I feel like the different types of workouts are kind of like my kids: I can’t pick a favorite because there is something to like about all of them. Long runs are my chance to run slow and not worry about pace, have some me-time, and catch up on an audiobook or favorite podcast. I also love getting to see new places on my long runs.
The hardest thing about long runs is that if you are doing a longer distance than you ever have before, it can be a little scary, and that may lead you to skip or put off your run. Here’s a few ways I avoid that urge.
Running groups – Either get your runner friends together or find a group in progress. I won’t get up early on my own, but I will if someone else depends on me!
Plan a new route somewhere scenic – I love to explore new places, so planning a route on a scenic back road or somewhere new gets me excited about the journey.
Make it a relay – A few times I have had to do longer runs that I knew I couldn’t use the first two ideas for. So, I planned two loops and had two different friends hand me off for shorter distances. Since you know your pace, the logistics are pretty easy to manage. It also makes it more tolerable if you have to do laps or run familiar routes if you have fresh conversation.
With long runs, it’s especially important to make sure you are really ready before you set out. I begin hydrating on Thursday for a Saturday long run, and I take my favorite recovery vitamins before I go. If I am running more than 5 miles, I take a water bottle, and if more than 8 miles, I take a Camelbak and a carb-replacement snack.
Know your route well and make sure you have bailout spots where you can call a friend or family member if you run into trouble or get injured. Most of all, always give someone your route and a time you’ll be returning.
And remember, you’re not going to die . . .
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