Love and Hate of the Long Run

Andy Richardson is a blogger at Start Running for Beginners. He is training for his first marathon using Angie’s Official Guide Ebook.

In training for my first marathon, I understand the importance of the long run. Some days my long run is great, and some days the long run is not so great. You could say that I have a love hate relationship with the long run.

Let me share with you some ways that I love (or hate) the long run.

I Love Long Runs Because….

…Long Runs are Critical to Marathon Training

As most of you know, I am training for the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon in November. And a part of that training requires me to run weekly long runs of 10 miles or more. If you do not build up your endurance with the long runs then how will your body be able to run 26.2 miles? So one of the biggest reasons I ‘love’ the long run is that I know it will help me meet my goal of running my first marathon.

But I Hate Long Runs Because…

…Long Runs are Hard

My wife says that I am the king of stating the obvious, so it comes natural for me to point out that long runs can be hard. But seriously, running these distances is still new to me, so I am adjusting physically as well as mentally. I am thankful for the advice here at marathon training academy, and especially the advice in the MTA Official Guide for tips on how to overcome the difficulties of the long run. This advice has definitely helped me hate the long runs less.

I Love Long Runs Because….

…Long Runs Let You Enjoy Your Surroundings

Truly one of the coolest things about going on a long run is to explore and see places that you have driven by numerous times from a different perspective. It makes going to new towns exiting too. While most people are deciding where to park or where to eat, marathon trainees are looking for the best route.

But I Hate Long Runs Because…

…Long Runs Require Preparation

Despite being an engineer by trade, I do not like to plan out my free time. But going on long runs do require a bit of planning and preparation. For example, you have to decide when and where you will run. You have to get your water ready or your water drop-offs set up. Also, if you have special running attire that you take on the long run, you need to get that set aside. So, the preparation for the long run is not my favorite thing about long runs.

I Love Long Runs Because….

…Long Runs are Rewarding

On days when you struggle with the long run, just remember how you will feel about yourself when you are done. I have never regretted going on a long run, or pushing myself to ‘keep going’. When I am through, I just revel in the fact that I did something great, and I am getting closer to being able to compete in an actual marathon race.

Love or Hate?
All of these factors considered, there are those days when my long run goes well, and all systems are a ‘Go’. On days like this you just enjoy running for the sake of running, which is really what it is all about. And for this reason I do love my long runs!

What Do You Think?

Why do you Love (or Hate) the long run?


8 Responses to Love and Hate of the Long Run

  1. Trevor August 24, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I love the long run because of how I feel when it is completed. The psychological boost is outstanding.

    However, it is a big time commitment.

  2. Stephanie August 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I love the long runs because I am mentally prepared- and visualize it all week. The quiet time out in the mountains in the early morning is like none other. Also, the high for the rest of the day is amazing. I hate the long run because I don’t like to prepare either- drinks, sports gu…. I also don’t like the idea of getting up so early on a Saturday. But, as is often said, “one never regrets the run, one always regrets not running”

  3. Andy August 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Oh yeah, the routine of running on Saturday requires re-working your entire social calendar too… I guess it makes sure you go to bed at a reasonable time on Friday, though, which is probably a good thing!

  4. Hayley August 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I agree with Trevor, I love the long run because of how I feel when I’m done — so proud of myself even if it was a tough one. I love feeling like the amount of miles I need to do is daunting and then going out there and doing it (and surviving!). I love that the more I push myself, the easier those past run become (i.e. 9 miles is hard, but 13 miles makes the 9-miler seem like a rest day).

    I hate the big block of time it takes — especially in the summer when I have so many things already planned. I hate how it physically lingers with me for the rest of the day — tired, achy legs, sometime chafing, terrible stomach issues, constant sweating for hours and hours afterwards even after I’ve taken a freezing cold shower. I hate the 15 minutes or so when the long run ends – very uncomfortable.

    I’m also training for my first marathon (in October). I have to try not to think about 26 miles…I’m just taking these long runs 1 or 2 miles at a time. I keep thinking “I could probably do another 2 miles!” and that’s how I’ve been building up. If I let myself think “How am I going to do 26 miles???” I’ll have an anxiety attack!!! 🙂

  5. Lori August 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    I love the long run because I run those with my best friend. We help each other through the days one or both of us don’t feel strong by borrowing a little strength from each other. I really don’t hate the long run. I sometimes hate the short ones.

  6. Dewey August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I am training for my first marathon too, and it is the Savannah rock-n-roll as well! We’ve picked a nice flat course for our first! Best of luck to you!

  7. Leia September 24, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks!!! I’m 46 years-old and yesterday (9/23/11) for the first time ever I ran 7.5 miles in 1 hour and 18 minutes!!! I did it! I’m preparing for a half in late Oct. I listen to the podcast and could not have finish those miles without you guys….. Thanks again…… You’re the best!!!!

  8. Mallory November 18, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    For me, the long run is the best part of my marathon training. It basically gets me through my runs during the week–speed work and hills. I usually do these on a treadmill or on a track at a high school near me. This can get old–fast, especially if it’s over five miles. My long runs allow me not to worry about time, pace, or how many beats per minute my songs on my iPod are. I get up fairly early, plan out what I’m going to wear and eat, and hit the pavement. It’s something so peaceful. Like I said before, I wouldn’t make it without the long run! I love that feeling of accomplishment.

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