For some it is called the Long Steady Run or Long Slow Run (LSR) for others the Long Slow Distance (LSD). Personally I have always called it the Long Steady Run. Something about saying I am going for a LSD just doesn’t sound quite right, I’d expect people to give me a strange and suspicious looks.
But what does a LSR really mean?
Whether you are training for a 5km, HM, Marathon or Ultra, we should always factor in a slow run. Most days in our training programme we will be pushing ourselves both mentally and physically to try and get that optimum performance. This naturally starts to put a strain on your body and mind. The LSR then comes into its own for a couple of reasons:
- The LSR forces you to run slowly, thus allowing your joints, muscles and ligaments to recover.
- Because you are running slowly you are able to run further, seemingly with less effort.
- Running slower for longer teaches the body that it is capable of exercising far longer than you expected.
- Realising that you can run further gives a positive mental boost and helps break down some of those mental barriers.
- Surprisingly a LSR helps you to mentally destress and gives you the time to really appreciate your surroundings.
Everyone should include a LSR into their training programme. It doesn’t matter what distance you are aiming for, a LSR is relative to your specific training programme. If you are aiming to run 5km, then 3km could be your LSR, likewise if you are aiming to run a 33 mile ultra then a marathon could be your LSR.
So get out there and experience the LSR. The fact that you are running slowly means you get the time and have the energy to really appreciate your surroundings. You can even stop to take photos without worrying about how it will effect your finish time. You will be amazed what new things you discover on a long run, not just environmentally but you will also discover deeper things about yourself. You are tougher than you think.
Keep Calm and go for a LSR.