Why Are Long Runs So Long?
By Adriana Strah
(WINDSOR, ON) – In training for a marathon you have several different types of runs. You have hills, sprints, fartleks (my personal favourite) and of course the long run. Hills and sprints are pretty self explanatory but fartleks, is a word some of you may giggle at and then question the definition.
Fartlek, meaning “speed play” in Swedish, is basically your body switching from aerobic to anaerobic in a training session such as walking to sprinting but varying the intervals so that it’s not as structured as a sprint workout. Fartlek workouts are not limited to just running though, they can be incorporated into the conditioning programs for any sport.
Today, however, I want to discuss the long run which – for me – is my greatest nemesis. So why – you’re probably asking yourself – did you even sign up for a marathon? I got caught up in the post-marathon euphoria of running the Hamilton 30k Around the Bay so now I’m stuck running not one, but TWO marathons this fall!
The last time I decided to run a full marathon I never questioned the training. I never really questioned the training for my half marathons either but a few weeks ago, during a particularly horrible long run I asked myself; why are these long runs so long? Why do I have to train for these things? So upon returning home, after stretching and icing and eating, I promptly looked into this.
According to www.benson.com.au the long run is important for several reasons; it takes the pressure off achieving the weekly volume, it trains the fast twitch fibers so they have greater aerobic capacity than normal and finally long relaxed runs strengthens all the ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones of the body.
After reading this incredibly informative article I realized why I, specifically, need the long runs. I need them so that when I’m running the marathon I’ll know I can complete the distance. It’s psychological more than physiological for me. I feel that if I know what’s coming such as mental blocks and sore knees half way through, I’ll be able to push past that barrier when it arises and overcome it. Why? Because dwelling on it will get me nowhere! Definitely not closer to that finish line.
Short URL: http://www.windsorsquare.ca/?p=20326