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The Art of Slowing Down: Unraveling the Purpose, Benefits, and Execution Tips for This Crucial Workout

Published on June 14 by Anna

Long, Slow Distance (LSD) training might sound counterintuitive for athletes seeking serious endurance gains. But don't be fooled by the leisurely pace. LSD workouts are a cornerstone of building a strong aerobic foundation, crucial for sustained performance.

Why LSD?

Endurance sports require your body to efficiently utilize oxygen. LSD training strengthens your heart, improves blood vessel function, and increases the number of mitochondria (the powerhouses of your cells) – all factors that enhance your ability to process oxygen and fuel your muscles during long events.

Benefits of LSD:

  • Increased Endurance: The longer and slower you train, the better your body adapts to sustained efforts.
  • Improved Fat Burning: LSD workouts tap into fat stores for energy, making you a more efficient fat-burning machine.
  • Reduced Injury Risk: By strengthening muscles and connective tissues at a comfortable pace, LSD training helps prevent overuse injuries.
  • Mental Toughness: Completing long runs builds mental resilience, a key asset for pushing through tough races.

Nailing Your LSD Run:

  • Pace Yourself: Contrary to what you might think, LSD is about going slow. Aim for a conversational pace – you should be able to comfortably chat with a running buddy. A heart rate monitor can help you stay in the 60-70% of your max heart rate zone.
  • Focus on Time, Not Distance: Beginners can start with 30-minute runs and gradually increase the duration by 10% each week. Experienced runners can work up to runs lasting several hours.
  • Listen to Your Body: Don't push through pain. If you feel discomfort, slow down or take a walk break. Consistency is key, so prioritize finishing your run over distance or speed.
  • Fuel Up: Don't neglect nutrition. Have a light snack before your run and consider hydration during longer runs.

Embrace the Slow:

LSD training might seem uneventful compared to high-intensity workouts. But the endurance gains you unlock through consistent LSD sessions will translate to race-day success. So, lace up your shoes, slow down, and unlock your true potential.