Sprinting at the end of a long run

Sorry if this has been asked before (and it probably has) but does anyone else here crank up the pace for the last mile of a long run or kick in a sprint 400m from home? I have started doing mainly because I enjoy kicking my arse that bit extra at the end of a run, but wondered if there are any actual benefits or serious risks to doing so?




  • I think the chances of giving yourself cramp are probably quite high. I don't imagine there are any other real risks or benefits though. Quite a lot of people do it.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    It was recommended by that other Yorkshire runner Seb Coe no less. Proceed.

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    I'm sure I read in more than one place that you should NOT do this - not for any risk of injury, but inefficient training.   Possibly the Hadd thread was one of those places - saying that you can undo a lot of the good work by running fast at the end of a long run.

    Phrases like "make sure each run has a purpose, and only ONE purpose" stick in my mind.  So does the word 'acidosis'.... or something like that.

    But P&D training plans encourage strides...  as do other sources.   I must admit to being unclear on this issue.

    I'd appreciate any specific comment on this.

  • You could do strides towards the end of a long run if it is late in the cycle and you are not far off a taper for a marathonm, say. The purpose is then to get used to how race pace feels when you're tired. A sort of calibration and reality check.

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Steve...  P&D marathon programmes have strides from the start of the second week.  My previous question stands!

    You might be just the sort of chap to have a decent opinion on that.

  • so what happens to the cool down part of your run.....isn't that supposed to be at the end .not sprinting

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    It depends what phase of training you're in ... during base phase you probably don't want to generate lots of lactic acid by running above LT too often (hence strides are good ... leg speed without acidosis) ... but in race season I think hard running is necessary (so long as you don't over-do it and then waste proper quality days due to fatigue). I sometimes put in a hard 2nd half to a Sunday long run ... I quite like progressive runs ... but that may then take the place of a Tuesday quality session.

  • I nearly always speed up at the end of a run.

    I'm diabetic, doing a sprint near the end is actually a useful way to avoid hypoglycaemia post exercise.

    As long as you can do it without causing injury, I don't see the harm in it.

  • Suspect it has limited benefits beyond mentally building for the kick for home, but would doubt it does much harm and if you enjoy it then why not.

    If you're seeking a 'no pain no gain' approach, could try splitting the long run into a 4+1 or 5+1, and jack the pace up and hold it throughout the last 15-20% of the distance. 

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    you wont hit proper vo2max (ie 3k) pace much less sprint pace,  and are going to hit 5k-10k pace at best. Running one 400m rep hard-ish at the end of 16-20 miles  is a poor simulation for the latter stages of a marathon - you'd want a  longer time spent at or around half marathon pace for that.

    personally I'd rather do an occasional progression run for this kind of thing, say 3mi easy/6mi steady/3mi HM / 1mi oooldown. I leave the faster stuff for an interval or tempo session.

    I just like to have a clearer split of what each session is for.

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