Aiming For 300 Miles This Month And Removing The Mental Restrictions I Place On Myself
My aim is 300 miles for this month.
I’m on 233 with 4 full days to go. I can do this but it will be difficult. I ran 8 miles today and 3 yesterday. The 8 today was easy and fun so I’m entertaining the possibility of another half arsed stop and start long run tomorrow.
I also got my start time for the London to Brighton Challenge. I begin at 6:30am from London which gives me about 14 hours of sunlight to get to at least the outskirts of Brighton. I don’t want to be stranded in the dark in the country again. If that happens then I could be out all night again like in 2014.
So I’ve been asked by a few people how I’ve managed to up my long run distances. It’s been simple. I’ve cut out a lot of the bullshit that I’ve been telling myself internally.
Giving up the mental bullshit and the restrictions.
- “Oh you aren’t really running, you’re so slow!” – I used to place minimum pace restrictions on myself. If I wasn’t running at least at a 10 minute mile then I WAS CHEATING. Now my thinking is this. “I’m moving forward. That’s all that counts.”
- “Oh you’re stopping all the time, Mo Farah does not stop!” – Congratulations to Mo Farah. I am not Mo. Mo is not me. We are both men and we are here to do our own thing. My thing is running very slowly, stopping all the time at pubs and trying to antagonise wildlife without having my balls chewed off me.
- “Oh you’re running too much! You can’t run more than x miles in a week without injury!” – I’ve placed so many limits on myself over the years with running and it hasn’t helped me. I thought if I ran 100k in a week I’d die. I didn’t. The more I run, the stronger my body becomes. I recover more quickly than ever. Today’s 8 mile comfortable jog after last week’s 105 miles proved that.
- “Oh you simply aren’t putting the effort in you lazy bastard! You should be tired and out of breath!” – For me it is not feasible to be out of breath and miserable for 10 hours of running. If I want to cover some real distances then I have to give myself the time to do it and be patient with my body. I try to run as lazily as possible so that I can do more. It comes back to my rejection of “No pain, no gain”. If you want to become good at something, practice. If you’re miserable when you’re doing it, you’ll want to do it less and eventually you will burn out!
- “Oh you shouldn’t be eating meals at breaks during long runs, you’ll be sick!” – I haven’t been sick yet and I’d much rather eat something tasty than force 10 of those horrible gels down my throat. The rest stops give me an incentive to carry on when the going gets tough. When I was running 20 miles non-stop in the past, all I could think about was how much the next 4 hours was gonna suck. Not anymore. It’s much easier to think of a 30 mile run as 6×5 mile runs. Your body doesn’t know the difference. You’ve still ran 30 miles!