Long runs are the hardest part of training for me. Sometimes they are easy peasy and other times they are like a thorn in my side. When the run is hard, I cuss and carry on in my head the entire time and wonder why the heck am I taking 2 hours of my day to run when I could be lounging on the couch instead lol But when the run is good, its just blissful and I am in my element and I appreciate running like the art that it is.
When you set out for a long run, you have to be in the right place mentally, no really, you do. Yes, you need to be in physical shape to run long runs but at the same time if your heart and mind are not there with you, well it will seem like the hardest run ever.
I know I have mentioned before that I have been using the run/walk method and that method has really saved me on my long runs this training time around. I am currently running 4:30 walk 1 min. Sometimes those 4:30 minutes are the longest ever and then sometimes they fly by. But that 1 minute that I get to walk saves me every time. It really gives my body a chance to recover and while I am running for 4 ½ minutes, I remind myself if I start to get tired that you get to walk very soon for 1 whole minute!
The proper fueling also helps tremendously on long runs, I take gels and drink water. I also eat before I set out for a run. Running on an empty stomach does not work for me. That is one factor that always affects me. Not enough fuel, an empty stomach, will make you feel depleted, even if you have gels and water. It's all a learning process, those long runs.
This weekend I have a 12 miler on my schedule and I am always nervous but yet excited to tackle the long run. I am nervous because I am out running for an extended period of time, anything could happen and yet typically nothing happens lol but it's the thought of "what if?!" Luckily I have never experienced needing to stop for fuel or water or bathroom breaks and hopefully I won't ever have to experience that.
This weekend's long run will be the first with the run/walk method and that is what excites me! I can't wait to see where my time falls when I am done because I know that will be an estimate of what is to come in my race.
My current goal is 2:15 but if I can break that time, I will be even more thrilled!
One last thing that helps me get through a long run is a rocking playlist! I make a playlist of all my favorite tunes, sometimes its all rock music, or all the Twilight soundtracks or dance music. I like to listen to whatever I am in the mood for and whatever will get me pumped up and keep me in the zone.
What gets you through your long runs?