I'm finding my long runs hard

by Cecilia
(US)

QUESTION:


Hi, Thank you for this page! I'm 54 and out of solidarity with my daughter, 24, who is struggling with depression, I signed up for the Mexico City Marathon. People say either I'm very brave, or very crazy. I am quite an amateur, however I have ran a half and a 10 mile. I just picked up and ran, like Forrest Gump. Having said that, menopause has slowed me down a lot and I'm having a hard time with my long runs. I'm following a runners world beginners plan (19 weeks) which goes by time. This week was 1hr and 45min, which I had to walk a lot (about a third) Tips are welcome.
I should also mention I'm in no kind of hormonal therapy and don't plan to.
Thank you very much.
Cecilia


ANSWER:

Hi Cecilia,tThanks for getting in touch. Firstly, well done for signing up to do a marathon 😊! The fact that you have already done a half marathon with little or no training means that your body could well be capable of doing a full marathon with the right training.

People often feel that you can’t run past a certain age but in fact older runners often make great long distance runners, especially women 😊. The thing to remember though is that you will not be as fast as you were several years ago and that you will need more time to recuperate.

Since it is your first marathon, your main aim should be to finish it rather than
to do it in a specific time. That is great that you have found a training plan that you like and I agree that running by time is the sensible approach. I do most of my runs by time as well.

Long runs can be hard but often it is because you are either running too fast for what you are capable of or mentally you think that you can’t do it. Try to not stress about the long and try and aim to think of it as a fun few hours outside. Pick a route that you enjoy and if possible run with someone who is running the same pace as you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the run/walk approach and in fact I do it often during long runs.

The aim of the long run is to make you spend a specific amount of time on your feet and as your training progresses, you will get stronger and be able to run more of it. Try and run during the coolest part of the day and make sure that you don’t get dehydrated. Take some fluid/water with you and sip it every 15 minutes. When you get home, give yourself a pat on the back as not many 54 year old’s are running that length of time 😊.

I hope that helps a bit and feel free to ask more questions.I would love to know how you get on so please do let me know and feel free to ask more questions.
All the best
Nicole

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