Learn how to run easy long runs as a beginner. Train yourself to run with the right intensity to become a more enduring runner.
The easy long runs should be an essential part of any training program for runners. You lay the foundation for your endurance through easy running and are perhaps the best and most effective form of endurance training. As a newbie, this way of running can be the entrance for many and a great way to further motivate yourself for running. The form of training should be easy and affordable for most people. Although the long runs are a relatively simple form of running training, as it goes at an easy pace, there are still several things you need to think about before jumping out running.
In the following, you will learn about why and how to run the easy long runs. You will also know more about the intensity you should run and how far you should run.
Why run easy long runs
The easy long runs are essential for training your aerobic endurance, which means you improve your muscles’ ability to absorb oxygen. Good aerobic endurance allows you to run for a long time without exceeding your aerobic capacity and switch to anaerobic combustion. If you train anaerobically, the muscles do not get enough oxygen, and as a result, you will get an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. You will be forced to slow down, and if it gets really bad, you will have to stop completely.
The easy long runs help to build both your physical and mental capacity. Running long challenges your physical ability at the strain for your legs to run for several hours. This exercise is a habit for the muscles to withstand more gradually.
Running a long run is also a great exercise in coping mentally with running long distances. You have to focus on a more extended period and take it easy on these runs. Running for a long time can sometimes also be a test of your patience.
Running easy long distances is essential training for all types of distances. Build up your aerobic endurance regardless of whether you are training for a 400 meter or a marathon. Your aerobic capacity is the foundation of your running form regarding whether you will be good at running 800 meters, 5000 meters, or marathons.
With what intensity
The easy runs should, not surprisingly, go at an easy pace, and you should run with an intensity of around 50-60% of the maximum heart rate. To train according to training zones, you must know your maximum heart rate, and you must have a simple heart rate monitor to monitor your heart rate when you run. An inaccurate but straightforward way to find the maximum heart rate is to subtract age from 220. For a person of 30 years, this means that the estimated maximum heart rate is 220 – 30 = 190.
For beginners, this is a straightforward way to find an estimated maximum heart rate. Later, if desired, you can take a more accurate test at gyms or other places that conduct this type of test.
As the running goes at an easy pace, many runners fall for the temptation to speed up. Exercising with higher intensity on the easy runs will slowly but surely take away your gains. It would be best if you built up your stamina, not down. The result of running fast long runs instead of easy long runs can be that you get a regression and not progression for your fitness level. If you do a lot of other hard running training and running long distances, it can, in the worst case, lead to overtraining and injuries.
How long and far you should run easy long runs
The first question you should ask yourself is whether you should measure the run-in time or the number of miles. If you are a beginner, we recommend focusing on the time you run and not the number of miles. Focusing on how far to run can be a stress factor for new runners, and in this phase, there are other things to focus on.
How long you should be on your feet during an easy long run will vary depending on your fitness level. As a first-time runner, 45-60 minutes can be more than long enough, and maybe you should run even less as well.
Like other types of running training, you must gradually increase how long you will run when you are out on a long run. There will be individual variations in how much you should increase, and you need to know what feels right for you. It is also quite common that you sometimes have to shorten rather than increase the length of the long runs.
How often you should do long runs?
The easy long runs should be carried out weekly, i.e., you run one long run every week. It would be best if you did not make the long run the day after a hard workout because you must be healthy in your legs.
Even if the long runs go at an easy pace, you will still feel it in your legs the next day because it is a particular strain to be on your feet for a long time. Take it easy the next day: either rest or a short run at an easy pace.
How to do long runs
Easy running for 45-90 minutes. You can choose a light circular trail on a softer surface, and running on a forest road or in terrain is a good alternative. Later you can vary with easy running in more hilly terrain. The pulse goes up quickly on the opposite slopes, so there you have to take it easy. The rule is that you should be able to speak normally when you run.