A Good Run

I set out for a 9 mile run but had a hunch it might be a little longer than nine. It turned out I was right and there really couldn’t have been a better run to go an extra 1.5 miles. It was one of the best long runs I can remember. There are plenty of times when I have to remind myself that not every run will be perfect. Not every run will be my best performance, my best time, my best pace, etc. So the runs that seem to be the best of all worlds definitely stick out in my mind, and this 10.5 miler was one good run.

What makes a good run?

The good run recipe for me involves a few simple ingredients. More often than not my runs will include at least one of these but for my recent long run, they all came into play. For me, qualities of a good run, in no particular order include:

  • Ideal weather: not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, just enough sun
    • This long run weather was around 32 degrees, mostly sun, barely windy
  • Wearing the right layers
    • I had on Under Armour cold gear tights, SmartWool running socks, an Under Armour short-sleeve tee, my all-time favorite Brooks long-sleeve, half-zip shirt, hat and gloves
  • My digestive tract cooperates
    • I had planned this long run with an intentional pit stop which I took advantage of so I suppose the perfect run would not require a pit stop but even still, I was feeling great!
  • A good pace
    • Initially I set out for an LSD and assumed I’d target a 9-minute/mile pace
      • I was so comfortable on this run I easily maintained an 8:27 pace and if the purpose of the run hadn’t been LSD I might easily have pushed for an 8;15 or 8:10 tempo
    • Consistent form: relaxed arms, relaxed shoulders, head up, natural stride, mid-foot strike
      • While I can’t truly evaluate my own stride without someone telling me how I looked, on this run, I felt like everything from my core to my glutes to my hips and brain were all in synch and working together
    • Freedom: A good run makes me feel free, free from stress, free from responsibility, free from anxiety, free from overthinking
      • This was a run where my mind happily wandered from my grocery list to fantasy vacations, how fast my son is growing and what the week will bring to my form and then to nothing in particular…it was one of those runs where I definitely said “I love running!

What’s on your good run list?

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