[i]Originally posted by KW[/i]
Many people call the long run the most important piece of a distance runner’s program. I’m not sure I would go that far, but it only makes sense that to get better at an endurance event, you would first improve endurance by having at least one session per 7-10 days in which you run increasingly longer distances.
There are many physiological reasons for doing so including the building of mitochondrial density, higher % of lean body mass as well as becoming biomechanically and cardiovascularly more efficient.
It also works the psychological side of the things by helping you to focus for longer periods of time. I’ve always found the long run to be an ideal time to “dream big.” Thinking about the goals you’d like to hit or imagining yourself as a powerful running animal gliding effortlessly across the terrain while just punishing the opposition.
To give you an idea of what a good long run is-there are many people who advocate going at least 3 x the race distance (with the exception of the marathon, of course). It should be the least intense run of the week in terms of pace though.
As far as the lifting goes-3 lifts per muscle is just too much. Lifting should be a complimentary portion of a longer distance runner’s routine, not a lengthy time consuming item. You’d be better off spending that time on your abs (IMHO)
I agree with everything above, an excellent post.