Monday, September 29, 2008

On The Run - Long run paramount in preparation

As a new runner and po
tential Marathoner, the long run is a pivotal part of your training plan. This will prepare your body mentally and physically for the challenges that
may arise during the 26.2. It’s also a love-hate relationship. Though we enjoy the rewarding benefits, we’ve all had struggles with our training at one time or another. My
transition from running a Half to a Full Marathon has proved to be very difficult. As Imade the transition to running longer distances there have been many new obstacles
present, whether that be an ache or pain, lack of energy, or time management.

Pacing has become my major challenge in the last few weeks. Predicting my Marathon pace by simply doubling my Half Marathon time was not a good idea. I came
to that realization when I reached the 25km mark in a recent long run. I guess you could say I “hit the wall,” and this was definitely a brick wall. My legs simply could not keep going, I was forced to walk and my energy was low. I was very discouraged and started questioning whether or not I was ready. This was a new challenge for me. So, I reflected on what I needed to change, made a list of new rules and made sure I had a plan before my next long run. Following are my new rules for long runs: “Just because you feel good at 10k doesn’t mean you’ll feel good at 30k or 40k”, be patient, think ahead and conserve energy. Rule number two: “Don’t feel like you have to finish a certain distance” if you don’t feel well, shorten the run or stop and walk. Being obsessed with completing a distance can be dangerous and can lead to further ailments. Save it for another day. Number three: “Always have water and a source of carbohydrate with you”. Replacing calories and water during your run is critical for sustained energy. Needless to say my next run was 30k and one of my best; by following a few easy steps my confidence was restored. That’s the great thing about long runs, you learn as you run. You have thechance to make mistakes, make changes and continue on this great adventure.

As you approach your final long runs, remember these rules and you’ll be well on your way to a successful event. Don’t be afraid. You’ve made the investment, all the money is in the bank, you simply have enjoy the experience.

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