Broke Through The 10 Mile Mental Barrier In My Short Run Training. More Running Progress.
This morning I managed to run past the dreaded 10 mile mark in a short run for the first time in ages.
I covered 10.3 miles in 101 minutes and ended it with a 0.3 mile interval at a 7:50 min/mile pace.
Overjoyed with the progress, now let’s donate all of my junk food to the cat!
Immediately after finishing I had a revelatory moment where I knew that the right thing to do was to feed my plate of cold cuts to the cat next door. I’ve had enough of sabotaging my own success with a shitty diet so the animal was taking a deliciously meaty bullet for me.
I’m now worried about him now though. With the amount of crap we feed him his cholesterol levels must be up there with mine. I’ve been thinking of lacing the next tray of cold cuts with Benecol just so that we keep his LDL levels to a minimum.
I’d call the makers of Benecol for advice on administering their product to felines, but I’m afraid that they will report me to animal welfare.
Back to running. Some tips on how to push back your distance limit and run further.
- Run at a pace that is comfortable to you. You’ll be out there for a long time so you might as well take it easy, especially if you are new to running and low on confidence. Some people use a heart rate monitor to gauge their level of exertion, I personally keep tabs on my breathing, perceived level of exertion and mood. If I start thinking negative thoughts it’s typically my mind reacting to my body’s natural stress signals.
- You are not your best run. The problem in the past is that I’d see my 10.3 mile run as hitting my potential and that all runs in future would be about trying to emulate that peak. Recently I’ve been proving to myself that I can go further and faster. I’m limited more by my mind and my outlook than my physical ability. If you think you are only capable of running 5km, 10km or 10 miles, go out of your comfort zone and prove yourself wrong. You do not have a natural limit. You can keep going further.
- Distractions are key to making a run pass quickly. Today’s 10.3 miler was made that much easier by it being a beautiful morning. I was fixated on the lights across the bay and the crisp morning air for most of the run. Whether you have a friend along with you, or you’re running in a beautiful new place, you’ll find longer distances easier to conquer if your mind is kept busy.
- If you want to run longer then you’ve got to run longer. If you swear that you can’t go past 5 miles then think of it this way, could you run 5 miles and walk 1 mile immediately after it? If so then you could evolve your walk into a slow jog over a period of weeks and eventually you’ll prove yourself wrong by going further. Another way to do it would be to run a much slower pace than normal and then see how you feel at 5 miles. You’ll likely breeze through it and want to continue on whilst you still feel fresh. I’m taking my own advice on Sunday and running into Belfast. My long run pace is 10:10 min/mile and I’ll be starting out at 10:30 min/mile just to see how far I can go this time!
- Run less often but for longer periods of time when you do go out. I can’t stress how important this is. In February last year I was struggling to run 6 miles continuously without fading at the end. I was running this distance 5-6 times a week but still couldn’t seem to master it. It’s only been in the last couple of months that I’ve felt really strong at the end of runs and that’s due to running between 8-10 miles 3 times a week with a long run on the Sunday.