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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend/coworker has recently approached me about doing long runs together in preparation for a half in March. Her goal time (2 hours) is about 5-10 minutes from my goal time 1:50-1:55). She says her long run pace (a little over 10 mm) is about 20-30 seconds slower than my long run pace (about 9:40).<br><br>
It seems like our goals and paces are compatible enough to run together. But will running my long runs a little slower keep me from reaching my goal time? I am planning a 12 week training plan that will include a 2 twelve milers, 1 fourteen miler, 2 fifteen milers and the rest 10 milers mixed in.<br><br>
Part of me thinks it would be fun. I've never had a problem going "long" by myself, though. I don't get bored usually.<br><br>
Thanks in advance.
 

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My opinion is that very few people ever run their long runs too slow, and you're not about to do so.<br><br>
If you're worried about it, you could always make a few of them "fast finish long runs." Agree in advance that you'll pull away from her with 3 or 4 miles to go, then when you get to the "end" just turn around and run back to her and finish the last little bit as a cooldown.<br><br>
FFLRs are not something I'm making up, they are a fairly common tool in a runner's toolbox that balances the need for speed with distance.<br><br>
But honestly, most of the time just run with her. Do speedwork on other days.
 

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I agree with Hippo. Under my current HM plan, the long runs are always finished with the last 2-3 miles at goal HM pace.
 

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Plus, if you use the McMillan running calculator, there is always a one minute range for the long runs, and a 30 second range for the easy runs. My LR range is 10:10-11:20, and my easy run range is 10:10-10:40.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Okay!
 

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I agree with most of what has been said. In a regular LR, time on your feet is the most critical element. The goal is to cover the distance, so a pace that is a little slower should not be an issue. And Hippo's FFLR idea is a good one as well. These serve two purposes. First, as Hippo noted, they strike a balance between distance and speed. The second one is that you get used to running hard while fatigued. Running 5 M at HM pace is one thing. Running 5 M at HM pace after 10 slow easy miles is very different. You are training your body to move at a faster pace after already heating up, depleting some fuel and hydration sources, etc. Just as important is the mental aspect.<br><br>
My goal HM is the first weekend in April. There is a 7.6 mile race (loop around a lake) on the last weekend in Feb, that I am thinking about running the loop easy, then trying to run the race at HM pace, for exactly this kind of workout. We will see how I feel in Feb before I commit to it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Jebba- I do this. I also agree with much of what's been said here.<br><br>
This past year, I ran my long runs with a group that is about 10-20 min (or more) slower than me in the marathon. Doing so has helped me improve my aerobic conditioning.<br><br>
I.e. My normal easy long run pace is 7:50-8:10 per mile. My long run group paces 8:30-ish. I don't have a problem with it and I think the practice of running slower has turned me into a better runner.<br><br>
First off, running slower (or lower HR) is a practice in conserving carbs as a fuel. Running slower promotes the burning of fat as a fuel (something we can all benefit from) and conservation of glycogen as fuel.<br><br>
Starting slow and finishing fast is cool too. But a fast finish is not always necessary. Enjoy some long runs with a new training buddy!
 

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I agree with Roots. Too slow equals that it's so slow that can't maintain your form, or all you can think about is starting to walk. I've found that personally, it's about 2-2.5 minutes slower than my normal when this happens.
 

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Pfitz takes a different stance; he states that slow long runs are counterproductive to running your best times. He proposes progressive long runs that finish within 15-30 seconds of race pace.<br><br>
I trained for my first marathon using LSD and things fell apart for me pretty badly. One of the things I'm doing this time around is generating my training heavly based on Pfitz's <i>Advanced Marathoning.</i>
 

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Personally I try to do both slow and faster long runs. One weekend I will run with a group of friends who are slower than me and the following I'll run with a faster group. It keeps it interesting for me and I get to run with more people.
 

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I with PacerChris, but I will add a third option: I like to run the 1st 80% slow and then finish the last 20% at 1/2M or even 10k pace.<br><br>
or ...<br><br>
Run every other long run with your friend
 

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My training partner sounds much like your friend--she told me the same thing, 10 minute miles, while mine at the time had been coming in between 9:30-9:40. We started at both of us having our longest run at 6-7 miles. We just finished our training--our first half is tomorrow and the only run we did together was the weekly long run. We also have different goals--hers is to finish ideally in about 2 hours, I'd like to run it between 1:45-1:50. We alternated weeks between a shorter run at a faster (HM) pace and a longer run. I did speed work during the week (2x a week) while the majority of the time she just ran the miles on our plan although I think she has thrown some tempo runs in these past couple of weeks.<br><br>
You might give it a try before deciding what is right for you--we ended up pushing each other and at the end we were hitting those longer runs at about a 9:20-9:30 pace and I never felt like she was keeping me back at any point during our training. I did end up leaving her a couple of times during our faster runs but she was never far behind. Neither of us had ever run with someone else and it was a lot of fun, it really helped the time feel like it was going by more quickly than it really was.<br><br>
Lisa
 

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I am in the same boat and have decided to run every other with my buddy. I also do things like run 14 with him and the last 4 alone to practice a strong finish.<br>
do it. it's worth it for the social aspects.
 

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The slow long run works only if you are doing a lot of other running at a fairly fast pace, speed, tempo, lactate threshold, whatever. Improvement comes from intense training. If you can't train 6 days a week with 3 intense days, I'd recommend faster long runs. I've had pretty good results using the F.A.S.T. program <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,ssssss6-238-244--8257-6-1X2X3X4X5X6-7,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.runnersworld.com/article/...X5X6-7,00.html</a>
 
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