Whatever distance you are training for; 30km, 50km, 100km or more, long run training is going to prepare you for everything mentally, physically, proper gear, nutrition and also sometimes get you out of your comfort zone. By running longer distances every week, you will experience different challenges, you will have to deal with mental attitude when it gets tough, finding the proper nutrition to get you going, testing the right gear and clothes in different weather. It is very important to use our long runs to test everything and sometimes come across challenges that will get us out of our comfort zone.
You can run the same route every week, which can seem more simple and comfortable, but eventually it will get boring. Exploring new trails will keep you more entertained, increase your navigation ability, make it more adventurous, and get you out of your comfort zone so that unforeseen circumstances won’t cause too much anxiety.
How to keep long runs interesting?
-Seek new routes and explore different territories.
-Run your familiar route backwards, it will feel completely different.
-Do your long run at night, even the same route will seem different with a headlight, and it will challenge your body and brain. Night runs are always great adventures.
-Run in bad weather, the terrain will feel different and be more challenging, this will also allow you to test your cold, rainy, bad weather gear.
-If you have access to a large territory like we do, plan your long run training to cover the whole area section by section.
-Use races to cover your long runs. This will take you on different trails, give your metabolism a bit of a boost by exposing your body to a bit of pre-race nervousness.
By making our long runs more adventurous, like getting lost, running into some animals, very technical terrains, bad weather, mentally challenging, all these issues will help us deal with stress and anxiety. Getting out of our comfort zone is very important to help us increase our mental endurance and strength, which will benefit not only our races, but also our everyday life.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!