Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Long Runs

Long Runs

No I’m not talking about soliloquies or musical solos, but running long distances in training.

Yesterday was a bit of a disaster. I went for a 8-mile run (which I’ll get to next), went to lunch, then decided to put gas in the truck since the light was on. After pumping a few gallons, I noticed that while the gas was going in at the top, it was also coming out at the bottom. Not a very good thing. I don’t need to waste my scare gas dollars on fuel leaks. So I drove over to the shop, hoping the truck wouldn’t burst into flames, explode, or run out of gas, still in my running clothes and with groceries from the place I ate lunch at. By the time I finally returned home it was time to head out from a St. Pat’s day drink. (I just heard back from the shop and they can’t find anything wrong…of course)

Let me explain the concept of the “long run.” For people training for distance running, it’s the most important run of the week. The point of the long run is to fatigue your muscles down to a point where they’re forced to adapt. The problem with the long run of course is that it’s a bit boring. All told the eight miles took almost two hours because I stopped a couple times to stretch and take a potty break. I wore a MP3 player which helped but you really need to want to run to get through it, especially the last few miles when your body starts to rebel. In the weeks leading up to an event such as a half-marathon, I try to increase my long run by one mile each week. Now that I have it up to 8 miles, it would only take me about 6 weeks to work it out to 13 miles, just enough for a half marathon.

Diet Tip of the Day:

Vegetables are the basis for any good diet. They contain vital nutrients that cannot be found in meat or fruits. They also provide fiber. Dark green leafy veggies are the best. My former employer provided a generous salad bar at every meal, and I enjoyed the selection immensely. It’s been really hard to make up for the loss because I can’t go out and by 20 different veggies at once, but I have found a couple places nearby with good salad bars.


  1. My longest run so far is 2.5 miles. Woo-hoo, go me! :-) I don't think I'll be increasing it by a mile a week though... You can get some amazingly interesting podcasts from the BBC. Much more diverting than music for runs, and you can improve your mind at the same time.

  2. Mind shmind.
    Actually congrats on getting to 2.5. I didn't really talk much about the mental aspects of a long run, but it can be almost like a meditation as long as you're not in too much discomfort.
    I think I'm going to get the new iPhone in a couple months and then I will have enough bandwidth to listen to live podcasts etc.

  3. When I am running, my mind does this:
    When do we get to stop? I'm tired. Jesus, another hill. Why am we doing this? Can we stop now? Let's walk the rest of the way. etc etc etc

    I guess that is kind of meditative.

  4. might be crossing the line between "stress" which is good and "distress" which is bad. Trying slowing it down by at least 1 minute/mile and see how it goes.


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