Long run

What is a long run ?

A long run is a continuous session, the minimum duration of it, is at least 1h15 of effort. During this session, you can do specific interval training for the pace of scheduled competition, but the majority of the pace must be between 65% and 75% of the MAS.


  • - Get used to run at a competitive pace and improve performance at this speed.
  • - Improve muscular capillarization by increasing the oxygen "distribution" network.
  • - Promote the use of fats as fuel.
  • - Test the full range of clothing and energy products that you will take in condition close to the competition's one.
  • - Strengthen your mind by getting used to long efforts and manage fatigue.
To capitalize on the effects of long run, I recommend that you integrate a specific pace (the pace you are aiming for in your competition).
Of course you will have to add them gradually, but for a marathon you can incorporate up to 2 x 30 min at pace SP42 and for half-marathon you can incorporate up to 2 x 20 min at pace SP21.

To vary your long runs and keep motivation you can also incorporate the lactate shuttle training which consists in varying its pace between the LT2 threshold and the LT1 threshold. This training will allow you to "break the wall" on marathon.
By varying the pace and having your mind occupied by the proceedings of the session, the long run will seem shorter !

How long ?

Before establishing the duration of a long run, you must first remember that you have to go gradually. Do not start with a 2:30 hour run, you could injure yourself.

Depending on the objective that you are going to prepare, you will establish the maximum length of the long run :

  • - For a 10 km : the maximum length will be from 1h10 to 1h20
  • - For a half-marathon : the maximum length will be 1h30 to 1h40
  • - For a marathon : the maximum length will be from 1h45 to 2h30
It is commonly accepted that the maximum length can correspond to 4/5 of the target time; for example, for a 4H marathon, you could go up to 4/5 of 4H, or 3H12. What can really do a lot, it's to adapt according to your abilities.


The principle is to gradually increase each week the duration of the long run to reach the maximum duration 2 weeks before your goal to won't be too tired on the D-day !

Here is an example for an 8-week training plan :

- Week 1 : long run about 1H30.
- Week 2 : long run about 1H45.
- Week 3 : long run about 2H.
- Week 4 : long run about 1H45, this week must be lightened to let the body compensate for the efforts made so far.
- Week 5 : long run about 2H15.
- Week 6 : long run about 2H30, the maximum duration of your long run must be made that week.
- Week 7 : long run about 1H30, the competition is close, you must now release.
- Week 8 : faites votre marathon a l'allure ciblee

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