Q: Running Long and thoughts on runs

Someone at work asked me a few questions about running today, and I thought I’d answer them on here for her… 🙂

How do you increase the distance you generally run (from 10k)?

First of all you need to decide whether running long is what you want to do.
Are you quite happy running 10ks?
Or do you need another challenge?
If you want, enter an event with at least 12-16 weeks before it to train (ie half marathon)

Me / Supergirl @ GSR Half Marathon 2010

Or if you don’t want to go the whole way of entering an event, set your own goal of running 13.1 miles by X date.
You don’t even need to tell anyone you’re training to run 13.1 miles (especially if it isn’t an event).
Just get out there and run.
Make your runs fun.  Run with a friend, or dress up for runs you know you can do (ie 5ks, 10ks).

Before I entered my first half marathon event I ran the distance at least 4 times over the same made up route.
 I wanted to know if I could do it first. 
By the end of the first half marathon, I distinctly remember wondering why the hell anyone would want to run for up to two hours or more.  My hips ached and I was really tired!
I did this – test run strategy, with the marathon too – here’s the route, and here’s when I did it…).
Gradually I got more used to the distance and as long as you take it nice and steady, you can do it too.  I can now run any distance and I love it!

When you train, try to do at least 1 long, 1 medium and 1 short run.
(Make one of the medium or short runs faster or intervals workout).
Try not to increase your long run by more than 10% each week.
Increase mileage on long runs by 1-2 miles each week for three weeks, then reduce to a shorter distance on the 4th week (have one easy week every four weeks).

For example: Wk1,2,3,4…
… you could go on if you wanted!

If you don’t know routes long enough – try www.walkjogrun.co.uk to plan routes.
If you get bored or don’t know where to start running longer, ask a friend who normally runs long to take you out on a set distance route they know. 
Ask if they’ll run at your pace, and try not to worry about speed.
Do long runs slow and steady, have an energy gel or lucozade/Gatorade after about 45 mins – an hour and make sure you drink plenty.
You could leave a bottle of lucozade at the half way mark of your run.
(I sometimes go out the night before and leave mine in a plastic bag next to a bin so I can down it then put it in the bin).

If a distance seems daunting, break it down into 2-5 mile sections… half marathon: 13.1 miles or 6,4,3.1.  You can run 6, 4 and 3.1 miles, you just need to do it all in one go!
And… if you run long… say 10 or 12 miles, then you go back to running 10k… it makes the 10k seem like a breeze! (A bit like if you run 10ks all the time, then run a 5k.)

For more info see:

Running Long
Training Plans
Run Workouts
Routes and my Long Distance Training
Top 10s

What do you think about when you’re running for 3+ hours?
(Do you not get bored?!)

The route and timings of my run.
I tend to have a route set out that I know I’ll run so that I have to concentrate on the right turns and getting to where I want to be.
I find that having a route and a purpose for the run helps to motivate me.
My pace.
My day, week and my life.
What I’m going to write on my blog next.
I look at the scenery too and try to keep my wits about me and think about where I am.
My friends and family.
My Granny.
People who’ve inspired me.
My work.
I listen to music too.
Or I like to run with others so I chat, get to know them and it takes my mind off any niggles or the actual running.

How many pairs of trainers do you have?

9!  See here!

🙂  There.  I hope that helps anyone with similar questions.

Do you ‘run long’?  If so, how did you get to the point where you could run on and on and on?


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