Long Slow Runs are crucial to help us build endurance. As a general rule of thumb, they should be ran at a pace approximately 0:45-1:30 per mile slower than your marathon race pace, or 1:00 to 2:00 per mile slower than your 10 mile to half marathon race pace.
This is a rough estimate of what you should be going for, but the most important way to approach it is to run by feel. Some LSRs will feel more fresh, and you'll be able to sustain a faster speed for longer, while others, you will be more sluggish. What's important is that they are never forced. Do not go out thinking about hitting a set 'pace', and make sure to keep them steady and adjust pace to how your body is responding as the run goes on.
If possible, it is good practice to ease into your LSRs and to run them at a negative split (getting gradually faster as you go along). This is good mental training for a race environment where you should be conserving energy at the start, and building up the pace as you go along. Again, don't feel like this has to be the focus for every LSR, keep them steady and controlled and let any pace increase happen naturally as your legs warm up.
Also very beneficial to vary the distance each week and not to run the same set distance every week if possible.
When training, I would recommend to not stop on your LSRs if possible. It's important to get into a 'rhythm' of how you are feeling. You can get a better idea of how your body reacts to different paces for different lengths of time by running them as a continuous run with little interruptions. However right now, as we have no races lined up, simply enjoying being outside, and being able to go out on LSRs is a massive mental benefit. So if we like to have the occasional stop to take in the views, and to chat to someone you haven't seen in a while, then by all means, that's totally fine and I think it should be encouraged! Just try not to let your muscles cool down too much!
Refueling and recovery is also crucial to help you get the most benefit out of your LSRs. Make sure to eat or drink something protein and carb heavy asap after your long run. If you're also feeling tired afterwards, a 30 min power nap can be very beneficial too. Try to also get a good night's sleep in on your LSR days as well.
Finally, if you have done a hard session the day before, don't be afraid to shorten your LSR, skip it, or wait another day to get it done. As always your body knows what is best. So make a decision based on that Cameron Harris -Head Coach