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Adam Campbell’s Five Running Tips for Long Runs

1- Pacing is everything

Starting out at a very conservative pace will pay huge dividends in the end. I often use the first 1-2 miles as warm-up and then I settle into my goal race pace and then try to pick up the pace over the last 1/3 of the race. I have had my best results when I paced the opening miles properly and have suffered horribly at the end when I haven’t.

2-Plan for adversity

I find that most people focus on and visualize having a perfect day, but things rarely go according to plan in endurance races. When the athlete has something go wrong they are mentally unprepared and it throws them off their game. Rather, expected the unexpected and be pleasantly surprised when things go right. It’s win-win

3-Focus on form & Have a routine

The main difficulty with endurance races is staying focused and in the moment. Having form cues, that you have used in training, can keep you engaged when you catch your mind wandering. If you have a coach, use the cues that they have given you, or if you don’t simple words like relax, or quick feet etc… can bring your mind back into the moment. Much like form, I find that having a routine in the race helps me stay engaged.For instance, I plan when and what I will eat and drink and I focus on that task.

4- Celebrate success

Endurance racing at its core comes down to discomfort. How much discomfort can you handle, while still being efficient & fast? I find that celebrating successes along the way with a smile, a fist pump, a little surge etc.. give me a mental boost. I usually celebrate distance milestones in the race, such as 1/3 done, 3/4 done, or managing  hill section well, gives me a mental boost. I never focus on how much I have left, just what I have already done.

5-When you feel good eat &/or drink, when you feel bad eat &/or drink

I can’t take credit for this mantra, I believe it was either Dave Scott, or Mark Allen who coined it, but it has been invaluable to my ultra-racing. I find that my mood directly reflects whether or not I am properly fueled, so when I stop being engaged in the moment and start to get too confident, or overwhelmed with what I have left to do, I focus on nutrition.