Long Distance Training is Your Teacher
As I approach the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1st, I am slowly picking up my long distance training (LSD) runs. On Sunday I completed my first full LSD 30k. Needless to say, it was quite difficult, especially the last five kilometers. Following is a list of what I learned:
- 30k is LONG. Initially, I did not think the extra 9k, after the half-marathon distance that I am so use to running, would not make that much of a distance. It did!
- When you run for more than three hours, boredom, even a sense of loneliness, sets in.
- It is perfectly okay to stop mid-way along the course to rest for a few minutes, take in some nutrition, and enjoy being outside.
- Kettle Chips are my new best friend; packed with calories, sodium and potassium, there is simply no better bits for a long run. Only negative is the aftertaste I noticed for the next half hour after chowing down. More post chip water next time!
- Keep a steady pace from beginning to end. Do not “bank time” by running faster at the beginning. It makes the final distance more difficult.
- It use to be that 16k was my “cap,” the place where everything felt difficult. I have successfully pushed that to the 25k mark. My hard work is paying off!
- I needed less water than I anticipated. My 1l Camelbak was essential. My last draw was on my last klick. I took little sips along the way, no gulping.
- Blister prevention becomes important with distance. I got by with only a small one off my right big toe. There is no harm in using extra tape.
- As soon as I stopped mid-way for a food break, I became chilled. It was motivation to keep moving. It was also a reminder that there is no harm in an extra layer.
- Recovery time has taken far less time than I expected. I am on day two and I already feel like a short comfy run is very possible.
- Embrace the pain, do not deny that you are having it. The more you welcome the discomfort and dig deep with determination, the less of a hold pain has. This was a very unexpected lesson.
- Most importantly, I learned this past Sunday that my ability to complete a marathon distance is finally in reach. I will have to really work hard on those last 12 kilometers. However, it no longer strikes fear or feels impossible!
As i continue to complete longer runs in preparation for my first marathon, I am sure that there will be many more lessons to learn. Today I am celebrating my progress.