Long Run Pace
Long run pace is something I always struggle with. According to my goal marathon time, I should be doing my long runs anywhere from 8:37 to 9:44 min/mile. The last time I ran a long run at 8:37 was the 11 miler I did the day after the 5 mile race that I won. 🙂 Other than that, I’m always running faster and I know I need to slow down. Mentally though, I find it very difficult to slow down that much.
The weekend after my Boston disaster. I decided to tackle my long run a little differently. I did an easy 11 miles at around 8:35/mile, then 7 miles at 7:25/mile and then 4 miles at 8:40/mile. It really was the best 22 miler I had ever done. Having that easy start with those tougher miles in the middle followed by a cool down made it go by so much quicker and I loved it. In preparation for my 18 miler this weekend, I wanted to look into what other people had to say about the long run pace. Today, I’m going to focus on what Jack Daniels (not the liquor) has to say…
When you do your long (L) runs, you should run at a pace which is very close to (E) (easy-run) velocity, which is about 70% of V02max. Long runs (L), improve cell adaptation, and lead to glycogen depletion and fluid loss (important considerations for distance runners), but should not be demanding in terms of the intensity (pace) being utilized.
Daniels’ popularized running formula is used to calculate your VDOT and from there, you can determine your pace for certain workouts as well as projected finish times for other races. I’m more focused on the long run but you can read more about his formula here and here. Daniels, along with other running experts suggest running the first part of your long run at your easy pace and then gradually accelerate to marathon pace over the last 8-10 miles. I found this awesome (and very detailed) calculator that uses Daniels’ running formula to plan your long runs. The long runs include miles at an easy pace, miles at marathon pace, and miles at tempo pace. Luckily this isn’t for every long run, but instead for every other long run – depending on which plan you follow. I need something like this to break up the long run. It helps me so much mentally and I think I would do well following this type of workout. Assuming that I still stick to doing other long runs at a steady easy pace…
I’d love to know if anyone else has used Daniels’ running formula to train for a race or if you have any other long run pace suggestions. Until then, I’m looking forward to changing things up this Saturday.
Sending many happy running thoughts your way,