1 hour runs, every run, throughout your base training phase (6-8 weeks)
I didn't just happen upon the monstrous benefit of one-hour training runs, they are the World's Best Running Coach, Jack Daniels, base training's main dish.
Again, Daniels is right! For many winters, I have rested well on the training strategy of all weekday runs at nothing less and nothing more than one hour. It may seem too simple. If so, jazz it up any way you want. However, know that the one hour of running, that you are stacking up day after day, is where the magic will happen.
In other phases of training, I stay away from the one-hour duration. I have built the base I need and am onto training other systems. The long runs throughout the other training phases keep the aerobic base strong. Without the base training phase, I won't be able to last through the endurance races. Hence, why, first run long and often, then fast and hard, finishing with wins.
HOW? Run easy pace until your watch says 1:00:00. Then stretch and strengthen. Repeat the next day. And the next day... Monday-Friday. For some runners (master ages or injury prone), it may be better to run two days in a row and then take a day off, instead of 5 straight days in a row. For those that go for the high miles, continue with your weekend 8-12 mile long run.
Beginner Runners-- Please adjust the time duration to fit your current level. Each week increase the time by 5 minutes. You will witness a world of a difference in your fitness after 6-8 weeks.
1/2 + Full Marathon Preparers- Start your training here, with hour runs. Although your long runs are important, you need running fitness to fight fatigue throughout all the marathon miles.
I must note that if you are a Nordic skier (as I am becoming, yup, broke my first pole today) and this is your ski training season, please don't attempt your base training season until the daffodils are blooming! Ski to your heart's content and run easy 2-3 times a week as your second sport.
JUST ONE HOUR
STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER
MAKE IT SIMPLE