“I’m a big fan of the long run, and even more so when the conditions are a bit wild.”
With the new training block started, Sunday’s will return again to be the long run day. A day where the sole aim is just get out there and spend some time on the feet, building the heart and lungs. Building that base from which the rest of the training will lead from in the coming months.
I’m a big fan of the long run, and even more so when the conditions are a bit wild. I struggled during the recent heat wave to get out there and spend any considerable amount of time running, but give me wind, rain and cold and I feel in my element. During the run today i was thinking how runs like these are all mental preparation, not only for a goal race for when things get tough in the second half, but also during the whole training period. There will be tough patches, when the thought of heading out on an early morning long run, or a hard set of intervals isn’t what you want to do, but you get it done. Like you get the long runs in the bad weather done.
I thought a lot about the mental side today, it seemed to take up a lot of thinking. A lot of people say the boredom gets to them, and need music or other people to help them through. Luckily, or not depending on your outlook, I’ve never suffered with this and today’s run of over 2 hours just seems to go, and it’s always seemed to be like that. The main places i struggle with the mental toughness is more the harder runs such as the long tempo runs or intervals, and the race itself – especially in the 3rd quarter. This is something i’m aware of though and something i’m working towards fixing. We’ll see how that goes.
“It seems that once i’m past 5 miles, I could go all day.”
Another thing I noticed during the run is how it takes a little while for me to completely warm up – this is probably completely normal though. It seems that once i’m past 5 miles, I could go all day. With this in mind i makes me question the idea of optimum race distances for different people, and wonder whether I may see a marked improvement when I take the step up to the Half Marathon distance. That’s more a long term question though, so we’ll see.
My long run ended today down at the Bristol Half Marathon. I love watching races where i’m not involved. Runners of all abilities coming together to complete the same course, all feeling the burn in the last 3 miles and all gritting teeth coming round the final bend. It’s brilliant. And positioning myself in a warm spot 200 metres from the end and watching people run in all the way up to the 2hr 30min mark was a great way to spend a couple of hours – I highly recommend it to everyone!
“There’s something about the raw emotion when you see someone you’ve spoken about the race with for months smash their PB.”
It was helped by having a number of people i know running it, all with their own personal goals in mind, whether it was breaking a certain time, a PB or just getting round. I saw them all at the home straight, cheered them on then ran to the finish line to congratulate them and give them a hug. There’s something about the raw emotion when you see someone you’ve spoken about the race with for months smash their PB, hit their targets and finish the race without stopping. It was great – well done to everyone that did it.
So that’s the first long run done, and I felt strong so it’ set me up well. Here’s to some longer runs in the coming weeks and months. If you’re a Strava type, you can see the run here.
Have you run long today? If so would love to know your thoughts on the mental toughness side of it, and what things you employ to help. Let me know below!