Jeff Galloway recently came into the Maine Running Company for the evening to share some of his experience. This is a continuation of my write-up based on the notes that I took during the event. All of the articles will be linked to down at the end of the article as they appear on the website.

Building Endurance

“The development of endurance is very simple. You just increase the distance of your long run.”

For any length of run, you can hold your endurance for at least 2 weeks. If your long runs are usually over 17 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 3 weeks. If your long runs are over 26 miles, then you can hold that endurance for 4 weeks.

In order to build endurance, there is no pace that is too slow for your long run. The benefits of building up your long run by slowing down translate directly into your race performance, as does covering at least the distance of your event beforehand. The average improvement for somebody that has run a marathon with a long run of 20 miles that then runs up to 26 miles before their next marathon is 15 minutes. The average improvement for increasing the long run distance from 26 miles to 29 miles is another 11 minutes.

Jeff continually emphasized throughout the entire evening that slowing down, especially as you begin to run longer and longer distances, is crucial to maximize your ability to stay injury free.

To build up your long run, Jeff recommends increasing the distance by 1 mile per week until you can run 10 miles. After that, you should only go out for a long run every other week, increasing the distance by 2 miles each long run up to around 17 miles, and then by 3 miles. On your “off” weeks from your long run, you should run half the distance of your last long run, or else take the opportunity to run a race.

You also want to be aware of the diminishing returns of your long run based on the distance that you plan on racing. For a 5k, you don’t really benefit from running over 12 miles on your long run. For a 10k, your best bet is to work up to 17 miles. For a marathon, the sweet spot is right around 29 miles for the long run.

(Event Photos)