Skip navigation

3210 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2012 5:21 AM by SMARIETTA
Kouripoulavi Expert 44 posts since
Nov 28, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 5, 2012 11:44 AM

Getting Through the "Long" Runs



I am at the end of week 5.  This is actually my second full go at week 5.  The first time I could not mentally get through the 20 minute.  It's hard for me since I haven't had any other set backs with the program yet.  I know my body can do it.  I know my legs and lungs can handle it, but I think my brain is getting in the way.


I post on another thread regularly and some have shared ideas and what they do to get through. 


I thought I would open it up here.  Maybe someone else has a great idea.  tomorrow I give 20 minutes of running a second try.  I really want to make it through.  I'm hoping my willpower is enough to beat my brain! : )


Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have to prepare mentally.



  • DjPaTcHeS Amateur 16 posts since
    Jun 13, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 5, 2012 12:04 PM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs



    I remember back to when I did the 20 minute run and failed on my first try, yet made it two days later on second try.  On my first attempt around the ten minute mark, I kept thinking to myself that I couldn't do it, and I couldn't.  When I did the second try I started thinking from the begining "Breath In, Breath Out..."  rinse, wash, repeat.  I was startled by the voice telling me I was half way done, "Breath In, Breath Out..."  then I got startled by the 5 minute warning, the 2 minute warning, and the Cool Down....


    I just needed to stop thinking about what I was doing.


    Now as far as long runs, I tend to get bored after about the first hour and a half of running, but running with someone else that I can converse with helps...




  • GinnyinPA Pro 150 posts since
    Sep 29, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 5, 2012 2:34 PM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs

    When I did c25k, I was also intimidated by the jump from 5 to 8 minutes to 20.  My solution was to go from 5 to 10 to 20, or, since I was mostly doing it by distance, from 1/2 mile to a mile to two miles.  It turned out that doing the two miles wasn't nearly as hard as I expected.  And once I made the leap, the next increase was easy.


    Now every time I increase my LR mileage (I'm up to 11 miles) I get nervous beforehand, but so far it has always been doable.  My hardest part is simply figuring out a new route each week.

  • mkayc Legend 582 posts since
    Jun 8, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 5, 2012 3:59 PM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs

    We once had a whole thread on this. You are not alone. If you are using C25k you are ready and your body has done this. The trick is to go as slowly as possible and keep your mind occupied. You are running for time and endurance, not distance. It helped to cut the run into small portions. Others used 5 min segments and just asked, can you do another 5? And of course you can because you did with your last run. Another trick is to lay your clothes out before your run so you don't forget anything you need. I use music to keep my mind engaged so I turned the music up and counted tunes. I guessed they average about 3 min. so I only had to make it through 7. This helped a whole lot because it's way easier to make it to the end of a three min. song. Also, keep your head down; don't be looking at the end of your run, just where you are. If all seems impossible, forget about it. Move on to W6 and give yourself a break. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a one minute walk break every so often. I'm training for a half in a run walk group doing 3:1 but thinking of switching to 2:1 and that's because I like running faster and haven't got the stamina to do the distances at my preferred pace. So run/walk gives me a better time than running.  Good luck! You can DO it.

    Mary Kay

    Running: Started 5/6/2011; Graduated C25k - 7/21/11; Graduated B210k - 11/24/11;

    PRs: 5k - 36:42; 8k - 1:10; 4.15 m - 53.41; 10k - 1:18; HM - 2:56:31

    I may be slow but I'm persistant.

    Goals: 5k under 30 min.; HM under 2 hr.; AG award in the USAF HM! and one full marathon.

    It won't be easy but it will be worth it!

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 5, 2012 5:10 PM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs

    The best advice I can offer is to try and take time out of consideration, so avoid looking at your watch or paying close attention to those "markers" outdoors that represent performance markers.  Mentally, it is important to basically "zone out" and keep moving forward without thinking of total distance.  Also, if you are doing a specific route, think about reversing it or doing a different routine...sometimes we have to actually trick out brains by changing up the environment. 

    Wishing you the best of luck

  • KateInWI Amateur 21 posts since
    Dec 7, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 6, 2012 7:29 AM (in response to mkayc)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs

    Just like mkayc, I count songs too!! And I only allow myself to look at the clock at the end of a certain number of songs, depending on the length of the run I'm doing.  Cool to know I'm not the only one doing this !

  • silentstrider Amateur 31 posts since
    Jan 11, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 11, 2012 12:18 PM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs

    I remember going through this too.  I tried to vary my runs, running different courses or trails by my house, to get my mind off of time.  If that isn't an option, my advice is, when you get that feeling, slow down your pace by 20 or 30 secs.  Don't stop running, but slow down a bit, get past that wall and keep going.  Hope this helps, good luck on the runs.


    Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k 57:02 4/10/11

    Chicago Run for the Zoo 10k 1:06:51 6/05/11

    Chicago Half Marathon 2:33:49 9/11/11

    Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k 1:34:20 11/05/11

    Chicago Polar Dash 1/2 Marathon 2:21:11 (PR) 1/21/12

    Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k 48:48 (PR) 3/25/12

  • BeccaBern Rookie 3 posts since
    Feb 20, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 19, 2012 8:12 AM (in response to Kouripoulavi)
    Getting Through the "Long" Runs



    I have been running for quite a while now, and this has always been a problem. Physically, you can do it, you know that, but that damn mind! It'll get you everytime if you let it!


    What I like to do is memorize affirmations in my mind, and I'll say them over and over in my head.


    You know like trainers who have catch phrases. (Ex: Dolvett, Biggest Loser, "HARD WORK, DEDICATION")


    Or, I like to say, "Better Sore than Sorry"


    Or I'll make to do lists in my head.


    Just keep your mind occupied enough so that it cannot think about actually running.



    -RB Keep it up!!!

  • SMARIETTA Legend 302 posts since
    Oct 3, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jan 20, 2012 5:21 AM (in response to BeccaBern)
    Re: Getting Through the "Long" Runs

      you can totally do this1

    Back in 2009 when I did the C25k I didn't have a lot of problem with this portion but several members of the group had considerable angst about this portion.

    just slow your pace down a bit.


    in 2009 when I ran outside( and even now when running outside) I count every time my right foot hits the ground. when i reach 100 i switch my water bottle from right hand to left hand-when I hit 200 back to the right hand and so forth. when I cover a mile I treat myself to a couple sips of gatorade( still mentally counting foot srtikes)


    In the winter I run indoors-8 laps per mile so it's simple arithmetic to figure out  how many seconds per lap to maintain my target pace. I usually beat my target pace by about 8 seconds per lap-so every lap I mentally re-calculate what the clock should read on the next lap.


    the point is- you are going to learn to pull within yourself( zone out might be one term)------- you are going to pull with yourself to a place where you can monitor what your body is doing, monitor your pace, your hydration level etc. without fully associatingYOU with the attendant discomfort.


    If you should be running on a trail and smile or nod or wave at a passing runner and they don't respond-DON'T take it personally- it's not about YOU, believe me.- the other runner is in a different place,zoned out and a million miles away.


    you can totally  do this-and in a few weeks or months you will smile as you pass markers you used to struggle to reach and you will wonder what all the fuss was about!


    very best wishes,



    Edit:- BTW- my problem was after the C25k- moving from 3 miles to 4 miles.- I remember the first attempt- I was running on a somewhat unfamiliar trail and towards the end I just couldn't run any farther and slowed to a walk- I took about 10 steps and rounded a curve and just up ahead I spotted the 4 mile  marker. i was sooo pizzed because I had bailed out about 120 steps from my 4 mile goal--and OF COURSE I could have run another 120 steps if i had known the finish was  so close!


    I was  pizzed for the next 48 hours- but believe me the next attempt I nailed it just fine!

    Best wishes again,


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...