Alberto Salazar, the former American marathon record holder and a 10K stand out before that, once claimed that the basic difference between training for the 10K and training for the marathon was the addition of the long run.
Importance of the long run.
Long runs help a runner to build endurance. For best performace the long run should be run once per week, preferably on weekends when you don’t suffer time constraint. The more you run 16 mile – 20 mile the more your body get used to long distance running.
I would have loved to continue with my long run but with less than 30 days to 2008 Nairobi marathon, my long run yesterday was the last. Am now tapering.
I enjoy long runs because I do them at a slow pace,and I don’t have to worry about my time, unlike the speed works where you have to push faster and faster and at times running round a track can be boring.
Don’t run too much: Avoid fatigue
The distance of my long run yesterday was a 42K. That is my longest distance I have run this year. I would have loved to do atleast three more but with less than a month of training, running such a long distance could leave one fatigued. Instead of being a better runner you would suffer reduced endurance.
Sign of Dehydration
The run was made worse by the hot sun. We are in the hot season here in Kenya and this is the hardest time to train for a marathon. I had hoped to run the whole distance non stop but at 30K mark I was too thirsty to continue and I wasn’t sweating enough, which is a sign of dehydration. I stopped at a highway motel where I borrowed some water.
Running With Sore Calf Muscle.
At the 36K mark I got a familiar feeling in my calves. They felt sore! I thought of stopping but I decided to keep running. In my last two marathons when my calves felt too sore , I started to walk. This time I decided to see whether its possible to continue running with sore calf muscle. I held onto my pace and got to the finish.
The lesson from this last long run is that it’s possible to run with sore calf muscles. You just need to learn how to ignore the pain.