Day 6 Week 12 – Mental Endurance During Long Run

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:.

  1. 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.
  2.  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?
  3. 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?

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