September, 2016 Monthly Archive

Long Run Season – Dreadful or Delightful

Training is going good, but the summer months were a killer. Hot and Humid. Of course, I shouldn’t complain because after all, I will be running a marathon in Honolulu.

Speaking of which, there are about two months to go, and that means long runs. I used to dread long runs. It was hard to find time for them, especially with weekend plans. Plus I always thought that the run would kill me by the time it was over.

But the key to a long run is to NOT run too fast or hard. You want to keep an RPE of around 3/5. Using a Heart Rate monitor, that is usually Zone 3 – the moderate zone at 70-80% of your max heart rate. At my age that’s 100-115 bmp (with a max of 165). But if I use the Karvonen formula that takes in account my resting rate, then my 60%-80% training HR would be 122 – 144. As a matter of fact, I find that my RPE for a level of 3 usually falls into the 128-138 range. After 60-80 minutes, my HR usually starts going up and can pass 144 bmp after 100 minutes. The main reason for this is because I don’t hydrate.

So I try to find my RPE 3 by…

  • being able to breath through my nose
  • taking 1 breath once every 3 strides
  • being able to talk easily


Then there are a couple of other key indicators that are great (before I get too dehydrated)…

  • I feel that I can maintain this pace forever
  • I feel better than walking a very brisk pace


This has been working out pretty good for me, so now I try to find a flat route were I can enjoy the scenery and try to run while watching the sunrise. This is usually down along the coast, on the beach at low tide, or on a boardwalk.

As long as I can keep my pace slow and steady, I fall into the right zone . I actually enjoy these runs more than when I need to run at a max intensity or with a heart rate above 145.

I just need to remember that the long run is all about time on my feet and not speed.