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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

January 2, 2013

LSD : A Long, Slow Distance Run on the 1st day of the Year



Here in the Philippines, we have a saying with regard the 1st day of the year. What you do on this day, you will do the rest of the year.

Thus, there was no doubt in my mind what I intended to do this January 1, 2013. I went for a long, slow distance (LSD) run starting at 7am. The LSD is something I want to do more often and consistently this year. It improves endurance and cardiovascular  capacity.


In going for my LSD this 1st day of the year, I followed the tips provided in the January 2013 issue of the Runner’s World Magazine, specifically in page 64.

January 2013 issue of Runner’s World

PLAN YOUR ROUTE. "The  more energy you put into worrying about the workout, the less energy you’ll  have for it," says Kathy Butler, who cofounded the Indian Peaks Running Club in Nederland, Colorado. Minimize any fretting by picking a route that makes sense. In my case, the sensible route  is in our village (South Bay Gardens)  and its immediate vicinity.  For today’s LSD, I ran to the  Sucat office of First Balfour which is 2.5 kms away from our house in South Bay. There I got a book I needed for another write up. It is great to run on a holiday.The West Service Road was practically deserted at 7am. To and from our office made it 5 kms. Inside the village, I ran 5X around an easy  1-km loop.  Then, another 5X around a hilly 1.2-km loop.  Back again to the easy 1-km loop for 5X.  All in all, I did 21 kms for this morning’s LSD.

Deserted West Service Road in Sucat

PACE YOURSELF.  "Long runs are called LSDs – long, slow distance runs – for good reason.  Your pace should be conversational and your breathing comfortable. If you’re struggling two miles into a 15-miler, you’re going too hard.  That said, if you’re aiming for a PR, run the last few miles of a long run at race pace to get your body used to the effort," says Jason Fitzgerald, a USATF-certified running coach in Maryland. This advice I followed.  The last 4 kms of my 21-km LSD today, I ran a bit faster.  Dreaming of a PR this 2013.

BREAK IT UP. "Break up the run into segments.  Think of the first half like it’s a regular daily run.  I let my mind wander and just enjoy it.  I tell myself I’m not going to re-engage my brain until, say , mile nine, when I might need a mental push," says Carl Leivers, an Atlanta-based running coach. This morning’s 21-km LSD was composed of 4 segments and after each segment I had a break and I passed by our house.While  running in the safe confines of our village, my mind wandered on what nasty habits I am gonna shred this 2013.  One obvious candidate is to drop my coke drinking habits.  For the 1st 3 months of this year, my target is to refrain from drinking coke on the first 6 days of the week.   Only on the Sabbath day, do I get to partake of the Coca Cola.  

EAT AND DRINK. "Bring along some calories and hydration for anything over 90 minutes; aim to take in about  240 to 300 calories an hour, or about 60 to 75 grams of carbs.  The key is to start fueling early and do it consistently," says Leivers.  This advice I eagerly followed.  In my long runs, I bring Gatorade via the Simple Hydration Bottle.  For the January 1 LSD, I ate fruits and bread in each of the breaks.


Following these 4 tips  made my long run  on the 1st day of the year  enjoyable and stress free. Just one observation, I think  running a long run with a friend will help the kilometres go faster. If not, the LSD easily turns into a long shadow distance run.

My shadow, my only companion in my LSD this morning



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