I'm in the process of training for a half marathon. My goal is to average 30 miles a week. I don't have a rigid schedule because I'm fitting in my running as best as I can. I try to do some sort of speed work once a week and one or two longish runs (7-11 miles). The rest are recovery miles. The Las Vegas half marathon is about one month away so I have about two weeks more of solid training followed by a two week taper. Now that I'm getting closer to race day I'm trying to include a portion of the miles run during long runs at race pace so, I'm not just slogging through them.
Long Run Dont's
Expecting to run fast on tired legs
Turning a long run into speedwork
Beat yourself up for not hitting expected "splits"
About two weeks ago I deiced to do a 9 miler and I wanted to hit 8 minute miles the whole way. Without really warming up I took off at a good clip hitting these miles but, by mile 3 my legs were not really feeling the long run. I promised my self that at 5 miles I would slow down. Once I got to mile 6 my legs were hurting and I had no choice but to slow down. I took it easy for two miles and ran the last mile back at an 8 minute pace. Those two miles 7 and 8 were run at about 9:30-10:00 pace. And it was a reminder of what can happen in a race if you don't run smart. It was not a confidence boosting run to say the least. In hindsight I don't know why I expected to run well. I had run 16 miles in the previous two days. So my legs weren't fresh. This was a long run don't
Long Run Do's
Have a route picked out
Have a plan
Don't be too over zealous in the first few miles.
Take it easy the day before your long run.
Last Friday I ran 10 miles after work and I executed my run plan well. I had a 10 mile route picked out with 6 miles of running comfortable and holding back during the first half and pick it up for the second half. I wanted to hit each mile at about 8:30 pace during the first half. The first 6 miles of this run had about 350 ft of climbing. No serious hills just a few stretches of uphill grade. The last 4 were a down hill grade that I planned to drop down to 7:45-7:30 pace depending how I felt. I'm so glad that my brain and my legs worked together and they did what they were supposed to. Those last 4 miles were in the high 7:30's with the last mile being a 7:26. A run like this makes me hopeful for the half marathon next month.