Let’s face it - we have to do them so we might as well learn to like them. As TFK mentor and alumni Norm Solomon says, “The long run is the heart of any marathon training program, and the one most runners face with dread.” Running 20+ miles may not be everyone’s cup of tea but to run the marathon, it’s part of the process. It certainly helps to have TFK by your side when you run 18 or more miles. This past weekend, many of our TFKers did 20 miles and soon, everyone on the team will have their day doing the longest run. Here’s a few tips on how to enjoy it, with input from Norm:
1) Think of this as a morning spent with friends, not a long run.
2) Run with people who are at your pace and whose company you enjoy.
3) Have a list of topics you can all talk about for three or four hours.
4) Remember, this is not a race. Run it slower than marathon pace.
5) Pick a route that is scenic, has water fountains, bathrooms (a real plus) and has a terrain similar to your marathon.
6) When you start to feel fatigued, think of something positive to get your mind off the run. Tell each other how much fun you are having and how much you love the long runs.
7) Play word games, or start a feisty conversation right around mile 15 and see how fast the miles fly!
8) Look around you and take in the scenery, especially if it is beautiful fall day.
9) Remind yourself that you chose to run a marathon, it’s on your bucket list, you are lucky to be a part of the experience, and can’t wait for race day.
10) If all of the above doesn’t help the miles go by, plan your post-marathon feast and visualize all your favorite foods and beverages that you will earn after running 26.2 miles!