Marathon Training 2019 Day 6: First “Long” Run

November 28 2018 Morning run pic 1 medium version“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” – Vincent Van Gogh

Today’s run was what could be considered the first “long run”, although compared with the other long runs I will be doing in my training this will seem more like a short run. After my dynamic warm-up, I ran for ~50 minutes on some trails near me that are flat. Very convenient! It’s nice not to have to feel the impact of training on the roads for all of my training runs. Plus the view from Davidson Mesa, In Louisville, CO where I ran are spectacular! I kept the pace easy for this run, although I had to remind myself several times not to push the pace. Long runs like today’s run, will help me build my aerobic fitness for my upcoming marathon in September. Along with building my neuromuscular fitness through the mobility and strengthening exercises I did immediately after my run, I am setting myself up to smoothly transition into more marathon-specific training in a few months.

Here are the mobility and strengthening exercises I did after my easy “long” run:

  • Leg swings forward and back with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Leg swings side-to-side with both straight and bent leg (10 repetitions of each for each leg)
  • Single-leg stand (~30 seconds for each leg)
  • Pushups (10 repetitions)
  • Monster walks side-to-side and forward and back (done with resistance band, 10 repetitions for each direction)
  • Prone planks (~30 seconds)
  • Side planks (~25 seconds)
  • Supine planks (~20 seconds)
  • Clamshells (20 repetitions on each side)
  • Y, T, I, and W (10 repetitions for each position)
  • Double leg hip bridges (10 repetitions)
  • Quadrupeds (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Toe yoga (10 repetitions times for each foot)
  • Fire hydrants (7 repetitions on each side)
  • Knee circles forward (7 repetitions for each leg)
  • Knee circles backward (7 repetitions for each leg)
  • Single-leg balance (~30 seconds for each leg)

After this I did foam rolling for quadriceps/hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves for ~10 minutes.

Recommendation: For today’s run, I recommend performing a dynamic warm-up and then running at an easy pace in a flat area for 25-50 minutes, depending on your running experience, goals, and time off from running. I also recommend performing any of the exercises above that you know how to perform properly. You should also perform a cool-down.

Tip of the Day: I recommend spending at least 2-3 months building your aerobic fitness, mobility, and strength before engaging in half- or full-marathon specific training, especially if you are a beginner runner or have not been running consistently for the past 6 months are longer.  We can lose a substantial amount of aerobic fitness in a very short period of time (sometimes as little as two weeks!).  So, it can be beneficial to build or rebuild your aerobic fitness, so that you can be more effective once you begin more challenging workouts.  Building your aerobic fitness is tremendously important if you are planning to run a half or full marathon, and is also beneficial for shorter events such as 10ks and 5ks. The important adaptations, such as when performing long runs at an easy pace include: strengthening the heart which increases stroke volume (amount of blood pumped in each beat), and lowering heart rate at rest and during submaximal exercise, increasing the size and density of mitochondria (so can produce more energy aerobically), increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, increased blood volume and blood flow, and increased number of blood vessels (capillaries). So your body is able to deliver more oxygen to your exercising muscles and you are able to produce more energy aerobically.  Your body also becomes better at clearing lactate and you become more economical runner.   This is also a great time to be incorporating proper recovery, such as foam rolling which I have mentioned in previous posts.  I will go into more detail on recovery and other aspects of training in future posts.


Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of help in any way.

Have a great day!


Your friend and coach,




  • Daniels’ Running Formula Second Edition. Jack Daniels. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2005.
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