I’m absolutely in agreement with those who say running is just as much mental strength and endurance as it is physical, so tackling the long run is something every distance runner (or cyclist, swimmer, hiker, etc.) must learn to do as part of their training.
Long runs can be a challenge! As I prepare for the upcoming Cleveland Marathon, I’m tapping into some of my favorite ideas and tricks to help make the long runs easier. Hopefully, one of these ideas helps make your next long run or distance training cycle go by a little more smoothly!
- Grab a buddy! Even if your buddy only joins you for a few miles, those miles with a friend always seem to fly by. If a buddy can’t join you, I love using my headphones with a microphone to call one. Shout out to my amazing sister for always taking my calls and motivating me when the miles get tough!
2. Create a dedicated long run playlist. A playlist full of favorites or long-lost feel-good songs that you only listen to on your LR may give you something to look forward to. Podcasts and/or audiobooks are another great way to pass the time.
3. Break it up! Breaking up the distances in your head can be a helpful tactic. For example, a 15 mile run could be broken down into 3 5-mile sections where you focus on something new for each portion (form, speed, etc). When the run gets tough, sometimes I’ll even focus on the remaining miles and think about how many times I’ve run that distance. It gives me the confidence boost I need to push through!
4. Plan a fun route or to a fun location. One of my favorite long runs happened in Washington DC. I planned my own little running tour that took me past several monuments and highlights of the city! I didn’t even notice the miles ticking by because I was so focused on the sights. Not traveling? Plan a run by some of your favorite spots in your community!
5. Focus on a mantra that motivates you. Some of my go-to’s are: I can do hard things, I’m tougher than this run/hill/mile, and Every step you take moves you forward. Find a few that inspire you to keep going!
6. Sign up for a race! For example, signing up for a local half marathon may help provide you with the energy and support you need to tackle a 13.1 mile long run – add on extra miles before or after, if needed.
So there you go! Have any tips or tricks to share? Let me know in the comments!
Don’t forget! You can save 10% on your Cleveland Marathon race registration by using the code TNCLE10.