I hadn’t ran all last week due to a bad cold (perhaps that has something to do with the timing of the blog: when I can’t do something I often write about it!), and I thought I’d test my recovery with a shorter run with Dimitra along the disused railway that runs from Blaby to Leicester. It was a nice, pleasant day and I enjoyed running a different route – the canal towpath is certainly worth exploring further!
Of course with the marathon 7 months away, it’s still too early for me to start a marathon-specific training programme, so I am still building my training around the 10k distance, but gently increasing my Sunday long runs to 90 – 120′ duration.
But my little experience has tought me that pleasant runs like this are as useful in the long run as the speedwork or endurance sessions: They remind us that running is primarily about enjoyment, about a day out in the countryside, about travelling far on your own two feet. The days of hard effort, when the hills make your thighs burn, the speed reps leave you gasping for air or your legs grow weary of the endless miles are an essential part of it, yes: but they are only a means to an end. Pain is not the goal of running, pleasure is.
And I’ll need to remember that when the really long runs start…