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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Long Run

Day 66 - November 11, 2007

Today is a good example of what I call the long run. I define a long run as being at least 8 miles or 2x the length of my average run. But this definition is kind of fluid for me depending on how well my training is going. When I set out on a long run, my focus is a steady pace that will be 20-40 seconds per mile slower than average. I'm solely looking to increase my endurance and mileage.

Long runs are actually my favorite of all the runs. There's just something about running a 15 mile run. Of course you are tired when you finish, but the endorphins and the sense of accomplishment are worth it. If I had unlimited time, I'd run a 2-2.5 hour run every weekend.

The other benefit of the long run comes the next day. No matter what distance you choose for your recovery run, it feels incredibly short and fast.

Today's long run was pretty typical of what I like to do. I started out at a comfortable pace and slowly warmed up. After about 3 miles, I stopped and stretched for like 5-10 minutes. Not only does this loosen up your stride, but it also allows you to catch your breath and prepare for the hard part of the run. I then start back up at a slightly faster pace (still slower than average) and try and maintain that for the remainder or the run. Depending on the total distance, I may stop one or two more times to stretch along the way. I have found that this really helps with recovery the next day and I am no where near as sore as I might expect to be. Today, I stopped again at the 5 mile mark, then finished the last 3.4 miles uninterrupted.

As I continue, I plan to extend my long run out to 10, 12, and then maybe 15 miles. If I loose my senses, and decide to try for another marathon at some point, I'll bump that up to the 20+ range. Probably not this coming year, but maybe the second year. We'll see.


Day: 66 ..... Time/Date: 4:45 PM 11/11/2007 ..... Weather: Cloudy, 47F
Run: Twilight Long .....Run Miles: 8.4 .....Time: 1:02:22...... Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 266.9 .....Total Running Time: 33:02:19

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