16 mile long run – all easy pace (9:00 to 9:45) is what’s on my marathon training schedule.
16 mile long run! As tiresome as it sounds, the real challenge, believe it or not, happens upstairs, in my head.
I know physically, I can handle the distance at the easy pace. The question is what is my mind going to do during that period of two and half plus hours? Watch a movie? Read a novel? Play my favorite TV re-run’s?
Before revealing my answer, here are several things I don’t do:.
- Not going to think about when I am going to finish. That is just too tortuous. It is like watching a movie and thinking about the ending right from the gitgo. Sure fire way to drive anyone crazy.
- Not going to entertain negative thoughts such as what if I can’t finish my run while halfway through it? or what if a deer decides to run me over I get run over? or how about a squadron of boy scouts on bicycles decides to run me over?
- Not going to daydream. Daydreaming may be an easy time filler. But it is just too dangerous to be mindless while running on the trial, or anywhere.
The answer: I focus on breathing. As in meditation, I follow my breath, breathe in and breathe out. Reliably, I can monitor myself through my breaths, if I am thirsty, running too fast, or other telltale signs. This way I keep my mind productively engaged and not going on any tangents or having crazy ideas.
What do you do to ward off mental boredoms?