Snailing around – or how to make the long ones longer and more versatile


After a long pause of 3 months with almost no activity I am back again and feel well. Or in short: I suffered but survived. And there’s a lot I’ve learned from that and from “coming back”. One thing that I want to pick up here are the slow long ones. they helped me to come back. For all the ultra runners I’ve met on Iceland this training is understood.

At least once a week I am going to do a long one. I am doing these trainings at 60 to max. 70% of my maximum heart rate. So I can store the power and strengthen your ability to go longer and longer. Going slower means: you can do it longer and you get stronger. Which is my priority now.

I am also varying the disciplines whenever possible, some kind of brick sessions. Brick sessions are versatile and have the advantage that I don’t overload my legs from running (injury) or my back from cycling (overload) and so on. And all those who are racing duathlons, triathlons or swim runs – will profit anyway as their body will learn to adapt faster after transition.  Just note that you shouldn’t start with too long trainings. Just start where you are and then increase week by week something like 15 or 20 minutes. slooooowly.

The second opportunity to do that is walking, running or cycling to work, to my outside trainings or to see the people I am going to meet. Moving my body instead of taking the car. With winter trainings at 60 to 70% of  my max. heart rate I won’t get wet and less tired. And wearing the right stuff (merino) prevents me from stinking. All I need is in a seal bag in the light backpack.

Some ideas or opportunities to do so:

  • Last saturday i was adding a rainy run to my already “long” spinning-running-core training. Which ended up with a solid 4 hours workout. Next time (in two weeks) I will add a run back to end up with 5 hours.
  • The week before I was walking hard uphill on my running belt when watching the missed 4 episodes of a tv series.
  • Today I am going to do a run-swim-run (45-60-30), which enlarges my mid of the week swim training to a 2 hours ++ training. Taking off the time i would need to drive there and back is a net investment of additional 45 minutes but a workout of 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Tomorrow I will walk and run to meet some people in the evening and then in the night back home again.
  • Just add an extra hour before you go out for a run with your mate?
  • How about looking the movie or two on your cycle trainer at your home or outside with friends? (

So whenever you see somebody “snailing” around the corner. It might be a very smart athlete optimizing a) his training time and b) adding extra power and endurance for the upcoming season.
Let’s see where I will end up at end of February when I can feel the progress at my first competition up at the northern coast of Ireland.


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