10 Reasons I Love Long Duration, Low Intensity Running


Image adapted from Malcav

By Luke Jones. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. 

I wrote a few weeks back about long duration, low intensity aerobic training, and probably got into it a little too deep and waffled on too much…

As I mentioned in that last post, aerobic training is one of the many tools I have been using to build myself back up, and the majority of this work has been in the form of running.

My runs vary anywhere between 40 to 90 minutes in length, and I aim to keep my heart rate below the 155 bpm mark, approximately.

Every run is different, but they all help me to grow in some form or another.

I thought I’d highlight some of the main benefits I that have personally noticed on my running adventures so far:

1. Physical Benefits. Increased aerobic fitness. Reduced body fat. Reduced risk of chronic disease. All great health promoting things.

2. Mindfulness. When I’m running, I get a chance to focus on my breath, and give my mind the opportunity to be still. Sometimes it’s a bit like moving mediation.

3. Self Evaluation. Other times, my run can present an opportunity to reflect on the decisions I have made, the habits I am forming, the relationships I have with the others around me. It can be a time where I am self critical, and figure out which aspects of my life I need to improve upon.

4. Creativity. Most of the greatest ideas and inventions were created in solitude. Many of my ideas for the blog, or future business plans come to me on a long run.

5. Being in Nature. I’m lucky enough to live near the mountains where there are some great routes for runs or long hikes. Whatever the weather, it’s nice to breathe the clean, refreshing air; and get a bit lost in the wilderness.

6. Learning. Never before have we had so much access to information. There are so many great audio books and podcasts out there, and sometimes I love sticking some on when I run. Some of my favourites: The Rich Roll Podcast, No Meat Athlete Radio, Philosophize This, JRE, Zen Habits.

7. Go Slow. Be Patient. When I’m running, I aim to keep my heart rate below 155 bpm to ensure I don’t overdo it and fill my legs with lactic acid. Read more here. This sometimes means that I have to walk if I come to a hill, which is a difficult thing to do for me. But it’s good to practice.

8. De-Stress. Running can be an escape from the stress of everyday life. If something is bothering me, usually by the end of a long run my mind has sorted things out. I feel much calmer, more peaceful and balanced.

9. Achieving. By tracking my heart rate and distances on MapMyRun, and occasionally performing the same run; I can see how my fitness levels have improved. Some people need to see progress to keep them on track.

10. Catching Up With Friends. I usually run solo, but occasionally I’ll run with a friend. It acts as a great time to catch up and have an extended conversation that may otherwise be quite difficult to fit in.

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10 thoughts on “10 Reasons I Love Long Duration, Low Intensity Running

  1. Pingback: 10 Reasons I Love Long Duration, Low Intensity Running | Lady Holland

  2. I really love your connection between running and creativity. I took a creativity class once and was told that when doing things like running your mind reaches a certain type of meditative stasis. It’s nice to be reminded of running’s benefits, thanks for the post!

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  4. Love this post! I love running long-distance as well Im actually training for a half-marathon. But, I am not trying to get the best time because it’s so stress-relieving to move at a good slow pace. Just thought I would chip in and relate!

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