There are running moments that happen which stick with you for life. One of mine occurred when I was not even running.
Senior year of college, Catherine and I drove to Disney, to watch one of our best friends, Allison, run the Disney Marathon. As we awaited Allison at the finish and watched all of the runners triumphantly cross the finish line, Catherine asked, “How are they not out of breath?!“
“Catherine,” I said shocked, “You can’t be out of breath for 26.2 miles!” “But haven’t they been running the whole time? How are they not?” “Well… they slow down.” was my response.
It never occurred to me that 99 percent of people assume that running equals gasping misery (which granted sometimes it does. I’m looking at you speed work and hills.) No wonder running has such a bad rap!
As runners, we constantly hear how much to slow our pace for long runs. Here is the catch, it can often be difficult to run slower. It sounds crazy, I know, but how many of you find that you often surprise yourself with you pace when you have planned a long run, or an easy run.
If you are running long though, starting slow for the first 70 percent (in my very non-expert opinion) can make the difference between a long-ish run, and a long run.
So how exactly can you slow yourself down to make the most of your long run?
Simple, imagine that you are on a relaxing run with a buddy shooting the breeze. We have all had they pleasure of running with a friend where the goal is not pace but the joy of running with someone. You talk about life, jobs friends, food, whatever, but have a blast just talking and running.
When on a long run if solo, pretend your favorite buddy is jogging right along side you and you are telling them the all of the random, brilliant thoughts that occur to us on long runs. If you are lucky enough to be running with that buddy, judge how effortless your conversation is. Try and replicate those fun, easy runs.
I used this trick this Saturday on my long run. You can see which miles I was most successful at accomplishing it.
This run was supposed to be 12 miles. Around 4 miles in, I knew that if I kept the pace slow, I could easily make it longer, and really, how fun is that!
Pacing is an ongoing practice. Don’t stress if you go out too fast, after all it is a long run, you have plenty of time to correct for it
The Week In Fitness
Saturday: 14 miles!
This was my longest post-stress fracture run and man, did it feel amazing! I completely credit it to the cooler temps we have been graced with the past few days. There is no way I would have been capable of a long run in the heat and humidity! Runs like this remind you why you run!
Friday: 6 miles on the treadmill @ 8:34, abs
When I pulled up to the gym bright and early, there were quite a few people hanging out outside, and the gym was dark. It looks like somebody slept through their alarm! I hoped back in my car and ran at the gym in my apartment complex. While a nice gym, the treadmills leave something to be desired. Here is to hoping the employee who opens my gym isn’t too sleepy in the future!
Thursday: 2 mile warm-up, 2, 1 mile repeats @ 7:30, w/ .25 mile jog in between, 2.5 mile2 @ 8:00 – Total 7 miles, abs
I had planned 3, 1 mile repeats…then I got tired
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles @ 8:34, PM: Body Pump
I have been skipping our on strength in a major way lately, Body Pump felt oh so wonderful!
Monday: 7 miles hills
Sunday: 60 minutes elliptical, stretching, and rolling
I just have to pat myself on the back anytime I actually cross train
Do you ever struggle to run slowly?
Did you run long this weekend?
What are your long run tips?