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How to get faster at running long distance?

If you’re tired of training and not improving your time for long distance events, then here’s some things you need to do in order to hit your new Personal Best.

Usually as runners we tend to focus and stick to a marathon program or a half marathon program, do the one hard session after the other one and train with the mentality of no pain no gain.  I have to admit that I got into that trap myself for couple of years until I realize that the old philosophy of super hard training, logging hundred of miles and destroying every inch of my body was not what is needed to be done to hit my new PB.

So how to get faster at running long distance I suppose that this old philosophy is changing and the trend of a train smart philosophy based on all those scientific data we have today is becoming the norm.  Especially, as amateur hobbyist runners, we need to train smart to be able to manage our working hours, family time and all those happening outside our hobby since we need to spread our time equally to our commitments through our day.

get faster at running long distance
Train Smart not just hard

Train smarter, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to log a decent amount of miles or training hours but at least you can eliminate the hard trainings that will give you the same benefit of the same training if has been done smarter.

For example, today we are able to analyze the great athletes of the past like Steve Prefontaine and learn from them and understand why they were so great.  If you watch below Final Race of 5000m of summer Olympics at Munich in 1972, the great legend of running Steve Prefontaine, attacked at the final lap to claim the first position, he fails and then amazingly he re-attacks!!! 

How is this possible ? How a body full of lactic acid allowed him to pump his running engine up and attack again? Are just pure guts? For sure you need the soul and spirit of this legend but for sure you need the physiological advancements to be able to do that.

Today’s science can assist us to train smarter and gain all those physiological advances that at that time was a trial and error training philosophy. 

Running long and slow, combined with short and fast, doesn’t produce the possibility to run long and fast

As Renato Canova explains is that is scientifically proven that by using on your training, big variations of speed and run on a good speed your recovery, you can train the body to eliminate faster the lactic acid from our body that we produce, use that 20% of Lactic acid that is pure energy so you can produce more lactate since you can eliminate more lactate in short period of time.  This will give you the benefit on a race to recover quickly and keep going to the right direction.

Execution : 20’ warm‐up + Mixed variations of Speed

Example :

  • 3 times 3’ at MP alternated with 2’ at 80% of MP +
  • 5 times 2’ at MP alternated with 2’ at 80% of MP +
  • 20 time 1’ at 105% of MP alternated with 1’ at 80% MP

*MP = Marathon Pace (Your Goal Marathon Pace)

So getting faster at running long distance is not just logging miles and train hard but you should train with purpose and include smart training sessions at your weekly plan.  Start understanding the purpose of each training session and think twice before executing a hard session just because a friend of you is doing it.  Each training must be done with a reason and to give a stimulus to your body otherwise is not a training is just time on your legs.

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Running Fitness 365
Running Fitness 365
We are a team of Running & Fitness enthusiasts that we love to share our knowledge and personal experiences with other same minded people. We do our best to provide you with the latest running and fitness news with the purpose to encourage the healthy lifestyle and benefits of the sport of running.


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