Last week I did not manage to run for three continuous hours on my Saturday long run and I was a bit disappointed.
My training schedule (I am still religiously following The Cool Impossible plan) for this week was a lot more relaxed with only 3 runs before the long one in the week end, plus I was not recovering from a race so I was pretty confident I could do the 3 hours run.
Then the big day arrived. Saturday’s long run. The weather was perfect. Not too cold, but not as hot as last week end. I left slightly earlier than the previous attempt to avoid clashing with the parkrun in Bushy Park or the one in Richmond Park. I made sure to add 5km at the beginning of last weeks route, to avoid arriving back home too early and then not finding the will to continue to complete the 3 hours.
This time I also took with me not only the hand-held bottle but also 2 gels. I have to say, I am not used to running carrying a pint of water and I find it very hard to carry it with my left hand so I always carry it on the right. After a couple of hours I can feel my right shoulder complaining a bit. I also think 2 gels were probably too much. One and a couple of gel blocks are probably enough for this distance.
Everything went well. After an hour of running I entered Richmond Park where my friend Omar was waiting for me on his bike. We did the counterclockwise route and an hour later at the 24th km we said goodbye. I was still feeling strong and I had my second gel (I had the first one at the 14th km). At this point it was mostly a psychological battle. The legs were ok, the heart was perfect and I was basically just trying to run at around 4:45 min/km while my body was always trying to settle at 5 min/km. I arrived back home after 2 hours 50 minutes and did one extra lap around the neighbourhood to try to get to 3 hours, but then felt I had done enough and stopped at 2:55, for a total of 36.5km.
It is not the full 3 hours I wanted to do, but I consider it a victory nonetheless. I’ve never run for so long and it felt pretty good. I now feel like I could “easily” do a full road marathon, which is something 2 months ago I could definitely not do. I also think I could do it in under 3 hours and a half which I think is good.
See you on the road!