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Endurance Run: the Basis of Running Training

The basic endurance run is often always completed in the same way, but still too slow to get faster. Here are some tips for a more variety to improve your training.

Endurance run with a twist

Are you someone who like to press the gas pedal a bit when you do your running workout? But are you also not getting any faster? It’s quite possible that we have the solution for you. Because all over the world, runners are pushing the pace during their normal endurance run. Well-intentioned, but in the end the result is a workout that is neither fast nor slow, but something in between, and doesn’t really make us faster unless we also train other forms. Differentiation is the magic word. And this is especially crucial for endurance running, because endurance running is the basis of running training. Without it, nothing works. It would be like trying to build a wall without cement or speaking a foreign language without vocabulary. The larger your vocabulary, the better you can converse. Therefore, the same applies to running training: Build your base with endurance runs! This will improve fat metabolism, increase the density of muscle capillaries, strengthen the muscles in general, and improve the economy of your running style.

The duration of an endurance run depends greatly on a runner’s goal. While a recreational jogger usually runs for about 45 to 60 minutes, a marathon runner can easily extend his endurance run to 90 minutes. A distinction can be made between the endurance run and the long jog. Both are performed as a continuous method, but the long jog is extended to three hours. As for the pace and design of endurance runs, there are many different opinions in the meantime. The type of endurance training also depends on the frequency of training and the level of performance. If you only jog once a week, you have few variation options. In the following, we present a few examples:

Endurance run 40 – 90 minutes

  • Normal endurance run
    The intensity remains the same for the entire duration. After a short warm-up, the pace is accelerated to the target speed, which is maintained until the end. The pace is reduced on the uphill sections and the downhill sections are run at a faster pace. The subjective level of exertion thus always remains the same.
    When to do it? Use throughout the year.
  • Increased endurance running
    In Kenya, practically every endurance run is run according to this pattern. Start very slowly before gradually increasing the pace. The main part of the endurance run should be run at the target pace (= 75 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate).
    When to do it? It makes sense in the preparation for a competition.
  • All out
    Complete a steady endurance run and accelerate minute by minute to maximum speed on the last 5-10 minutes.
    When to do it? Useful all year round.
  • Endurance run with sprints
    Incorporate a 6-7 second sprint into your endurance run as the mood takes you (e.g. every 5 or 10 minutes). After each sprint, continue at your normal pace.
    When to do it? Use throughout the year.
  • Mixed endurance run
    During a long workout, run slightly faster (at least at your half marathon race pace) every 10 minutes for 30-60 seconds. It should feel like you are temporarily shifting from second to third gear on a car ride.
    When to perform. Year-round use makes sense.

Long Jog 90 – 180 minutes

  • Long Slow Distance run
    The classic long run as performed by runners of any ability level until a few years ago. The goal was the distance, not the speed.
    When to run it? Always useful, especially in the foundation stage.
  • Increased Long Jog
    Divide your run into six parts of equal length. Each sequence is run slightly faster – the last section at marathon speed.
    When to perform. Useful in (marathon) race preparation.
  • Long Jog with final acceleration
    The last sixth of the Long Jog is run at the planned race pace. For example, the last 24 minutes of a 2-hour long jog.
    When to do it? Useful in (marathon) race preparation.
  • Long Jog with Splits
    Sections with competition speed are built into the Long Jog. For example, 3 x 10 minutes over two hours.
    When to do it? Useful in (marathon) competition preparation.
  • Intense Long Jog
    A variant “imported” from Kenya: The Long Jog is run at 85-90 percent of the possible marathon pace. This is especially intense for ambitious runners who want to run the marathon under three hours. The 4-hour runner, on the other hand, is in the basic range even at 90 percent of his marathon pace. This difference arises because the 4-hour runner has to set his marathon pace lower than the top runner. After all, he must be able to maintain his race pace over four hours and not just two hours. If an elite runner had to run for four hours at a time, he would also have had to set his competition speed lower.
    When to run? It makes sense during (marathon) race preparation.

Text from FITforLIFE– This blog post was provided to us by the Swiss magazine FIT for LIFE. If you want to read regularly informative knowledge articles in the field of running and endurance sports, click here.

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