Tag Archives: Adventure

The Long Steady Run (LSR)

For some it is called the Long Steady Run or Long Slow Run (LSR) for others the Long Slow Distance (LSD). Personally I have always called it the Long Steady Run.  Something about saying I am going for a LSD just doesn’t sound quite right,  I’d expect people to give me a strange and suspicious looks.

Along the Thames Path near Dorney, May 2016

But what does a LSR really mean?

Whether you are training for a 5km, HM, Marathon or Ultra, we should always factor in a slow run.  Most days in our training programme we will be pushing ourselves both mentally and physically to try and get that optimum performance.  This naturally starts to put a strain on your body and mind.  The LSR then comes into its own for a couple of reasons:

  1.  The LSR forces you to run slowly, thus allowing your joints, muscles and ligaments to recover.
  2. Because you are running slowly you are able to run further, seemingly with less effort.
  3. Running slower for longer teaches the body that it is capable of exercising far longer than you expected.
  4. Realising that you can run further gives a positive mental boost and helps break down some of those mental barriers.
  5. Surprisingly a LSR helps you to mentally destress and gives you the time to really appreciate your surroundings.

Everyone should include a LSR into their training programme. It doesn’t matter what distance you are aiming for, a LSR is relative to your specific training programme.  If you are aiming to run 5km, then 3km could be your LSR, likewise if you are aiming to run a 33 mile ultra then a marathon could be your LSR.

Thames Path near Maidenhead, May 2016

So get out there and experience the LSR. The fact that you are running slowly means you get the time and have the energy to really appreciate your surroundings.  You can even stop to take photos without worrying about how it will effect your finish time. You will be amazed what new things you discover on a long run, not just environmentally but you will also discover deeper things about yourself.  You are tougher than you think.

Keep Calm and go for a LSR.

Thames Path, under the A332 near Windsor, May 2016

Book Review: Hell and High Water

I was delighted when I returned home and found this book waiting for me. I have followed the exploits of Sean Conway on Twitter for a while and I have always been intrigued by his adventures.

Hell and High Water is a great British adventure story.  I love the fact that the team embark on a swimming adventure and on the first day three of them, including Sean, are overcome by sea sicknesses!  This certainly bodes well for the next 2 months.

Reading this book makes you want to go out into the world and start your own adventure.  I think Sean greatly downplays the stress and worries he had to to deal with whilst in the planning phase. Not securing funding until the week before must have been remarkable stressful.  Being a planner myself, I am not sure my nerves could have coped with being that underprepared.

You certainly can’t let obstacles set you back otherwise you will never get anywhere. I once remember reading about a traveller who had his bag with all his belongings in it stolen whilst he was sat a cafe. The owner came out to see if he was alright and what was he going to do now. He asked if he was going to go home.  The traveller said he would carry on with his travels, this just added to the adventure and it would make great storytelling in years to come.  Even if you plan every detail, you still have to expect the unexpected and basically embrace being spontaneous. Sean displays this characteristic by suddenly deciding to change his plan and instead of swimming up the coast of Wales, he was going to swim across the Irish Sea and then go up the east coast of Ireland.  That is a pretty bold shout.

Somehow I managed to get to page 157 without even realising it.  I was getting slightly concerned by this point in the book as I was half way through and the adventure had only just reached Wales.  But fear not, the journey continues and shows you must never give up.  Always accept their will be difficulties and sometimes you just have to take small steps.  As we say in running, you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get to that finish line.

The other great thing that you take away from this book is the generosity of strangers.  The journey only continues because strangers are willing to help, whether it be a bed for the night, a jerry can of fuel, donating their personal time, replacing a kayak or even coming to the rescue with a RIB when yours unfortunately sinks in a storm.  You get that warm feeling that humanity stills exists.

This is a great book that I managed to read in just two sittings.  The pages kept turning and the chapters vanished at an alarming rate, until suddenly and some what disappointingly I reached the end.  I wanted the journey to continue, but alas all adventures must come to an end, until the next one starts!

I will have to look for another instalment, maybe Land’s End to John O’Groats: The Ride that Started it all!