks before the race day. Completing the distance
during training gives you the strength to finish the race. If you
increase your long run to 1 to 3 miles more than race distance,
you’ll race with even greater strength. This is more important
for runners with time goals than for first-time runners.
On your long runs, it’s crucial to aim for a pace that’s
one to two minutes per mile slower than your projected race pace.
Adding one-minute walk breaks every mile or two from the beginning
of each run will help you extend your distance, recover fast, and
Your long-run pace is too fast if you’re breathing so heaving
you can’t talk; if your pace slows while your effort level
remains the same; or if you flop on the couch for two hours after
you run before being able to resume your day.
The best long runs for four popular race distances:
5-K - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 to 6 miles
10-K- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6 to 9 miles
Half-marathon- - - - - - - - - 13 to 16 miles
Marathon - - - - - - - - - - - - 26 to 29 miles
THE EXCUSE (AND HOW TO BEAT IT)
“I never run more than a mile because I get too bored.”
Thousands of people use this as a reason to stop running, but I’ve
found that most “boredom” is the result of training
mistakes. Here are four solutions to the most common problems.
1. WARM UP The more ready your body is for a run, the more you’ll
enjoy it. Begin your warmup by walking for 2 minutes. Then jog a
minutes and walk a minute for 10 minutes before gradually reaching
your training pace.
2. RUN SLOW A pace that’s as little as 10 seconds per mile
too fast can make every step feel laborious. Before every run, consider
your fitness level, the weather, and the demands of the route in
order to zero in on an appropriate pace.
3. WALK EARLY To get the full, regenerative effect of walk breaks,
you need to start them at the very beginning of your run. These
breaks will help you feel stronger and run farther, while also allowing
you to enjoy the scenery and collect your thoughts.
4. RUN SOMEPLACE NEW Running gets boring if you cover the same ground
day after day. Once every week or two, run in a different neighborhood
or park, or join up with a new running partner or group.
10-minute workout NO TIME? NO WORRIES!
You may be busy (who isn’t), but that doesn’t mean you
have to give up on fitness. Running every other day for as little
as 10 minutes will maintain most of your physical and aerobic conditioning.
But don’t just jog. Add a few pickups, and you’ll reap
the ultimate payoff: Afterward you’ll be more energized and
better able to face a demanding day. 1) Walk for 1 to 2 minutes
to warm up. 2) Jog slowly for 1 minute, then go faster (hard but
not all-out) for 30 seconds. Repeat this jog-run cycle four times.
3) Walk for 1 to 2 minutes to cool down.
(SAY WHAT?) RUNNING JARGON, TRANSLATED
aerobic (air-ROW-bik) Meaning “with oxygen,” this term
refers to the exercise that involves large muscle groups and is
performed at a relatively low intensity so that your respiratory
and cardiovascular systems are able to deliver oxygen to your muscles.
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