Hey everyone, thanks for reading along in this series on how to improve your 5k (or any distance). This section will concentrate on the importance of the “LSD” or long slow distance running and include a couple of tips on what you can do to prepare for your run. Running these longer distances can help build your physical and mental state as well as makes you less fatigued for shorter distances. As a side note, I would like to say that the above image I took while on a LSD run in the Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington. There are plenty of open roads to run along that are perfect for long slow distance and the views are spectacular! So without further ado, let’s hop right into part 3 in the series.
Long Slow Distance (LSD)
Long slow distance running is exactly that, running long and slow. Running longer distances to train for a short distance sounds crazy, but it definitely has its benefits. It helps with building endurance of course as well as help with your mental or emotional state of mind. LSD runs allow you to take in the environment around you and experience the joy of running. There’s no time limit and you’re not pushing yourself to the point where you’re gasping for air. Running for longer periods of time can help you focus on self-reflection and you can add in music to relax. You can also run with a partner to pass the time and catch up on the latest news with them. Since this is a long training exercise, there are a few things to know about LSD runs before heading out.
- If you’re running for longer than 30 minutes, bring some sort of food and water. Gel shots, blocks, or goo are made for running longer distances so pack some up before heading out.
- Always wear the proper gear. Stray away from wearing too many layers so that you overheat and wear comfortable shoes that are broken in. This is not a time to test out new shoes.
- Go to the bathroom to get everything out. You can also include a run that passes your house or a public restroom, although I find it tough to get back into the groove after taking that type of break.
- Don’t pick up the pace or add in any speed play. This is meant to be a slow workout.
- Try to run during the day or when there is daylight.
- If you’re going on any trail running, bring a partner. You don’t want to get injured on a trail and not have any assistance. Plus it passes the time when you talk to someone about anything and everything.
- Need help finding a route? Try seeking out a few courses in local parks or look for a course through various running apps that runners have catalogued like Strava or Map My Run.
- Concentrate on your breathing and your footstrike. Are you light on your feet or slapping your feet on the ground?
- Remember that every mile isn’t a challenge, it’s an opportunity to grow stronger and endure.
- Relax and enjoy the scenery and the fresh air!