…not ever so long!
It’s been a while since I have been able to do my long run off road. Before our recent addition to the family, my husband and I did our long runs together and a large percentage of them would be off road. Our favourite runs were on the South Downs. Today, he got up early to run on the Downs with friends, and I met him up there 2 hours later to do a solitary long(ish) run whilst he took care of the baby.
It was so lovely!!
I don’t know what was more lovely – 2 hours to myself, being exposed to the elements, running in beautiful surroundings, or having taste of how life used to be?! Probably a combination of all those things.
I was cautious today to make the pace an easy one. I am often guilty of running my long runs too quickly, leaving myself too tired to get the most out of other quality sessions later in the week. Some athletes and coaches recommend running the long run at a slow pace, focusing on ‘time on feet’. This gives the body an opportunity to adapt to working hard for long periods and to develop an energy system that uses fuel efficiently. As I’m just ‘ticking over’ at the moment I should be running my long runs like this, but when I’m training for an event, I will run some of my long run miles at target pace – usually in the third quarter of my build up.
Anyway – I managed to keep today’s run feeling easy. I started out in fog, unable to enjoy the beautiful scenery, but within a few miles I was in the sunshine stripping off layers of clothing. About a quarter of the way in I had to slow myself down as I reached a section of the route that I have often raced. It was really nice to take this section easy and enjoy it in a different way, although I would have soon slowed down anyway as the ‘mud’ through the farm and in the cow field was quite spectacular. I suspect that there was quite a high quantity of cow ‘do do’ mixed in too – yuk! (Reminder to self to clean shoes!!) A most welcome sight at 11.5 miles, 100 minutes after I started, was my husband with the pushchair – not for me sadly, he had the baby in it! I could deduct him a further point for waiting at the top of the hill and not at the bottom, but I won’t because the extra 150 metres probably did me good…