Location: Pasadena, CA.
Temperature: Sunny, 81 degrees
Type of Run: Long
Length: 18 miles
Type of route: Gradual inclines and declines mostly with one hill climb and one hill descent
Time: 2 hours, 13 minutes, 43 seconds
Pace per mile: 7:26
Average heart rate: 144
Reason for Run: This was my weekly long run. Long runs improve endurance, muscle strength, the muscles abilities to use energy more efficiently and, perhaps most importantly, mental toughness. It’s hard to run for a long time by yourself when not in a race. Why? Lots of reasons. One is that you really don’t have to do it. No one forces you to run 18 miles. It’s much more comfortable to sit on the couch and relax or sleep in. Second, if you’ve done long runs before you know they wear you out. Some more than others. I often feel degrees of muscle fatigue even when running at an easy pace. I also feel a sense of being zapped of energy. This is rarely extreme. But long runs leave me knowing I just ran for a long time. Long runs prepare you for the marathon because a marathon will cause muscle fatigue and you’re simply going to have to deal with it during the race. If you’re used to it during training you can handle it during the big race. If you know you can handle it during training, this will give you the confidence and mental edge needed to push through the marathon.
How did I feel? Good. I kept the pace easy, especially early in the run to conserve energy. I managed to negative split the second half as well as each 6-mile segment. This is good because it means I got stronger and faster as the run progressed. Elite runners tend to negative split marathons. If I could accomplish that (at a much slower pace than the elites obviously) then I would make huge gains strategically, mentally and physically. A negative split means you run the latter half or segments of a race faster than the first. If you can negative split it means your endurance is getting better. I hope this is the case with me. We’ll see as my training progresses.
Running With You,