The Last Long Run

How did your last long run go? Did you rock it? Was it a huge confidence booster heading into the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in just three weeks?

If you answered YES!, then this post isn’t for you. Go study the course map or something. If you answered NO!, read on.

Avoiding discouragement

This last 32km run is a big opportunity to see where you are at, and to get a sense of what running 42.2km will be like. Sometimes this run goes really well and you walk away feeling excited about your race.


17km into my last long run today in Toronto. A good, solo effort with lots of time to think.

Other times it’s a bit of a mess and you can end up feeling a bit discouraged when you start thinking about tacking another 10.2km on top of what you ran today.

Trust me on this: race day will be different from today.

On race day you’ll be more rested, and more prepared than you were today. You won’t be running 42.2km just a week after running 29km and as part of a 200km (or more) month. Don’t underestimate the role of the taper in your performance on marathon Sunday. That rest in the weeks leading up to the race make a huge difference.

Adrenaline will kick in and the energy of the crowd will pull you along over the extra 10.2km. The cheering and encouragement you get from the sidelines is a powerful force. The high five of a kid telling you that you can do it will lift your spirits and give you a jolt of energy.

Don’t kid yourself…race day will be tough. You’ll learn a lot about just how far you can push your body and mind. You’ll get to 32km and you’ll just keep on running. You’ll be on autopilot. Your feet will be pushing you forward and your brain will be telling you to stop. But you’ll keep running and before you know it, the finish line will be in front of you and thousands of screaming people will be pushing you across the line.

Remember today

Don’t put today’s run behind you. Instead, store it in your memory for when you hit 32km on race day. Remember how you felt today, and then realize you’ve got a ton more to give. And give it.