This week’s Tuesday Topic is:  How do you stay mentally motivated during a long run?  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

Wow, long runs.  During marathon training a long run would be a run between 12-20 miles (to me).  I am not training for a marathon.  Thank goodness because I don’ think I want to run that long anyway.  Right now my long runs have been between 5-7 miles and those are long enough for me.  I did run a couple of 9 milers last year.  

So how do I stay motivated during these runs?  Let me tell you what woks for me. 

🏃🏽‍♀️ Break up the miles.  If I am running 8 miles I like to break them up in 2 milers.   When I am done with 4 miles then I remind myself that I am 50% done.  If that doesn’t work then I take it one mile at a time.

🏃🏽‍♀️ I get to run!  No one is making me do this.  It is my decision.  I know I’ve said this before but I am fortunate that I can run, walk, etc.  I hope I am still doing this for many more years.

🏃🏽‍♀️ Have a good playlist.  I like to run with music but have also run without it.  I am a huge fan of 80s and 90s pop/dance music.  Matty from Peloton is my favorite to listen to during my long runs.  He always has something exciting to say about him, the song, the artist, etc.  

🏃🏽‍♀️ Enjoy it and take it easy.  For me it wasn’t easy to run “slow” during my long runs (I wasn’t running that fast anyway).  I think it was last year that I learned to let it go and run slower.  No one is chasing me and I am not competing with anyone else.  My paces are usually between 12:00-13:00 minute miles and that is OK with it.

🏃🏽‍♀️ Change my routine.  I used to run by the lake and around the airport but haven’t been there in months.  I run close to where I live but vary the route depending on my mood.  Right now I like to do this to find houses that are for sale.  😀 

🏃🏽‍♀️ Reward myself.  It could be the tamales and coffee waiting for me at home.  It could also be the shower that I will take when I am done.  It could also be the nap that I will take after eating and the shower.  

Running long miles isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible either.  The key is finding the necessary tools to start, continue, and finish the run.

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14 Comments on Tuesday Topics: How I stay mentally motivated during a long run

  1. These are all great points!
    I also find that running with a group makes a long run much more entertaining. You get to talk with each other, hear other runner’s stories and before you know it, your long run is done!

  2. All great tips.

    I listen to podcasts when alone.

    I vary the route each weekend.

    But running with some other runners works best. Chatting takes my mind off the pain.

    Yes king runs are hard.

  3. Long runs can be tough, and not just physically! I forgot to mention in my post, but I also break up the miles into shorter distances (like a 2-mile loop, then a 5-mile route, etc.). Running several short runs (all back-to-back, though) does make the full distance less intimidating.

  4. My long runs are about the same mileage, although I’ve had to rebuild to there again and again!

    I am getting very good at running slow. 🙂 Although actually my paces haven’t been too bad. Maybe because I’m not pressuring myself.

    I almost never break up runs into mileage sets — isn’t that weird?

  5. Yes these are great tips. If the run is long enough to be taking some fuel, then that’s a good way to break it up mentally (“two more miles till my first gel…”). Also i like to listen to a podcast but then switch to music for the last two or three miles. Running a new route is also a fun way to make the miles go by- I used to always do the same “long run” route but now I switch it up all the time.

Thank you for your comment!