If you are planning to run a long distance race in the near future you have already done a few long runs. If you are lucky, you have a group or at least a buddy to run with. Having a buddy along for the ride makes a long run seem, well, less long. It gives you someone to chat with, talk to or listen to.
Not having someone to log the long miles with can seem akin to torture. Whatever will you do to keep going and stay motivated on a solo 10, 12 or even 20 mile run?? Take it from someone who has logged a few solo long runs, you can do it!
Here are 3 simple things you can do to manage your time and power through. Solo or not.
Break it Down
Never, ever, ever focus on a singular mile. Break the run into blocks. If you long run is 16 miles, break it into 4, 4 mile blocks. An 18 mile run should be 3, 6 mile blocks. You can easily do 4, 5 or 6 miles so breaking it down makes it manageable.
Find a Mantra
All competitive long distance runners have one. Go long, be strong. I can do 26.2. Kicking ass for cancer. Lean, mean, running machine. Whatever you like. I used to repeat “do you know the way to San Jose” and included the “do do dodo do do da do do” part. It sounds silly, I know, but when your brain is trying to convince you to stop moving – you will be grateful to have something to keep you going.
When you get tired you need to keep focused on your form. Slouching, hanging your head and shuffling just brings your energy level down. Stay up. Strong core, strong arms, head held up focusing 6 feet in front of you. One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had was my first marathon in Nashville. This elderly woman shouting from the sidewalk “Hold your head high, that’s right, you’re running a marathon!” It’s the best piece of advice I ever got.
Good luck on your next long run and remember, you can do it!
Now go run!