I really cannot be bothered with training for Run Hackney any more.

Last week was tough; I couldn’t get the motivation to run, I felt tired all the time and when I tried to run just five miles (when on the Sunday previous I’d run 10.5) I couldn’t, and I gave up mid-run, in the rain, drenched and miserable after only running 2.8 miles but what felt like 20. Ugh.

The failed 5 miles was on Tuesday, which made me really nervous and anxious for the planned 5 mile tempo run I had on Thursday. Running for me is as much an exercise in mental training as it is in physical. If I have a “bad” run, then it makes me really anxious for the next one – a whole bunch of pessimistic and negative thoughts form in my head: why can’t I run?/I’m not going to be able to finish the half-marathon/I’m so unfit. These thoughts are just my insecurities surfacing and are in noway helpful, so I try my utmost to ignore them, but they form a type of mental block that I need to break through as well!

On Thursday I was determined to get in the five miles. I chose a route along Regents Canal – it’s flat, straight and exactly 2.5 miles there & back. I always find the first half of any distance hard, and then once I’m halfway there and on the way back, it’s like I finally start believing in myself and know I can do it!! I finished the 5 miles in 49 minutes.

Sunday’s long run was a mammoth 12 miles. It was my birthday, but I wasn’t going to not do it. I already knew where I was going to run – up along the Regents canal, to Angel, down into Highbury and through to Stoke Newington; the route was exactly six miles there and back. I also knew it was going to be really hot so I had chugged a bunch of water before I stated running. Bad idea.

I started running slowly – my body has just felt really really tired and sluggish all week and I knew I wasn’t going to be getting any PBs in this run. I got into a grove around 3 miles in, but I was seriously dehydrated. The sun was out in full force on Sunday morning and was turning me into a sweaty mess. As I reached halfway, I knew that if I didn’t stop and pee/refuel/drink some water, I was going to be in a bad bad way. Luckily I know someone who lives round the corner from Clissold Park, so I paid him a visit (a desperate plea to use your toilet at 10am is not the most ideal way to wake up on a Sunday). After a toilet break, water, some chocolate buttons and strawberry jam I was back out on the streets. Just 6 more miles and I’d be back home, where my coconut cacao truffles (and a birthday breakfast) were waiting for me.

Miles 6-8 were fine, but it was really hot and I was still really dehydrated. My legs started to cramp, so I slowed down to a slow trot, and then eventually walked. I probably walked for 7 minutes, before starting to run again. Between miles 9 and 10, I really struggled. I was running on empty; in hindsight, my dinner of miso peas and baked salmon wasn’t enough pre-run fuel for 12 miles, and I just felt so s l o w and heavy. I knew I was dehydrated, but I didn’t want to stop and walk again for two reasons: 1 it would be harder to start running again, and 2, it would take me longer to get home! Instead, I started doing interval sprints. When I had about 1.5 miles left, I stopped the intervals, picked up the pace and pushed through to complete my run. 2 hours and 16 minutes in total and I was finished! Finally.

Sunday’s run is the longest run on my training plan. Now, it’s all about keeping my leg strength up before the half. I do mean what I said at the beginning of this post though, I am really quite ready to run the half. I’m still really nervous (thinking about it puts my stomach in knots) but, I miss lifting at the gym, and the long runs are mentally and physically draining me in a way I’m not used to. To be honest, I’m not enjoying it, I’m fed up and I don’t want to do it any more!

Tuesday – 5 miles – 2.8 miles in the rain. Hard & frustrating
Thursday – 5 miles – 5 miles done and dusted. Legs felt like lead
Sunday – 12 miles – 11.7 miles. Done.

How do you train your mind for long runs? Does anyone have any tips for getting your run mojo back? I was really enjoying training for the half up until 2 weeks ago!


2 thoughts on “Run Hackney Half Training – 3 Weeks To Go!”

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not completing a run. I wish I had your strength. I had a 12-week training plan for the Hackney Half and I am still on week 7. Don’t think I will get anywhere near 12 miles before race day (only on 9 miles). I am hoping for a miracle and atmosphere from the race will push me all the way through to 13,1 miles or so.

    Have you tried carrying a water bottle with you on your runs?

    1. I know I shouldn’t be, but it’s hard…your own toughest critic and all that.
      12 miles is only 3 more miles on top of 9 – but as it’s only about 2.5 weeks away maybe wouldn’t increase the mileage to that distance so close to it! I’m sure you’ll be fine during the race…I really want it to be over! I’ve not trained with carrying a water bottle, so I don’t think I’ll start now. I think there are about 4 water stops during the race so hoping that will suffice..!

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