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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Long run update

When I first joined the Power Miler Track Club, I wondered how to handle long runs. As the slowest member of the group, I was pushing way past my pace on these runs. Now, as marathon training commences, we are pushing the weekend distance up from twelve to fourteen to sixteen miles. Could I keep hanging at 7:30's? Honestly, probably not, for sixteen miles. But I also came up with a solution.
Since the group generally starts slow and finishes fast, I can hang with them for the "start slow" part. Only for me, it's not really slow. So instead, I do some slow-to-me miles early, before meeting them, then join them for middle miles, then speed up to finish. Since I've already done extra miles, I part with the group once they start picking it up: I take a shorter route back. A few Sundays ago, for example, I ran two miles at 8:30ish before joining the group for another five, then as they headed into City Park to add a two-mile loop to our staple route, I turned onto Esplanade Avenue to finish my run.
This serves three purposes:

  1. I get to see the group and be social, for at least part of the run.
  2. I get to run my correct pace
  3. I also finish earlier than everyone else since I start earlier, and that allows me to get to church on time.
I might have to make some changes as time passes and our long runs change, but it works for now. We're doing two hard efforts a week right now - speed on Tuesdays and some tempo variation on Fridays - and I can't risk total exhaustion on the long run. I'll either get hurt or my Tuesday quality will suffer. So far, sticking to my paces, Tuesdays have been largely good. I'm glad I figured out a solution that allows me to still see the group for part of the miles. I mostly do long runs alone, so this is kind of new to me, but I find it really breaks the run up: I'm chatting for part of it, then just quietly enjoying my run for the rest.

How about you - do you do long runs alone, or with a group? Or a running partner?

1 comment:

  1. I remember this conundrum from a few months ago. Glad you found such a workable solution!