What Are 10 Differences Between Easy Miles vs Long Runs

Running is a popular form of exercise that can be done in many different ways. However, two common types of running are easy miles and long runs. This article will explain the differences between easy miles vs long runs. By understanding the differences, you can choose the best type of running for your fitness goals.


Easy miles will help runners build a base level of fitness and endurance without pushing their bodies too hard. This type of running is typically done comfortably so the runner can easily converse. Easy miles are great for beginners and experienced runners recovering from more challenging workouts or races.

Long runs help runners build their endurance for longer races, like marathons or half-marathons. These runs are usually a long distance and take longer to complete. Long runs will be part of a training plan for runners preparing for a specific race or event.


The pace of an easy mile run is slower than that of a long run. During easy miles, runners can speak in complete sentences without struggling for breath. This slower pace allows the body to recover and helps to prevent injuries.

Long runs, on the other hand, are completed at a slightly faster pace. This pace is still comfortable, but it challenges the runner’s endurance and will help to improve their running over longer distances.


Easy miles will be shorter in their distance compared to long runs. Easy miles will range from just a few to around six miles, depending on the runner’s fitness level and goals.

Long runs are, as the name suggests, longer in their distance. Depending on the runner’s training plan and goals, they will range from 10 to 20 miles or even more. These longer distances will help to build endurance and mental strength for races.


Easy miles can be done more frequently than long runs. As a result, many runners incorporate easy miles into their weekly routine, sometimes running them several times weekly.

Long runs are typically done once a week or once every two weeks, depending on the runner’s training plan. The long run’s longer distance and increased effort require more recovery time, so they are done less frequently.


Since easy miles are done slower and cover a shorter distance, they require less recovery time than long runs. As a result, runners can often continue their regular training schedule the day after completing an easy mile session.

Long runs, however, require more recovery time due to their increased intensity and distance. As a result, runners need to give their bodies time to rest and recover after a long run, often taking a day or two off from running or engaging in low-impact activities like swimming or cycling.


For easy miles, runners typically do not need to worry about fueling during the run. This is because the body has enough stored energy to handle shorter distances without needing additional calories.

During long runs, however, runners need to fuel their bodies properly. This might include consuming energy gels, sports drinks, or other easily digestible sources of carbohydrates. Proper fueling helps runners maintain their energy levels and helps prevent fatigue during long runs.

Mental Benefits

Easy miles can be an excellent way to relieve stress and clear your mind. In addition, the slower pace and shorter distance allow you to enjoy the run without focusing too much on performance.

Long runs, while challenging, can also provide mental benefits. Completing a long run can boost your confidence and help you develop mental toughness, essential for tackling longer races or challenging workouts.

Impact on the Body

Easy miles are less taxing on the body compared to long runs. This is because the slower pace and shorter distance of easy miles impact the joints and muscles less. This can help runners avoid injuries and recover more quickly between workouts.

Due to their increased distance and intensity, long runs place more stress on the body. This may lead to muscle fatigue, soreness, and a higher risk of injuries if proper recovery and rest are not prioritized. However, long runs also help strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, benefiting overall running performance.


The body undergoes different physiological adaptations during easy miles and long runs. For example, easy miles promote an increase in capillary density, meaning more small blood vessels are developed to deliver oxygen to the muscles. This improves overall aerobic capacity, making running feel more manageable over time.

During long runs, the body uses stored fat for energy more efficiently, which can help runners avoid “hitting the wall” during longer races. Long runs will also help increase the body’s ability to store glycogen, a primary energy source during endurance events.

Role in Training Plans

Easy miles and long runs are essential to a well-rounded training plan. Easy miles are the foundation for runners’ fitness, allowing them to build endurance and overall aerobic capacity. These easy miles are also used as recovery workouts following harder interval or tempo runs.

Long runs are essential to training for longer-distance events, like half-marathons and marathons. This will help build the physical and mental endurance to complete these races successfully. Long runs can also be used to practice race-day fueling and pacing strategies.


In summary, easy miles and long runs are two types of running workouts, each with its purpose, pace, distance, and role in a training plan. When we understand these differences, we can decide on our workouts and training programs, ensuring we achieve our goals while minimizing the risk of injury.

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