advanced long runs

These sessions are not easy and will not be suitable for everyone - it is important you have a good baseline level of running and know your body first. Advanced long runs are something to include as you progress through your weeks of training and there's a few different types that I like to include:

Speedy Interval Long Runs

These runs involve the intensity of a speed session with the aches of an endurance run. 

Double Days & Back-to-Backs

These runs are great for marathon training as they enable you to practice running on tired legs.

Heavy Leg Long Runs

These runs follow on from a hill session or a strength session. Again, they try to re-create the feeling of running the last few miles of a marathon - when your quads are burning and your legs are tired.

The session ideas below use 'hard' and 'easy' running. Hard running means goal race pace, easy running means 20% slower than this.

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advanced ideas

speedy interval long runs

8 mile runs:

- [2 miles easy, 2 miles hard] x 2

- 2 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 2 miles easy

10 mile runs:

- 4 miles easy, then [1 mile hard, 1 mile easy] x 3

- 3 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 3 miles easy

- 2 miles easy, 4 miles hard, then [1 mile easy, 1 mile hard] x 2

- 2 miles easy, 6 miles hard, 2 miles easy

12 mile runs: 

- [2 miles easy, 1 mile hard] x 4

- 4 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 4 miles easy

- 3 mile easy then [2 miles hard, 1 mile easy] x 3

- 3 miles easy, 6 miles hard, 3 miles easy 

13 mile runs:

- 10 miles easy, 2 miles hard, 1 mile easy

- 2 miles easy, 3 miles hard, 3 miles easy, 3 miles hard, 2 miles easy

15 mile runs:

- [2 miles easy, 1 mile hard] x 5

- 7 miles easy, then [1 mile easy, 1 mile hard] x 4

- 10 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 1 mile easy

- 5 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 5 miles easy

- 2 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 1 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 2 miles easy

18 mile runs:

- [4 miles easy, 1 mile hard] x 3, then 3 miles easy

- 8 miles easy, [2 miles hard, 1 mile easy] x 3, then 1 mile easy

- 6 miles easy, then [2 miles hard, 1 mile easy] x4

- [3 miles easy, 3 miles hard] x 3

20 mile runs:

- 3 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 4 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 3 miles easy

- [3 miles easy, 2 miles hard] x 4

- 10 miles easy, then [1 mile hard, 1 mile easy] x 5

 

21 mile runs:

- 12 miles easy, 3 miles hard, 1 mile easy, 3 miles hard, 2 miles easy

- [2 miles easy, 1 mile hard] x 7

- 2 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 2 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 2 miles easy, 4 miles hard, 2 miles easy

- [3 miles easy, 3 miles hard] x 3, then 3 miles easy

double days & back to backs

Double Days:

This involves running twice in a day. Most of the time this won't really be possible because of work and social commitments. But, if you want to try it, even running a very short distance in the morning will make your legs that extra bit tired before your evening run. Examples:

- Morning: 3 miles (1 mile easy, 1 mile hard, 1 mile easy), Evening: 12 miles easy

- Morning: 10 miles easy, Evening: 10 miles easy

- Morning: 4 miles + strides, Evening: 12 miles 

- Morning: 3 mile hill session, Evening: 10 miles easy

Back to Backs:

These runs involve running a medium or long run the day before your scheduled long run. Perfect for marathon running or ultra-running. Make sure your body is well adjusted to long runs before trying back-to back days. Examples:

- Saturday: 10 miles easy, Sunday: 20 miles easy

- Saturday: 15 miles easy, Sunday: 20 miles easy

- Saturday: 8 mile hilly run, Sunday 15 miles easy

- Saturday: 15 miles easy, Sunday: 15 miles (5 miles easy, 5 miles hard, 5 miles easy)

 

heavy leg long runs

Strength + Run

These runs combine a strength session and a long run close together. The idea is to do a full lower leg work out so that you feel tired before then going on an easy paced long run. It can be useful to do the strength session the night before the long run to allow some recovery time. Examples:

- Squats session + 15 mile run

- Lunge session + 18 mile run

- Single leg calf raises + 20 mile run

In terms of the amount of squats/lunges/calf raises to do - it is is better to do fewer and keep your form than become fatigued and risk injury.

Hills + Run

These advanced long runs involve including some hill work at the beginning. Either opt for a short burst of hill reps to tire your muscles, or spend a greater proportion of your run getting in some elevation at a slower speed. Examples:

- 10 x 100m hill reps + 14 mile run

- 10 miles hilly run + 10 miles flat run 

- 6 x 100m hill reps + 15 mile run + 6 x 100m hill reps