The 2017 Running Awards most recent poll found that when it comes to training a staggering 63% of runners prefer a long run over all other types of training. With this in mind we take a look at the most interesting stats on long distance running

  • Going on a long run, then don’t stretch apparently. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that stretching before going for a run made a runner’s body less efficient so that they did not perform as well and were unable to run as far.
  • Instead of stretching, try warming up with a walk and running-specific moves to mobilise your joints before your run. You should then make sure to include stretches as part of your post-run routine.
  • According to The American Heart Association running for just 75 minutes a week can help cut the risk of heart disease, this is just one long run for some!
  • 60 is the new 18, over the marathon distance at least! Spanish researchers looked at the ages and finishing times of runners in the 2010 and 2011 New York City Marathon and found that men run their fastest marathon at age 27; women at 29. Times were 4% slower for every year younger than these ages, and 2% slower for each year thereafter. Meaning an 18-year-old marathoner runs about as fast as a 60-year-old finisher.
  • The average exercise life of a running shoe is 400 miles. Even by Dean Karnazes standards that’s a few long runs!

Long Runs are the most popular, but not necessarily the best form of training…

  • Sprinting for 8 seconds and jogging for 12 seconds over 20mins, burns up to 5 times more fat than 40 mins of jogging at the one speed
  • Got a long way to go? Best walk. Humans are 60 – 70% more economical when walking than running.
  • Too much running can make you sick! Research shows that runners who log more than 80kms a week can double their risk of illness, especially upper respiratory illness. However, running a moderate 30-50km a week boosts your immune system and will keep you well.

Whether 100 mile runs are for you or not it’s really worth checking out our community partner’s ‘Running Bug’s interesting look into the runners who take part in these endurance races and how they coped through cakes, swearing songs and hallucinations.

Also, don’t forget to browse our Endurance Events category to find the best events for long distance running as nominated by runners themselves.

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