There are times when the long run can become a chore and it's hard to muster the mental focus for however long you need to be out there, especially after a hard week of training and life in general.
While most of the time I encourage athletes to do their long runs mostly in mid to low zone 2 (with the occasional drift due to hills) as we start to shift the focus to more race specific and less general fitness, aka their base is fairly well intact so I can sprinkle in these little pick ups without a huge fear of injury or them over burning it.
Workout: Long run w/build segments - 4x(4x30"/2'/6')
- I'm basing the below numbers on a 75' run workout
Warm up: Adjust as desired, aka run a longer warm up if needed
20', starting at just above a shuffle and building into low/mid zone 2 for the last 10'.
Main Set: 4 rounds - if you don't know specific paces then use a McMillian Calculator or go off RPE.
30" at Marathon pace*
30" at Half Marathon pace
30" at 10k pace
30" at 5k pace
2' super easy (either shuffle the whole 2' or do 30" easy shuffle/30" walk/1' shuffle)
6' back at mid/low zone 2
(10' rounds/40' set/60' total)
*Yes, if you're doing your base runs properly, you should be running slower than your marathon race pace. If your long runs are faster than solo Marathon Pace, chances are you're doing it wrong.
Keep things at a mid/low zone 2 and toss in short 15-30" walk breaks to control HR as needed.
This workout is a good way to mix things up and to check in with your higher intensity zones with short duration efforts.