The Importance of 'Long' Runs for Sprinters
If you have been a track and field runner for any length of time, then you know that most Sprinters HATE running long distance runs. It is also no secret that what long distance means to Sprinters is different from what it means to Distance runners. However, whatever the length it is just as important.
I fall into this category, I don't enjoy running things over 1 mile to be completely honest. The thing is... I still do it, and quite regularly especially in preparation for the competitive part of my season.
Longer distance runs, that are 2-6miles + are the range I stay within, usually finding a happy 4 mile medium. I am a quarter mile hurdler so it is important that I run greater distances to improve my endurance.
Now, as I stated before I don't appreciate running over 1 mile. My body does not like it at all, coupled with asthma and two knee surgeries, it isn't always a fun experience. As dreaded it can be it is a crucial part of a improving a Sprinters performance throughout the rest of their season.
Here's the scenario: your half way through the 100 meter and you underestimate just how long that full out sprint can feel. You reach the 70 meter mark, and because you don't have many distance runs under your belt your form starts falling apart, your head starts going back. arms flailing and all hope of satisfactory performance is dashed.
Once you have a good base training down, then you can focus on the mechanics of your run, which is crucial to mastering your race.
Think of it like putting on make up! When you want the performance of your makeup to last, you make sure you have a good foundation/base. The primer or base will help your makeup endure and flourish the entire day. Your distance runs, endurance and strength training will help carry you through the rest of your season, like a good foundation does for makeup.
The moral of the story is having good base training can make a world of a difference in your season. Sprinters, don't be afraid to run more than 2 laps because it can only improve your body's physical preformance. Don't beat yourself up if it is not an amazingly easy run. Heck, I just worry about getting it done.
Find a nice balance and work those longer runs into your training, you will only see progress.
The stages of struggle during long runs.
Here are some helpful links about the importance long runs: