Week #12: Long Run Reflections

Week #12: Long Run Reflections

This week marked my official end of my first Tri “season” (if a single event can be called a season) and the start of shifting focus towards my next goal. While I do not have a set goal yet, I am leaning towards a half marathon in November.

So the weekend marked my first long run in quite a while. Although temperatures were slightly cooler when I started, it was insane humidity (as usual) and I ended up with a ton of chaffing (as usual).

Smiles to mask the energy drained in pushing through.
Smiles to mask the energy drained in pushing through.

I experimented with a few things on this long run.

  • I made a conscious effort to go faster the first 2 miles, the miles that I convince myself is warmup for longer miles and hence take it super easy.
  • I made it to a point to reinforce my power words (breathe, glide, power) when I was feeling good so I could call back on it when I needed it.
  • I didn’t run with a metronome, but tried to keep my cadence going as fast as I could. It was really hard towards the end, so I know it needs working on.
  • The biggest workaround was my sore legs. Crossfit had left my legs super sore and to get the legs to move was a superhuman effort.
  • I have not been taking Gu/Gel for runs under two hour, instead going on a Wheetabix breakfast. Yes, I know it is a LOT of fiber, but it seems to work for me. I did not take any Gu/Gel on this run either, and even though those last miles were tough, I never felt tired.

I also realized that race-pace is no joke! I have never trained to run at race pace. Sure, I’ve run tempo runs all throughout my marathon training cycle, but those tempos are a max of 45 minutes (3-4 miles at my pace). So learning to go longer and stronger is going to be a new experience.

[Before anyone wonders at the hard runs, I have thought about it – yes, long runs are supposed to be easy and running race pace every week will not give my legs enough time to recover. What I am trying here is to teach my body to speed up just a little, especially in the beginning. I am capable of it and I used to do it comfortably even during my first year running. But with the 2 years of marathon training, my legs have lost the memory to start a bit faster. I am trying to remind it to fall into a faster “natural” pace’.]

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