The long lonely road – Marathon training long runs

It’s 10 weeks until the London Marathon 2019 and I am well into the heart of my training plan. It’s at this point that the weekly long run starts getting into the previously uncharted territory of greater than half marathon distance.

This Sunday, I headed out nice and early for for my longest run to date, of 14.5 miles. I couldn’t have chosen a better day for it, a crisp, misty February morning where one hour into my run, the sun broke through into a glorious unmistakably springlike day. I chose a route all the way down the Lea Valley canal from my home in Walthamstow to the Olympic Park, revisiting all the sights of last weeks East London Half. I then connected up with the Hackney Marshes parkrun route, which took me back to the canal towpath. By this time, the footpaths were starting to fill with other runners, and we waved and smiled at each other, strangers linked by sharing a common pursuit. Several times, I bumped into friends from parkrun, everyone out getting the miles in, following their own plan.

Sunrise Halo at the Olympic Park

The miles ticked by and I started to flag a little. Running non-stop for nearly 3 hours, by yourself, requires a special kind of mindset, and deep reserves of determination to keep going when the discomfort starts to set in. By the time I got home my legs ached, and my time was one of the slowest runs I’ve ever recorded, but I didn’t care. It was worth it!

The next month will provide the crucial backbone for my marathon training, where I attempt 16, 18 and 20 mile training runs in preparation for the big day.

You can read all about my training for the 2019 London Marathon here

Previous Posts: East London Half Marathon
Spring Marathon training: running in all weather

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