You know training is going well when you begin thinking of a 4 or a 6-miler as "easy". Yesterday I did a 7-miler and my body adjusted beautifully, no stiffness, no pain, not even the day after. Also, I have been doing my best to stretch after every run and it has been helping to keep me pain free and flexible. What has been getting tough is making the runs mentally interesting. Because not all runs could be in a beautiful forest, which would be ideal, I often need to come up with ways to entertain myself over the 1-3 hours I am out there. Below are some ways I have found help.
1. Audio books downloaded from your local library via your Overdrive app on your phone
3. Podcasts. My favorite podcasts are Marathon Training Academy with trevor and Angie and The Ultrarunner Podcast. Either will always have interesting, almost hour-long shows.
4. If in a forest or a trail, I don't need anything....Just the sounds of nature is enough to make the run fun. Plus, you need your ears to stay alert and not slip and fall and most likely you will run into turtles, bizarre birds and many other creature. Huge bonus.
5. Music- New music based on a "radio" from a song you already have. On Spotify you can turn any song into a "radio" and the program selects music similar to this song. Great way to find great music you are likely to love.
6. When really suffering I count, 1-20, then back again, 1-20. At the end of every 20 I fold down a finger and when I get to 100 I start again. This works best when in lots of discomfort from heat, or exertion but I know there's more in the tank. Helps to keep your mind from convincing you to stop.
7. A new route of any kind does the trick! This works best for really long runs. Find a beautiful, never explored route and explore it. Time will go by really fast.
8. Some people find it easier to run with others. Not my thing. Long story. This is a tough one for slower runners like me....most often we get left behind and run on our own anyway, so its best to start alone anyway. Less confusion and less broken expectations.
9. Run in the elements. Nothing makes you feel more like a badass than running in the elements. Whether it's in the rain, wind or in the snow, running in weather other than good weather can be quite entertaining. Especially, if you have the right gear. It would be no use running in 3 inches of snow if you did not have those nifty snow claws to wear over your shoes, same as it would be useless to run in the rain without a plastic bag in which to store your phone.
I have a 14-miler this Sunday and I am starting to think of where I could explore in Nassau County, Long Island, where I am for another week and a half.