If it is Sunday morning, it must be the dreaded Long Run. Read any advice about training for a marathon, and the one thing they all agree on is that whatever else happens in your life, do not miss out the weekly long run. Your midweek hill runs, tempo runs, sprints and the like are all important, but nothing compared to this.
This is the beast that pushes up a mile or two every week, until theoretically, you are ready to tackle the 26 miles, 385 yards. The lesson I always keep in my head for these trips out is that it isn’t about pace, it is all about getting miles in your legs. There’s a good piece on Runner’s World which I found helpful.
Today’s 8 miles was actually pretty easy going, and probably wouldn’t even count as a “long run” for seasoned marathon runners. Unusually, I ran with a friend who is also training for the marathon, and having company definitely keeps your mind off the aches and pains. You can just about see Chris’s violent yellow jacket in the picture. This is actually my favourite view of anywhere I run in Cardiff, the straight road through Bute Park. Whatever the light or time of year, there’s always something a big magical about it.
The two of us kept a steady pace this morning, just slower than 9 minute miles, a touch quicker than my sub 4hr training schedule. And between my iphone and his Garmin (how did Zatopek cope?) we never strayed too far off target pace.
So that is this week’s 20miles complete, without injury or fuss. It won’t last like this. It never does. But, for now, I’m happy. That probably won’t last into next week, where the healthy eating really needs to start. Last night’s Jalfrezi was superb, mind…
Today’s vital statistics:
Run: 8 miles. Taff Trail and Bute Park. Easy conversational pace. Muggy, misty and mild.
Spotted: friendliest batch of Sunday morning joggers I can remember, lots of nods and hellos; a four-man boat struggling through the Taff’s morning mist; a man destroying Llandaff’s sleepy Sunday morning with a circular saw and a mischievous grin; half a dozen cyclists nearing the sound-barrier bombing down Allensbank Road.