What's the Best Pace for Long Runs?

Examples: 

  • 14 miles total with the first 6 miles at an easy/moderate pace, 7 miles at tempo, 1 mile easy 
  • 14 or more miles total with 10 miles at tempo 
To make the tempo harder, add more miles to the front, and extend the first easy phase.
More: How Tempo Runs Improve Your Speed

The Mental Component 

Harder long runs test you mentally and, especially if you're planning on racing longer (10K, half marathon, marathon, etc.), these runs simulate what you'll be going through on race day much better than doing all of your long runs easy.

You still don't want to make each weekly long run hard, and you want to be smart with your overall training. Group your training in three-week cycles, and complete a long-run workout every third week.

Tip for Beginners: If you're not ready for long-run workouts, start by experimenting with faster running during long runs. Add some short surges or sprinkle in some 30-second strides within those middle miles.

Be smart. Be patient. Then go attack some long runs.

More: 2 Workouts to Make Marathon Race Pace Feel Easier

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About the Author

Caitlin Chock

Caitlin Chock set the previous national high school 5K record (15:52.88) in 2004. Now a freelance writer and artist, she writes about all things running and designs her own line of running shirts. You can read more, see her running comics, and shirts at her website www.CaitChock.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @CaitChock.

Caitlin Chock set the previous national high school 5K record (15:52.88) in 2004. Now a freelance writer and artist, she writes about all things running and designs her own line of running shirts. You can read more, see her running comics, and shirts at her website www.CaitChock.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @CaitChock.

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