How do you feel at the end of long slow run

Hi everyone,

I am training for my first marathon and entering new territory every week as the long runs increase. I did 16 miles today off the back of three 14 milers. I am running these distances fairly steady in terms of pace (today all 16 miles were between 9:35 and 9:50 min miles). When I finish i am tired, I am sore and I am relieved to not have to run any further. I wouldnt say I am exhausted but mentally and physically I am ready to stop. If my life depended on it I am sure I could go on but I am glad to not have to...

 Is this similar to how others feel? Is this what a 16 mile run should feel like at slow pace?

Everything that I read suggests that I should be trying to run the marathon at a quicker pace and I am really not sure i could do an extra 10 miles quicker than i did today and am not sure if it is just where i should be at this stage of the training (10 weeks out) or am i going to fast for long slow run feeling as i do at the end. Or is this all psycholgoical ie I knew i was running 16 miles so my mind was ready to finish at 16?


  • That sounds about right for 10 weeks out. You dom't have to run the marathon quicker.  As it's your first, don't have too much of a fixed target in mind. If you're running 16 miles at sub 10 m/m pace now you'll be fine.  Is your current pace "pushing it" or "easy" ? Aim for "easy" at this stage.

  • hi Mike

    my current pace isdefinately easy. At around the 8/9 mile mark it feels like i could go at that pace forever however as i get to 11/12 onwards I start counting the miles down in my head.  So I guess it is endurance which is not surprising as I have never run these kind of distances, actually the past 15 years of my life have not seen me go beyond 4 miles...

  • Oh, in that case, just stick with the plan, you are going to have a brilliant first marathon,

    My run today was 17 miles at 10:30 pace, the first three quarters felt easy, the last quarter (at exactly the same pace) I wanted it over with

    By all means join in on the sub-4 thread here

  • Mike, thanks for the reassurance.

    I do lurk on the thread but could only dream of a sub 4. I think I will be a good 30 minutes behind.

  • Remember that when you do your long runs at the moment you'll have been doing several runs already during the week (at least I hope so!) but on the day you'll have fresh legs after the taper, and be both fuelled up and full of adrenalin. All of which will help. Plus you still have 10 weeks to go - plenty of time to build on endurance.
  • Tired but not exhausted at the end of a long run sounds about right.
  • today I was more than ready to stop at my destination at 19.55 miles image Tired and a bit thirsty and legs heavy but not sick or exhausted. Raced yesterday mind u so legs very tired now and pretty exhausted. image
  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭
    perhaps look at re-fuelling.  Maybe a gel after 90mins, Have you had enough liquids/fuel before going out?
  • Dproven- this is all just based on my personel experience but I found the thing that effect my long runs were
    1) Consistency- my weekly miles this year have been 61, 62, 50-recovery week, 70, 71, 72, 50-cut back week, 73(this weeks target). Another words no erratic weeks.
    2) mileage- this years weekly miles have been much better than last years 40 a week average this has ment that the long run of say 20M doesn't represent a massive and quite frankly overwhelming 50% of weekly miles, less than a third now, so the first 2 hours of a long run feel relatively comfertable image
    3) body weight- 18months ago I was 13st 6 and doing 8min pace was pretty hard especially in summer, now at 11st I can cruise along at 7min pace fairly comfertable.
    4) also I drink copious amounts of tea so really dont need to take anything out on training runs to drink- though I probably will in summer.
    Hope some of that helps.
  • I did 17 Sunday just gone and from mile 11 wanted to sit down in the road and cry. Finished but felt awful and totally knocked my confidence. Had gels etc but just didn't work.
    18 this sat and dreading the same but will slow it down a bit more and hope I feel better.
  • Runnersbeen - I think it's natural to feel like that - I did 16 Saturday & got a right drenching from mile 5 - wanted to jack it all in as felt shattered but kept on going - still dripping now!

    Your body is taking a pounding it's not used to - try doing a 13/14 this weekend - it's ages  yet to spring marathons so there's no point in peaking too soon - in fact a lot of schedules tell you to do that - take a an easy week after a hard week.   Also, your body is a complex thing - some days are harder than others & there's no real evidence why so it's natural to feel rubbish image

  • Thanks Liam, had a easy 10 miler week before that was just as crap, LOL we drop down to 13 next weekend so feel I really need to do this Saturday, its more a mental thing now to give me my confidence back. I am doing less in the week this week and eating more/better so hopefully I will be ok.
  • try not to think about it too much otherwise it becomes a mental block.  you say we so hopefully you run with others otherwise I find my music a good distraction or running somewhere you haven't been before so it's all new - running's like anything repetitve - gets boring after a while!

    Good luck & believe me you aren't alone - there's a lot of us out there suffering!

    BTW - are you doing London?

  • Hi there, I did my first marathon last year and was running along quite nicely and feeling very confident, when two weeks in a row I had the training runs from hell! Couldn't get my breathing right, had a stitch, heavy legs, etc. The goods news is I don't think its necessarily a bad thing, I would rather go into the marathon feeling cautious and a little bit anxious than over-confident and muck it up. In general, I think there are very few people out there who can run for 16 miles and feel fresh as a daisy. Its a massive thing to put your body through. Just stick to your training plan and I'm sure you'll get there. I did, and I'm training for my second marathon now so it cant be too bad! Good luck image
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