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Location: Pasadena, CA.
Temperatures: Day 1–Mostly sunny 61 degrees, Day 2–Mostly sunny 73 degrees
Types of Runs: Day 1–Easy, Day 2–Long
Lengths: Day 1–6.01 miles, Day 2–21.1 miles
Types of routes: Day 1–gradual uphill and downhill with one downhill descent; Day 2-gradual uphill and downhill with three uphill climbs and five downhill descents
Times: Day 1–43 minutes, 53 seconds; Day 2–2 hours, 38 minutes, 52 seconds
Paces per mile: Day 1–7:18, Day 2–7:32
Reason for Runs: Day 1–This was a short, easy run. The goal is to just give the legs and body some work but not too much. I like to keep the mileage low for this run as it’s between an interval workout and a long run. I don’t want to stress my legs any further.
Day 2–The long run is a staple to marathon training. In fact, if you had to choose only one difficult weekly workout to do while training for a marathon then the long run would be the one to keep. It’s the run that will boost endurance and help the body adjust to the distance and length of time on its feet. Generally, the long run is done at an easier and more manageable pace. Sometimes it helps to throw in some miles at marathon pace but not during every long run. This was my third of four planned 20+ mile long runs. Why 20? Part of it is a mental thing for runners. If they can get to and above 20 then that can give them the confidence they can complete the race. Also, it’s important for the body to feel what it’s like to run that far so it’s not a shock come race day. The body makes changes after long runs. It learns to burn glycogen and fat better. Capillaries grow to allow more blood/energy to reach the muscles. The heart gets stronger too and learns to pump blood efficiently.
How did I feel? Day 1–Good. I took it easy and made sure I was comfortable with the pace. My legs felt fine a day after an 8-mile interval session. I met up with my wife who was walking. I ended my run near her route for a nice walk back home.
Day 2–Fine. My legs felt good mostly. Of course, they started to wear down toward the end of the run which is normal. The weather was a little warmer than it has been but I don’t think it was much of a factor in my performance. My pacing was generally good and consistent considering the route had almost 1,000 feet in total climbing. It was a hilly route so mile splits can vary, especially if you have a big climb in the middle of a mile. My perceived effort never really changed during the run. 21 miles is a long way to go. Sometimes I get bored on my long runs and anxious to finish them. That’s not always good as they can seem uncomfortable when the focus is just on finishing. Today, I was more patient. I took it mile-by-mile until I was done. Of course, I was counting down but I wasn’t anxious about finishing. I think if you focus on each particular mile at that moment and running it a certain way (fast, easy, etc.) then the long run will seem less grueling and time consuming. Easier said than done but that’s why you practice it. Hopefully, that advice can help with your next long run.
Running With You,