Friday, April 20, 2012

Love the Long Run

The hardest part of this marathon training is the long run. I can go thru the speedwork and tempo runs with ease. But not the long run. The part that I don't like is the latter part of the run. Those last 4-5kms wherein the sun is shining brightly, my hydration bottles have run out, as I struggled for form between walk breaks. I'm really a poor sight, be it training long runs or during the latter part of a full marathon.

This week I needed to do a 24km long run. My family have vacation plans this weekend and the wife had specific instructions for me:

"No running in Bohol while we're there."

Of course, I needed some R&R and quality time with the wife and 2 kids so I have to oblige. No biggie, I thought, since I'll just move my long run on a weekday. The problem is that I normally leave the house for work at around 8:15-8:30am so that means waking up 3-4 hours earlier (assuming I finish 24k in 3hours).

Now I need my sleep as much as the next guy so I resorted to doing this run differently: I'm gonna run this at night.

In the UP 2.2km Oval.

Yup, for approximately 11 rounds I'll try to complete 24km.


I was able to get help from @Dagulrunner (who's running his first T2N ultra next month) to help with my hydration by way of providing an ice chest so I can put in my Gatorade and water there.

I wore my Brooks Pureflows but cautiously used thin socks so as not to flare up another PF issue on my right foot.

By 8pm I parked at Abelardo Hall (after munching on Drive Thru Burger Mcdo meal). After a brief chat with @Dagulrunner and his gang, I got myself ready and went off for my 24km run.

The target pace was 7:13/km but I decided not to follow it. Just see how I do this at easy pace but not bringing myself slower than 8:00/km. There were lots of runners and walkers around the oval at this time (8:30pm) so I was happy to have the company.

I went for my hydration stop every 2 rounds (or every 4.4k). The ice cold water and Gatorade helped refresh me to continue, add to that the cool weather that the evening provided. An officemate was able to run with me for 2 rounds so the good conversation throughout the run helped me forget about keeping track of the miles.

By 60 minutes I was averaging 7:30/km which was not bad at all. By the 2nd hour I was happy to see that I was still that same pace, even though the uphill climb of the oval started to bother my pace since I was averaging 7:40-7:50/km at that point but breaking it even by the downward segment (7:20-7:30/km).

At this time I was expecting PF issues on my right foot but it didn't surface since, probably, I was able to consciously keep quick leg turnover so as not to have my foot on the ground for long and a conscious effort to keep track of my hydration and nutrition (although I only used 1 gel which was at km12).

The last round was hard but I knew that I'll be able to finish it, probably because I didn't want to put @Dagulrunner's support efforts for naught. The guy and his gang were still there until the end of my run for support.

I was the only one running the oval at this time, with the company of skateboarders cruising down the road at adrenalin-pumped pace.

By 11:30pm, I saw 24kms on my Garmin and called it a night. At 7:33/km average, I didn't meet my pace goal but I was very pleased with having finished the distance at a very comfortable, easy pace. I guess without the morning heat I was able to run better with the cool evening weather.

Of course, the goal by race day is run at 6:45/km pace so I will really need to step up and obey the target pace for my long run workouts.

Nevertheless, I'll probably do the rest of my long runs for marathon #4 this way.


At the UP oval.

With ice-cold hydration on the ready.

Looks better in the daytime, but definitely cooler to run at night
Yup, I guess I'm starting to love long runs.


  1. That was nice to get some help from a fellow running and all. So happy to hear your completion of that with not too much problem. I know you will do quite well.

  2. by the way, I had to do that word verification 5 times before I got it right.