Many people have a love/hate relationship with long runs. You’re going a long distance, but without the crowds or the speed of race day, the miles can seem to drag on and on.
Like many things, what you get out of a long run is often tied to what you put into it. With good planning and focus on the details, you can spice up your long runs, and make them more enjoyable. If you’re simply focused on running a target number of miles, you’re likely to get stuck with a boring experience. However, there’s much more that that you can have fun with. Each long run is an opportunity to remember why you love running, and you can capitalize on that with the right approach.
They say that when you choose the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, you should find someone that you would be willing to share a foxhole with. Military metaphors aside, I’ve never really liked that way of thinking. For one, we’d all be looking for someone with a particular set of skills, and Liam Neeson certainly can’t rescue all of us from international kidnapper terrorists. What if, instead of looking for someone to share a cold, wet, hole in the ground with, we looked for someone who we’d be happy to have as a running coach?
How easy should easy running days really be? It’s a question as old as running itself. Based on what you read, the conventional wisdom can vary from this to that. Unsurprisingly, as with many running rules, over time the prevailing opinion has changed many times. Still, it’s something that you need to know as you work to be the healthiest, happiest runner possible.
The short answer is, it depends. The longer answer is much more complex.
There’s 200 meters to go. You’ve got a huge smile on your face, and your fists in the air. Everyone is cheering for you and the finish line is in sight. All your work has paid off and you’re about to reach to goal you’ve dreamed about for weeks. You’re almost there and suddenly it hits you – running your first race was totally worth it!
Night running can be a gift and a curse. On the one hand, the cooler temperatures and lack of distractions can make for ideal running conditions. On the other, the lack of light can make running a challenge on certain terrain, and increases the risk of injury and crime.
That said, without a flexible daily schedule, you likely won’t be able to avoid at least a few runs in the dark. Unless you’re planning to take the winter off, you’ll be making the best of a sunless situation and learning to love night running. Continue reading “Learn to Love: Night Running After Dark” »
This past weekend I experienced the Mud and Chocolate Half Marathon race in the Redmond Watershed. It was my first race in over a year, so I was a little nervous about how it would go. As I finished with a big smile on my face, I was glad I decided to race again, and this race was the perfect place to do it.
If you don’t want to read my entire recap – I strongly recommend you sign up because it’s incredible. And you will probably want to invest in some trail running shoes before tackling the race.
One of the hardest habits for runners to pick up is using a running log to record you training miles. Since it involved some writing or typing, having to log your runs might feel like homework to some. However, it can be a very valuable habit to add to your running routine for a variety of reasons. Not only will it help keep you motivated, but it will also help you make smart training decisions.
If you haven’t started keeping a running log yet, let’s walk through some of the reasons why you should. Once you get started, I’d bet you find it so useful that you decide to start logging other things, too.
As I rounded the final turn and saw the finish line half a mile away, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was going to finish my first half marathon. Not only that, but I had a little extra left in the tank. “I’m going to try to pick it up a bit,” I said to my sister, and off I went down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. “This is gonna be great,” I thought. “The ocean is right there, and it’s going to feel awesome!”
As the seasons change, adjusting to running in new weather can be a challenge. In our case, moving to Seattle brought many upsides. Running in the rain six months out of the year, however, was not one of them.
Ideally, you would run in perfect weather every time. Unfortunately, unless you live in San Diego, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to have run in less than optimal conditions sometimes, and that probably means rain. Of course, you could choose to only run when it’s dry out, but you’d be ignoring one fact…
One of the best parts of training for a race is that each day has a new workout that is different from the day before. By combining together these different types of running workouts, you build the strength, endurance and speed you need for your target race. Plus, the variety keeps you interested and motivated along the way.
All of these running workouts are important and none is more important than another. Too much of one, or too little of another can leave you under- or overtrained come race day.