LSD: Long Slow Distance

What's the deal with LSD Runs?

There have been questions about the pace groups and the purpose of running a minute to a minute and a half slower on them. LSD (long slow distance) runs is when you are running at a pace where you can carry on conversation and you are not panting for breath. It's during LSD runs that your body develops endurance and stamina.

A key aim of the LSD run is to increase your ability to burn fat, store more glycogen and to challenge the body and mind to continue running even when fatigued. Run fast and the reliance shifts to more carbohydrates, less fats. Run slowly and the muscles rely more on fat and less on carbohydrate. So on the long, steady run, you don't run fast.

It is also important to do these runs slower, as it prevents injuries. As you run, you put your body under stress and body cells are destroyed. Over time, stress reaches the point where your body breaks down and injury occurs.

So, by using moderation through LSD runs and allowing time for rest between runs, runners can reduce their stress level to point where their bodies can handle it, and they can reach their goals without injury and without being overly tired. In doing this, they can develop a good base that will allow them to do their training in a systematic and safe way.

Remember, our goal is to have everyone complete this training injury free, have a good time while doing it and ultimately, complete our targeted race feeling good and injury free as well!!!


Karen Craney
Training Program Coordinator
RRCA Certified Coach
Fleet Feet Sports Certified Coach
Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg, MD

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