Long Slow Distance (LSD) Pace


Your long run each Saturday should be at a pace that is 30-90 seconds slower than your race day marathon pace allowing your body to activate the capillary growth that is essential for endurance sport performance.  For example: If your goal is to run a 3:59 marathon, your LSD training pace should be no faster than 9:30 to 10:30 minutes per mile. It is important to start out at the slow end of that range to allow your body a 5-10 minute warm up for the workout. Your LSD run should be at a comfortable pace and if in doubt, go slower. You should be able to maintain the "easy" pace for the time you are on your feet, especially if you come into the long runs rested and ready to go.


While building your base, your main goal is to develop endurance.  The emphasis is on increased distance rather than speed. One way to tell if you are running at the proper pace is the “talk test”. If you feel that you are working hard or that your pace will be difficult to maintain, slow down until the work level feels easy or moderate. If you cannot carry on a conversation with another runner or you need to speak between gasps of air, slow down to what would be a conversational pace for you.