On Monday, (or…today if I post this immediately) I needed to get in my last long effort in this training cycle. I was aiming for 20-25 miles, easy paced and to work on getting in nutrition.
I planned a route in my neighborhood that had the right amount of hills and went by my house at mile 16 in case I needed to refill my bottles or something happened.
Well, mother nature went from 60s on Saturday to 30s and snowy on Sunday. Normally 30 degree weather is fine for me, however when that also involves freezing rain and snow, I take a step back. I have to work early most of the week and so I jumped at the chance to run before a later work shift today. However, I still wanted to begin my run at 6:15ish, which meant the roads were not ideal and it was dark.
Instead of scrapping it, I modified the plan.
I took it to the treadmill.Running on the treadmill? Podcasts, fuel and attitude make it bearable #runchat @runningblogs #vegrunchat Click To Tweet
3 hours and 45 minutes later, I had completed my first treadmill marathon. My pace was actually quite ideal for the goal of this run. 8:33 average getting faster as the time went on.
To be honest, this could have gone terribly. I’ve had bad treadmill runs where 3 miles felt like a death slog. Today was different. There are a few things that stuck out to me that I did differently:
1.) I chose my podcast of choice wisely
This was the most important thing to keep me going. The first podcast on my list was the Running Inside Out podcast with Chris O’Brian, specifically the episode was called The Things We Love About Running. This show could not have put me in a better mood to be running, even on the treadmill. It reminded me of all the reasons I run, the small victories and joys that running brings and just made me content to be there. Running gives me so much. The community, the endorphins, the hard work, the big breakfasts. All of it is incredible and keeps me coming back for more.
2.) I started drinking early
I wanted to practice nutrition on this run. Specifically, I wanted to get down Tailwind and see how effective RunGum was for providing a second wind. For those of you who don’t know, RunGum is caffinated gum, designed by Nick Symmonds to give athletes the benefits of caffiene without the sloshing stomach. I took the gum 16 miles into my run and can say it did clear my head and helped me ignore my fatiguing muscles. Providing my body with a slow burn of calories from the Tailwind also helped me stay engaged and motivated to kepp going.
3.) I kept the pace slow
Using a treadmill provided a way for me to control my pace. Running long is about going slower so you can sustain the effort. Even if it seems boring in the beginning, your body thanks you later by allowing you to finish the race. I started slow, went a bit faster in the middle and then ended at the same pace I started. It did not really feel boring because I was listening to the podcast mentioned above and knew I was in it for the long haul.
4.) I allowed myself to stop if I wanted to
I gave myself permission to stop at regular intervals (like an aid station) and get a good drink of Tailwind or just rest for a second. In my experience, stopping at aid stations or if you need to on the course can sometimes provide just the right amount of rest and relief to keep going. That permission, that I allowed myself to stop was very comforting. Sometimes it’s really difficult for me to only do “x” amount of miles when I wanted to do “y” amount. However, I know I am fit enough even if I stop or if I break up the run into two smaller ones. Perspective is huge.
How do I feel?
I feel relatively good. Not to sore, no headaches (which has happened before) and I am ready to get after it!
That is how I ran 26.2 miles on a treadmill. Just please, don’t ask me to do it again tomorrow (or ever hahaha)