With March upon us, many of you are probably finalizing your spring/summer/fall race schedule. Along with that schedule, of course, is your training program. Speaking to the marathoners and ultra-marathoners among us I’d like to give you some quick tips on the long run.
- Wear a HRM: heart rate monitor
- You can skip this for your tempo and interval training, but always wear it on your long run. Your races are long! Train at a sustainable pace, mimicking the pace you will run your race at. This ensures proper training effect, and smooth recovery for the following week’s training.
- Use MAF formula
- 180-Age. This will give you your effective training HR for those long runs. As an example, I’m 33 so my base MAF is 147.
- If you are fit, healthy, and have been injury free for at least 6 months you can add 5 beats per minute to your MAF. For me, this would make mine 152.
- Alternatively, if you’ve been injured, sick, or are relatively new to consistent running, subtract 5 from your MAF score. For me, this would drop me to 142.
- Use a HR range
- My range would be 142-152. This would be where I keep my effort at for the entirety of my long run. Instead of focusing on pace I’m focusing on effort.
- When you encounter hills your HR will rise substantially. Walk! Don’t become impatient. Keep accountable to your MAF.
- Communicate your intention
- Let others know what your strategy is on the long run if you are running with a group. They may stay with your pacing, or you may find yourself running solo more often.
Becoming more efficient at lower levels of effort will only help your racing. Making your hard runs hard, and your easy or long runs consistently easy/moderate is something many runners fail to respect.
The next post will be on fueling for the long run. Specifically, we’ll address how changing what you eat in the 36 hours leading up to that run will change your bodies fueling strategy.