Long Slow Distance Running

lsd running

What would you say if I told you to try some LSD?  Well, before I scare you off, I am talking about an acronym for ‘Long Slow Distance’ Running.

The sign of a good runner is one that has a good lung capacity and good mileage.  Beginners often find these things to be out-of-reach, which is why many people quit too early.

The truth is anyone can develop their lung capacity and running mileage if they just follows the right formula.  And the main ingredient in the formula for success is LSD, or long slow distance running.   

So, how do you build your endurance through LSD running?  Here are some tips to show you how.

What is Long Slow Distance Running?

LSD is running at a mild pace in which you can carry on a conversation with your running partner (or yourself) without gasping for air.  Just try to run at a slow comfortable pace.  The goal is not to increase speed, but to increase endurance.  Your heart rate should ought to be between 55 up to 65% of its maximum rate.

The reality is that as a new runner, you have probably been running in LSD mode anyway, because that is the speed and intensity that most people run.  The goal is to continue to follow the new runners schedule, and build the duration of your runs.

Benefits of LSD


– LSD running builds aerobic endurance and aerobic capacity (lung power) even for absolute newbie runners.
– This provides a great chance to work on enhancing running form and mechanics.
– It can also serve as a time to reflect, be grateful about all of your blessings, and just enjoy the outdoors (even hough you are working hard and sweating like a madman).
– Long slow distance running is a great time to run with friends.  Because it is done at a conversational pace, it gives you a chance to catch up with your buddy, and pass the time quicker.

How Long Should a LSD Run Be?

Really, the length of the long slow distance running session depends on your fitness level and time that you have been running.  The goal is to get to where you run one long run at LSD pace during the week.  This long run will be the longest run for the week.  The other runs during the week will be shorter, and the intensity will vary.  But, I think a good base run of 30 minutes is a good goal to aim for.

Try to have at least one long run at that distance or greater, and keep your short runs around that time period as well.  Your shorter runs may be at LSD pace, or you may want to try some other running workouts for these run days.
As you continue to run, your long run and even short run mileage will increase incrementally.  Remember to increase your weekly mileage by no more than about 10%.  Just train smart and make good decisions along the way.  There is a balance between working hard and hurting your self.

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