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All About LSD Running (Long Slow Distance)
10/19/2015 6:29:00 PM
LSD running might have more health benefits than you may think!

All About LSD Running (Long Slow Distance)

Corewell Health

All About LSD Running (Long Slow Distance)

lsd-running Running has always been known as a great aerobic workout to burn fat and reduce stress. Many people know running helps with weight loss, lowers your risk for heart disease and diabetes and helps improve sleep. However, many people also associate running as an intense workout that is too demanding and strenuous on bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Surprisingly, significant portions of the mileage logged by some of the best runners can be best characterized as “easy” slow runs. Just because long slow distance running might be relatively easy doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial. LSD running might have more health benefits than you may think!

“Long slow distance running can benefit people that want overall health and wellness benefits,” details Roger Sacks, Beaumont Exercise Physiologist. “If you are not a current runner, it is best to start with walking, progressing to a walk/jog, and eventually slow running. Even at lower intensities, significant cardiovascular benefits can be obtained while building up your endurance.”

How slow is slow running?

Long slow distance running is a constant pace of low to moderate intensity over an extended distance or duration, meant to minimize the effect of fatigue and risk of injury. The distance of long slow distance runs is up to the runner, ranging even up to about 20 miles for advanced runners.

As with any kind of exercise, if done improperly, running longer distances at a slower pace can cause injury. Doing too many miles without having the body adapt can lead to shin splints, stress fractures, excessive muscle fatigue/soreness, among others injuries. Sacks says these injuries can be minimized by using the “10 percent rule,” which states that a runner should never increase his/her mileage by more than 10 percent from the previous week.

Why practice long slow distance running?

Slow running gurus describe LSD running as the foundation of your “running house.” Building a solid foundation of easy miles will prevent your “running house” from collapsing because keeping the pace slow will enable you to run more without burning out.

The gentle stress of an easy run is a satisfactory workout for many people. However, LSD running can also be used to gradually introduce running at a faster pace and intensity.

Health Benefits of Long Slow Distance Running

LSD running will enhance your body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to your muscles and your body’s ability to burn fat as a source of energy. Additionally, LSD running teaches your body to store more energy as glycogen in your muscles.

Sacks adds, “This type of training also uses a greater percentage of fat calories than higher intensity activity and helps with weight loss. LSD also acclimates the muscles, bones and joints, preparing the body for higher intensity training.”

Long slow distance running can be a great choice for beginners, injury-prone runners and those just looking to run without chasing any time goals. So next time you set out for run, think about taking it slow and easy!

Beaumont Cardiovascular Performance Clinic

Before doing any form of exercise, particularly if you’ve not done it for a while, it’s best to consult your doctor. If your doctor is comfortable with you doing exercise, LSD would certainly be a good option. Beaumont,  Royal Oak’s Cardiovascular Performance Clinic also screens for congenital heart defects, heart rhythm problems and potential blockages (studies not typically performed with a standard physical).