20 magic miles

Yesterday I ran 20 miles and they were all good. Throughout my training plan this time for London, most of my long runs have been a slog, but I was determined that this one, my last really long run before the London marathon wouldn’t be.

I had a few breaks on my run, at mile 10, 14 and 17 I think it was. To stretch out little niggles and take a gel / reset, but apart from that it felt good.

The main difference this training cycle is that I’ve been doing most of my long runs solo, but there are also a few other reasons they’ve not been the best:

– when running with others, you chat the whole way usually and take your mind off the journey / any pain, and you share the pain / journey together.

– I’ve felt down the next day after a long run – and I know it’s going to happen. So it’s like I know I’m giving myself an emotional hangover by running long. Common sense says to me – why are you doing something that will be bad for you? My mind has been working against me. At least I’m aware of it.

– the snow / weather has got in the way a bit (excusitis!). Winter seems worse this year, but that might be all in my head.

– I’ve been aiming to do speedwork and as I expected, I didn’t stick with it as much as I’d planned, but any I did do, I could feel the reward / increased fitness from it.

Most long runs have been a bit of a thought to do – carving out 2-3 hours to get them done. Thinking of a route, doing the run, then feeling gubbed the day after it. That’s marathon training for you.

But today, the Sunday after my 20 miles yesterday I feel ok. My legs and body feel fine, which is probably a result of training to get my body used to the long run. I have a slight tweak in my neck somehow, but hopefully that’ll wear off.

Yesterday I ran through loads of parks – Festival, Maxwell, Pollok, Bella, Kelvingrove … and after about 5 miles in I was feeling so good, I started saying hello to strangers. Usually older folk along Paisley Road West, why not eh? Big smile, hello… and they’d say hello back.

I told a blind man with a white stick who was feeling around to see if he was going in the right direction, that he was going in the right direction. I got the biggest smile and hello off an elderly lady who was waiting for a bus.

And I had a chat with a lady with a walking stick and a dog… she was struggling to walk and looked like she maybe had a degenerative disease, like MS, and I was 15 miles into my 20 mile run. It’s things like that that remind you how lucky you are.

I split the run up into 4 mile sections which seems the way for me nowadays, (rather than 5 mile sections), and I aimed to keep my cadence up. It was higher than normal and my pace was good and steady throughout.

Listening to my audiobook took my mind off any of the pain or any negative thoughts that I’ve noticed on my previous long runs. It’s the second one on the list below – cheesy as hell, but well good.

I was pleased with my effort, and now I have taper time to come… I’ve done a couple of 20 milers and few 18 miles and now he next few weeks will be about compounding my fitness ahead of the 22nd April.

I have a 15-16 mile run next weekend where I’ll try out my race gear and push it a little on the pace, then a 10-12 mile run the weekend before London.

Here’s my spilts from yesterday. My average heart rate was away out as the HRM wasn’t working again, but I’ve reset my garmin so hopefully it’ll be back to normal on my next run. The run felt comfortable throughout anyway, maybe 155-165 HR, which is fine.

I did 100 miles for March, mostly in the last week… 20 miles Sunday, 6.2, 10, 20 = 56 Miles in a week! So I’ll take some recovery time now but still do some easy running next week in my taper time. No strength training last week, expect for a wee stretch and move on Monday morning.

My running in April will hopefully be more even, but I know in March that I needed he week of total rest after the Inverness half, and my time on holiday was good to reset too.

3 weeks to go, and I’m really looking forward to finishing off my training well and running the marathon on the 22nd April.

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4 Responses to 20 magic miles

  1. Stephen Gavienas says:

    How does the long run go when you break it up? I end up trying to get around in one shot but my times go to pot! Thinking , next time , maybe break it up

    • lornpearson says:

      I don’t actually break it up physically, I just break it up in my head… 4 miles, 8 miles, 12 miles, 16 miles… 20 miles. Break it into smaller chunks so it doesn’t seem so daunting. The pacing was ok for me, usually dependant on the route.

  2. Stephen Gavienas says:

    AH right! I miss read that! Sorry!! I had read some people broke their long run into two, over two days! Good job with your run and good luck for London!

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