Often the hardest part of a long workout is getting dressed, getting out and running. Especially when it’s dark, cold and muddy outside. Sometimes fear and laziness before a long run take over, but no one has yet regretted a training session, on the contrary, they have returned home happy and satisfied that they have overcome themselves.
Arm yourself with our recommendations, and then the longest workout will become an entertaining quest, not a grueling test.
What is a long duration workout
A long workout is when you run continuously for 1.5 hours or more. Approximately after this period, most of the muscle glycogen is depleted and the body switches to fat metabolism, which is very important for the development of general and special endurance.
Depending on the preparation of the runner, a long training session can differ in intensity, monotony and the presence of various “inserts” (eg accelerations) during the race. Accordingly, the more intense the training, the higher the requirements for readiness and mood.
As for how long it takes to perform a long workout, here everyone should choose it individually, depending on their own pace of life, schedule, schedule. There are no particular benefits for a particular time of day.
How to mentally prepare for a long run
A long training session requires more control than daily runs. It is necessary to take care of food (gels, salts, caffeine), drink (isotonic or water) and think more carefully about the material, especially in capricious weather. Charge the watch and load a tune into it if needed.
If there is no special task, you do not need to run on an empty stomach, it is better to eat well 1-2 hours before training with carbohydrates in the amount of 50-100 grams.
Nutrition in training is primarily needed to cope with distance without losing running power. If you do not feel such fears, you can do without an additional recharge.
Equipment plays an important role. If you feel comfortable running, long runs will be much easier. Choose clothes according to weather conditions, don’t forget a flashlight if you go out for a run in the dark.
Read more: How to choose a headlamp for running at night and What to run in the fall: rules for choosing clothes for running outdoors
Long training scares the numbers, but it can be given an exploratory function. Think ahead about the route to new places: it can be a loop track or an out and back route, places of interest where you have never been.
Splitting the round trip route allows you to focus only on the first half of the distance and you won’t have many options for the return trip. In addition, the return seems faster. It is a rather popular psychological technique to facilitate the perception of long distances.
3. Warm up
In addition to the standard joint warm-up and dynamic stretches you’re used to doing before training, do some activation strength exercises. For example, fast half squats or calf raises.
They will increase the tone of working muscles, excite the nervous system, increase oxygen consumption, and from the first meters of the run you will feel more cheerful.
4. Break the routine
A large amount of monotonous work temporarily suppresses the nervous system. Many people get bored during this process, so it’s worth finding an extra side activity while you’re running.
For example, thinking about an idea, solving a long-standing question, calculating something. During low-intensity runs, the head works in a very interesting way: there is a certain defragmentation of accumulated information (as during sleep, only consciously), thoughts are much easier to systematize, and the necessary formulations arise one by one. after the others!
For those who are fed up, we advise you to consider listening to music or an audiobook. But running with headphones must be accompanied by increased visual control and vigilance! And, of course, beginner runners should not get involved in music during training, because their main task is to learn to listen to sensations and thus regulate intensity and load.
5. Additional Motivation
There are plenty of options to further stimulate you to go out for long workouts. You just have to choose the pattern that invigorates you the most:
- Run in the business. Team up with like-minded people and dilute the routine run with emotional chatter. This technique will help limit the intensity and run at a conversational pace.
- Anticipation of praise on Strava and social networks. Showing your dedication and discipline to your fellow runners, getting rave reviews and likes is a great reward for your hard work.
- “End” the volume at a round number. Long-term training provides 20-50% of the weekly volume, and if you are striving to achieve a specific mileage “bar”, you cannot do without this training!
In fact, most runners train on Sundays without all these tricks because they really love running and the condition that comes with it. But in the presence of unpleasant external factors, it will not be superfluous to resort to additional stimulation of your willpower and motivation.
Read next: Running in the rain: how to dress so you don’t catch a cold