Sunday, February 26, 2012

See Megan Run: 12 Miler and splitting long runs & rewards

I had a busy weekend and knew I was going to have to do my 12 mile long run on Friday this week instead of Saturday. I also knew this was going to be tricky to figure out because I had some things going on Friday that made my timing a long run difficult. I finally figured out I would have time to squeeze in 4.5 miles in between morning clients, and then 7.5 right when I got done training. I was somewhat worried about splitting up the miles, but I ended up being SO glad I did. Both segments of my run went AWESOME.
My goal pace from my training schedule was 9:50 minute miles, and I ended up doing 9:40 for 9.5 of the miles and 9:00 for the other 2.5.

Fuel: I had cereal suicide for breakfast. A mixture of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, Special K protein plus, and Raisin Bran.
After my 4.5 I had to go back to training clients, and somewhere in between training and my next segment of running I had a piece of Kamut bread with some peanut butter and honey. It did the trick. 

I was really nervous about this 12 miler because my 10 miler wasn't my favorite. This run was a whole different story. Aside from some chafing under my arms, (I had some chamois butter, but I didn't take the time to put it on...I wished I would have) the run felt so good. My joints, muscles, insides all felt great. It reminded me that I actually do like to run sometimes. Let's hope that keeps up. :) 

I rewarded myself with a pedicure. My feet were very pleased. I am all about rewards for good efforts!
Setting goals, and giving yourself non-food rewards like pedicures, new music, a massage, or a new shirt can make reaching those small goals a lot more exciting! They are a great way to celebrate accomplishments. Map out the goals you have for yourself whether it be with weight loss, nutrition, race times, etc and determine what your rewards will be when you reach those milestones! 

SO...about splitting up my run. I was super nervous that this might defeat the whole purpose of doing a long run. I did some research on doing so, and these were the pros and cons I found.

- There is a part of marathon training that is very mental. Being able to talk yourself through long runs is definitely a part of that mental preparation. 
- Physically, long runs are a necessary part of your preparation as well. There is something important about logging the necessary miles.
- You don't have two segments of time to complete a marathon.
- Dividing up a long run can help mentally. Sometimes knowing you are running a shorter distance makes getting those runs in much easier. 
- There are a lot of studies that show that splitting up mileage in a day can be beneficial. It allows you to get your miles in without fully letting your muscles recover, so you are still receiving the same effect.
- It can help to prevent injury for slower runners. Speedy runners can pound out a lot more mileage in two hours than slower runners can. Many marathon experts discourage runs over 2.5 hours in marathon training, regardless of the speed and mileage. 

My thoughts?
Well, running an actual marathon doesn't depend wholly on one long run. It is an accumulation of correct training over a long period of time. This being said, I think there definitely is necessity in having long runs so that you can mentally and physically experience what they feel like, and recognize what you need to do to prepare to get through them. BUT, I think there is nothing wrong with splitting a few long runs here and there. It can make some of those days when the long runs seem impossible a lot more manageable. In talking to some of the AVID marathoners I work with they agreed.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever split up your long runs into segments? Do you have rewards for your goals? You should!!


Smith Clan said...

I love your pedicure! So cute Way to go Megan!

Suz and Allan said...

Great job with your 12 mile run! I've never split a run up so no advice there. Cute toes!

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