Doing Long Runs at the Track

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For the last few years i have benefitted from being able to do weekly interval sessions at an indoor track during the winter. This has allowed me to start intervals earlier in my training cycle for a spring marathon.

I enjoy doing intervals at the track because the winter conditions make it next to impossible to do intervals outside. Going around the track for intervals does not get monotonous because you are only generally doing 2-4 laps at a time.

The last two weeks now I have taken my long runs to the track as well because of the weather. I don’t mind running outside when it is cold and still prefer that to indoor running. However, this month has been particularly cold, primarily due to the wind and windchill effect. The last two Sundays I took my long runs, 20 and 21 km, to the track.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this option. On the one hand it is nice to have the option to go to the track for a long run when it is really miserable outside. On the other hand, 50-53 laps of the track can be pretty monotonous. This is particularly true now that the track I go to recently started enforcing their rule that runners had to run counter clockwise at all times.

Fortunately there is a field in the middle of the track that generally has 2-3 soccer games on the go that provide brief distractions as I am going around. For some reason I also find that the second half of my run always goes faster. i am not sure if this is because I am actually gradually picking up the pace or if it is just because mentally I know that I am closer to being finished.

Even though it is not my preferred environment for longer runs I will continue to make use of the track if the weather makes it a more appealing run.

Do you always do your long runs outdoor during the winter or do you also take them indoor at times?

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