Transform your Long Runs with a Touch of Spice


Are you tired of the same monotonous long runs? Do you ever feel like your training needs a little something extra to keep you motivated and excited? Are you not only looking to finish that half marathon or marathon but looking to finish fast?


Look no further! We have the solution for you to transform your long runs with a touch of spice!


In this episode, coach Lufeng Zou from our Spark Healthy Runner coaching team will spice up your long runs with a touch of flavor!


Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!



We will introduce you to the revolutionary concept of adding a little spice to your training. Not only will it make your runs more exciting, but it will also provide you with numerous training benefits with an elevation in your current running fitness!

You know…spices are more than just ingredients for cooking. When added appropriately to your long runs, they possess powerful properties that can enhance your physical performance. Imagine running with increased endurance and stamina. Sounds amazing, right?

Not only will we discuss physical aspects, but we also will dive into the mental and emotional aspects of long-distance running with spice!

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking for a change or a newer marathon runner looking to hit that PR for your second or third race, this episode is for you!

Don’t let your long runs become mundane.  Embrace the excitement, variety, and flavor that we have in store for you.  Get ready to spice up your running routine and take your long runs to the next level!


Watch the LIVE video version of this episode below on Youtube!



Coach Lu’s Long Run Workout Variations (Spicy Long Runs)


E= Easy Running Pace

M= Marathon Pace

T= Tempo Pace (Threshold)

jg= jog recovery


For demonstration purposes we will use a 16 mile long run as an example…


Beginner/First time marathoner: (Level 1)


Level 1: 16 miles easy – no spice!

Intermediate marathoner: (Level 2)

Level 2: 12E + 2M + 2E 

Sometimes even for more advanced runners, I mixed with 2MP early in the training cycle to “wake up” the body.


Intermediate advanced: (Level 3-5) 

6E + 2* (3M + 2E)

Getting used to MP longer. 3 miles is about 5K, and running 5K at MP is mentally easier for intermediate advanced runners.


12E+ 3*1T1’jg + 1E

To assist body’s acclimation to the tempo effort and “translate” it to your endurance fitness



This is towards the end of the training cycle. A lot of MP to get to the race pace feel.


Advanced: (Level 6-8)

Similar to 3-5, but adding reps and/or decrease recovery time

3E + 3* (3M + 1E) + 1E

10E+ 4*1T1’jg + 2E



Advanced for PRing – (Level 9)

5E + 9M+1T+1E. – Peak of Training Cycle!


Race Effort – (Level 10!)

2E+13.1(half marathon tune up race) + 1E. 4 weeks or more before the marathon.

It’s really hard and requires a mini taper and a few down days after it. Only for those who can recover fast from it. Use with caution! If you’re not an advanced marathoner, adjust it to MP effort or lower. – You don’t want to get hurt so close to the race.


[Download] Marathon Blueprint:

Click HERE to download the blueprint for all the info on conquering your marathon!

This Episode Sponsored By: 

A big thanks to the Amino Company for your support for this episode!


If you have seen my long run “spicy” workouts on social media, you know that I am always pumped up for the challenge because I use PERFORM from the Amino Company.


Clinical studies have shown that Perform helps improve mental focus, peak strength, endurance, reduces fatigue, and increases muscle protein synthesis so you can recover faster from your runs or your strength workouts.


Click here and use code HEALTHYRUNNER for 30% off your entire Amino Company order!


Click HERE to be directed to the discount page!


Connect with Dr. Duane:

Dr. Duane Scotti, DPT, PhD, OCS is a running physical therapist, run coach, host of the Healthy Runner podcast, and founder of Spark Healthy Runner and has been a leader in the rehab and running community for 20+ years.


Duane initially started running as an adult, wanting to add some cardio to his gym sessions. After having a hip surgery, his doctor advised him to get off the treadmill and run outside. Without having fully recovered, Duane suffered a running-related hamstring tendon injury and many others as a novice runner.


As a coach, he has guided thousands of athletes back to running, finishing their first marathon, crushing a personal best, and even the elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time.


He is truly living his passion educating the running community that they don’t need to stop running to get over a running injury.  Through his signature 1:1 coaching program, weekly videos, and podcast episodes, he empowers runners to get stronger, run faster, and enjoy lifelong injury free running.  Dr. Duane truly believes that anyone can run and that all runners should be treated differently when recovering from an injury.  He is on a mission to change the traditional thinking that running causes “overuse injuries” or “your body is just not meant to run” and you must “take a break” to get better.  Through strength and run specific training you can grow a strong mind, strong body, and just keep running!


Duane received his Bachelor of Health Science degree and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University in 2001 and 2003. He then went on to receive a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2017. Duane is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, RRCA Certified Running Coach, Certified Mulligan Practitioner, certified in dry needling and has advanced training in spinal manipulation and rehabilitation for runners.


As an athlete, Duane is an adult-onset runner, avid half marathoner, and enjoys challenging himself to learn and grow in his personal running journey!


A native New Yorker from Long Island, Duane currently lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with his wife Deb and his two teenage daughters who are competitive volleyball players.  They all love to explore new beaches along the east coast.




Get weekly running tips on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!

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You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

Wanting to run more consistently, and to increase my long run distance and total weekly mileage, I was concerned about hip pain due to hip alignment issues. This is an issue I had when I trained for my first half marathon several years ago. Having listened to the Healthy Runner podcast for the past couple years, I knew Duane Scotti could help. I signed up for the four-month strength and running training program and am extremely happy with the results.

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