How to Make That Long Run Feel Easier

If you're training for a race, there's no reason to dread your long run. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind to make those miles fly by.

  1. Forget the time: Sometimes, it's better just to put in the mileage than struggle to keep a time goal. When you're dragging your feet to make your run, not paying attention to your pace can help you feel less pressure on a bad running day.
  2. Shorten your stride: Conserve your energy — no long, bounding strides needed. Shortening your stride will help you run the most efficiently, which allows you to save energy for your long trek.
  3. Go out and back: This is a great way to trick your mind into thinking you're going a shorter distance, and it can be more convenient as well. To do an out-and-back run, run half the mileage you've set for the day, and then turn back! It'll feel less daunting than going on an unknown loop.
  4. Set a walk-run goal: Just because you have to stop running doesn't mean you aren't a runner. Tell yourself you can walk for one minute for every five minutes of running, for example, or take a break once you hit each mile.
  5. Be serious about entertainment: Make sure you've got headphones that stay put and a killer playlist or podcast that will last for your entire run, or enlist friends to run at least part of your route with you. When you're not looking forward to a couple hours on the road, how you distract yourself can make all the difference.
  6. Get it over with: The longer you delay your run, the more you'll dread it. Commit to a time early in the day so you have the most energy and aren't wasting time putting it off.