This week’s blog is by our Half Marathon #EOTN Ambassador Caroline and it’s all about training to run long distances.
“Training for a long distance event takes a lot of time, effort and strength. If you want to feel comfortable on race day then you have to put in training runs, it’s really as simple as that. If you don’t put in enough training it is going to hurt a lot more whilst you are taking part and afterwards the recovery will be brutal and let’s face it you want to enjoy the event. So putting in 6am runs and late night sessions really way pay off and you will enjoy the run before hitting the finish line and getting the medal and oh so important finishers t-shirt! Well, I certainly love collecting them.
I’m currently training for two marathons (Manchester and then London) before the Sunderland half and that really does push you to the mental limits just as much as physically. I’ve found that imagery and positive self talk in the build up to doing a long run really does help. I see hydration as part of this in the days leading up to getting that long run in. Telling yourself that you can really do it is certainly a big thing. Your mind gives up well before your legs and body does! I have found that this is something that I can work on the day before and night before a run, having the mental side to prepare myself for the distance that I am going to complete, it is half the battle for me personally.
Preparation is key!
This is something that you need to really work out for yourself, what personally works for you. That doesn’t mean you cannot just follow a training plan, but you need to really think about whether it fits into your life and work schedule. It can take a lot of time to find the right balance. What drinks work, energy gels – something I have used for a few years now in my training and I feel it makes such a difference. During a long run having that as a target helps me out, even better if you miss the time you had scheduled to have the next one as that really does mean you are focused.
Long runs will go wrong . . .
. . . Something you just have to accept really, sometimes you just won’t really fancy it once you start running. That is not a problem and has happened to me very recently. Sometimes you are just physically exhausted from your working week and you don’t actually realise until you started running. All of that is perfectly fine and is part of the process to completing your training.
Just think about taking part in the race and different parts of the route that you will be running on, how great it feels when someone watching shouts out your name and it really makes you keep going. The feeling of getting close to the finish line and achieving your goals.
After the tough start to the year I feel as though Spring is the perfect time to get out for good long runs as the weather is a little bit kinder! I am looking forward to my very busy running year and the planning really does help my motivation to get out for training runs, I have always struggled to follow a plan with the hours I work. But I really do manage to get out and get the miles you, having to join the 6am club! ”