running blog

I hate long runs!


I have been thinking recently about how I feel now that Spring Marathons are in full swing and that I have pulled out of the Milton Keynes Marathon.

I am full of admiration for everyone who has made it through marathon training this winter. The weather has been foul and the cold has certainly contributed to some of my niggles.  How anyone finished a 20(+) mile run in the sleet this March with the added wind chill is amazing.  I didn’t even manage to get out for one lap of my 20 mile race let alone 5!

I am a little envious of everyone’s successes so far and that wonderful feeling of achievement that many friends will get when they complete their marathons over the next few weeks. It all takes hard work and putting the hours in on long runs. It was trying to fast forward and catch up my long run distance after injury that made me admit I was over doing it and postpone my marathon number 2.

I am tempted looking at other marathons later this year or for next and still hold ambitions of improving my marathon time but I think too much about the ‘whens’ and ‘ifs’ of the training and best timings with other commitments.

So my thoughts always come back to long runs and I have to admit that I just don’t like doing them. I can’t help but think that maybe if I liked them a little more I might not have been so quick to drop out of my marathon training.  I am happy to run 8 or 10 miles (and race a half marathon) but over that and I get a bit of a mental block and dread them before I start.  It was at the 12 mile point (or maybe it’s the magic 2 hour curfew) of a long run when I admitted to myself I was bored, cold and fed up and probably trying to push myself to hard too soon after injury (so got on a bus) and made my decision.

I then had a bit of a running slump week.  I cross trained and went to BMF where the runs are short before picking myself up with thoughts of shorter races.  I did manage to force myself out for a long run last weekend because the odd long run is still a necessary evil for half marathon training.  However even with a pre planned 12 mile route my legs somehow brought me home after 10 miles!  I dragged out another mile looping the block before I had enough muscle aches and pains to justify calling it a day.

Fortunately my recent saviour of my running mojo has been BMF run club.  I’m lucky that BMF Hyde Park is one of the BMF parks that holds a run club for members.  I’ve meant to go ever since I’ve been a member and after 6 or 7 years I finally ran out of excuses! (Dark won’t kill me and being home at 7pm for dinner and bed time for my sons, now 16 and 14, isn’t an issue anymore.)   There I have really enjoyed running some fast intervals.

It’s hard to describe the buzz I get from it which I don’t get from long runs.  I know it’s going to be hard work beforehand but don’t get that feeling of dread.  It’s amazing how you can blast out a km or more at best effort, thinking you’re ‘all-in’ but after 90 seconds recovery bounce off to do it all over again, and again. Running in the dark doesn’t bother me and it’s great to be running at my pace but within a group.  Fortunately both times I have found myself well placed mid-pack where there is the challenge to chase the front-runners and comfort of not being at the back.

The tired feeling after speed intervals is better too!  I sleep so well afer a tough speed session and my muscles feel happily tired rather than being painful and stiff after long runs.  Speed is giving me a spring in my step.  It’s great to find some pace again and my legs are feeling lighter now that I am leaving the slow shuffling heavy legged long slow runs behind me.

Good luck and well done to everyone who has or is about to run a marathon in the next few weeks.  If like me it’s not happening for you either this time, our time will/may come!  Or maybe as with many things in life, each to their own, embrace our differences and maybe admit we are more suited to other distances.

Author: fairweatherrunner

West London fair weather runner, British Military Fitness fan, mother of teenage sons and drinker of wine. Sometimes found on the Isle of Wight.

11 thoughts on “I hate long runs!

  1. i can’t help but think i am the total opposite to you: i loooooove long runs and really dont like speed intervals cause they make me sick. and i much prefer the tiredness after long runs than the tiredness after speed intervals. if only you could do my speed intervals then i’d do your long runs! :p

  2. It seems its the cold I have struggled with this marathon training season.
    Doesn’t matter if short or long runs. I just hate cold !

    I’m sure all runs will be better when it warms up.

    Keep running 🙂

  3. The cold has been hard going. The only thing that has kept me going is that I know it is harder to run in the cold. I hate it that it takes me 4 miles ‘to get into it’ but am very happy that 10miles doesn’t seem that hard anymore! I shall be doing the Milton Keynes Marathon. It is my one and only ever marathon and I just want to get round!!

  4. Thank goodness we are all different, I hate speed (unless I am driving), but love the sense of achievement and tiredness I get from LSR! Stick to what makes you feel good I say.

  5. A couple of things converted me into being an LSR lover. I never run in circles. Usually set myself up with a different route that takes me from one town to another. That way I get a buzz out of people`s shock `n awe when they hear I`ve gone from Atown to Btown. And I enjoy it all the more when I drive to these places.(Hey, I ran that!)
    The other thing I love are my headphones and talk radio. I get lost then.
    I also take it really handy. Hit almost a zen groove of just rambling along and locked into no thought in particular.
    I also prefer to run alone so I can tune into any niggles.

  6. Why don’t you do more 5k races?

  7. I say do what makes you happy! Glad to hear that your mojo is well topped up.

  8. We run (or at least we probably should do) because we enjoy it, and if for you that means speed queen on shorter distances then do that!

  9. I see your point. Hard decision to make but good you made it. There is no point in running further if it does not feel right, brings anything good etc. Besides, nothing wrong with 1/2M distance!

  10. Hi, I feel your pain on long runs – and I’m exactly the same. If I’m on my own I’m terrible. If I’m with other people Its a little better. I was chatting whilst on Google+ the other day and a guy said to me he’d done 24km before breakfast….so I said “how do you keep your mind occupied??” He suggested podcasts! So that’s what I’m trying next! You should do the same, it might work? Catherine x

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