The long run

posted in: Running | 0

I have settled into a pattern of running the 7.5 miles to work twice a week, and 4.3 miles round the common twice each weekend. I so often try to incorporate speed work, hills work, strength routines and so on, but it *tends* not to stick. That is to say, it has never stuck.

The one thing I have more success with is the long run. I think this is probably because I find churning out more miles easier than pushing myself hard on a short run (hills, intervals etc.). I mean, I ran to work with a 8.03 pace on Tuesday, but only by accident. Had I set out wanting to do that, I’d have burnt out within a mile. I wonder if this is perhaps because I’m not good at controlling my pace – so a tempo run becomes one giant interval until I run out of steam.

Anyway, I digress.

I would like to do one “long” run a week; for me at the moment, that is 10+ miles. I’d love to build this to 13-15 miles, but I’m not there yet. Weekend plans often get in the way, but we’re in town this weekend, and I had a lovely Saturday free to run.

So I chose to keep my lovely free Saturday for more important things, like watching The Good Wife and drinking coffee, and did my long run home from work on Friday. So as everyone else headed for the pub, I put on my trainers and hit the road.

I ran along the river, and everything was lit up beautifully; The London Eye, Big Ben and Westminster, and the bridges. I hadn’t noticed how beautiful Albert bridge is (in fact, I always struggle to remember the order of Battersea, Chelsea and Albert Bridges).

It’s funny, but to me this was a run along the river. The below clearly shows that it was 40% river and 60% roads.

Screenshot 2016-02-20 13.22.24

I am now using a Garmin Forerunner 225 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

I mean, it churns out more data than the ISS….

Screenshot 2016-02-20 13.22.37

most of which I pay no attention to….

Screenshot 2016-02-20 13.23.00

The main takeaways for me:

  • My heart rate really goes up as the run goes on. For the first 20 minutes it sits at around 150 bpm, and in the final 20 minutes it’s at around 170 bpm (and even goes over 180 bpm). These aren’t just bursts from running up a hill; my heart rate just steadily goes up during the run.
  • My average cadence is 174 spm, which doesn’t sound bad to me. Apparently most people run with a cadence of 160-170 spm, and elite runners with an average of 180 spm. I won’t read too much into this…..I think it’s unlikely I am an elite runner…..but… know, just saying.
  • My average pace was 8.36. None too shabby for the long run.

My watch awarded told me that this was our longest run together. Given that I bought it three months ago, this run was long overdue.

I got home and crashed to the sofa. This took way more out of me than I’d envisaged. Lovely Matthew brought me gin and quesadillas (seriously, read any running advice and its the agreed recovery from a long run) and we watched The Equalizer (a lovely revenge film, with shot glasses rammed through eyes and such).


Today I am sore. My hips hurt a bit, my feet hurts a bit, and my “soul” (that sarcastic, bitchy thing that controls my mouth) is on the edge. It sounds so dramatic, but I wasn’t sure I had it in me to go for a run. Given that I had nothing else to do all day though, I figured a “shake it out” (what does that even mean?) run might do me good. Well – it hurt and I felt shit. But, I did it:

Screenshot 2016-02-20 13.47.52

Now, back to the main act for today: watching The Good Wife and drinking coffee.

Have a good Saturday!




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