Long runs & two things guaranteed to make runners scream.

First up, week 11 of NYCM training:

week 11 nycm

Conquering long runs:

My number one piece of advice for anyone nervous before their first really long run is to mentally split the run into sections.  When I hit my first 16 miler of this training cycle a few weeks ago, it helped to mentally split the run into 4 parts of 4 miles.  With the 18 mile Tune-Up in Central Park, once I calmed myself down, I mentally split the run into 3 loops and would only focus on the loop I was currently running.

This past weekend, I was set to cover 20 miles.  I’m always prepared to “mentally” split a run but when the opportunity is there to physically split it up, even better!

Sunday’s 20M:

  • Section 1: 1 mile warm-up
  • Section 2: 10 mile race (Bronx 10M)
  • Section 3: 9 miles back to Manhattan and around Central Park

The 1 mile warm-up barely registered, the 10 mile race was (obviously) exciting and when that was over, there was this feeling of only having 9 miles left. This made the 20 miles so much less daunting. I really love incorporating races into my long runs – see here from my 21 mile training run from 2011.

Also, I had great company:

Bronx 10M via jessdefilippo

Thanks to Jessica for the company and thanks to my lovely coach for introducing us!

Two things guaranteed to make runners scream:

During the Bronx 10M, I realized something… there are two guaranteed ways to get runners to scream during a race:

  1. Seeing the lead runners pass by on an out and back course.
  2. Running through a tunnel.

Runners are each others’ biggest supports so number 1 is no surprise. When those lead runners basically lap you, there’s no jealousy, only support. There’s clapping, there’s cheering, there’s all sorts of “whoo”ing.

But then number 2… what is it about running through a tunnel?! Why is it so much fun? Why does everyone feel the need to scream? The Bronx had a few tunnels throughout the course and without fail, runners “whoo”ed through every single one.  Okay, I whooed too. I don’t even know why. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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How do you mentally conquer long runs?

Do you scream going through tunnels? Any idea why it’s so darn fun?

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Long runs & two things guaranteed to make runners scream.

  1. Great job conquering your run Sunday!! Mentally conquering long runs for me is similar to your very own mentioned. Occasionally, I will break runs into sections. Also as mentioned, runners are feeding off one another for support. Seeing the effort and drive of other runners is very motivating to keep going harder.

    One obvious reason screaming in a tunnel is so darn fun, is because of the echo effect. Hearing the yelling echo in and out of tunnels is another mental motivational signal for runners. Plus, the screaming is a mental stress and pressure release.

  2. I was wondering the exact same thing while running through the tunnels. Only one guy in my group yelled both times. He yelled so loudly, I didn’t understand how he was able to do that and keep running!