Virgin London Marathon: The longest Long Run: Richmond Park London


My Half Marathon Race was the longest distance I’ve done and it was about time to increase it. Due to my right ankle and the numbness in my other feet I was a bit nervous because I knew it would be challenging running with an constant issue. But I had to.


I was behind my schedule due to my company trip. I should have done a 22km run the week before which stressed me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the longest distance of 30km in my training program.


Talking to my colleagues calmed me down and even my General Manager who ran the London Marathon 2 years ago, supported me with tips and that even 25km,  as the longest run, can be enough. “YOU will be fine!”, that’s what everyone said.

1st Long Run above Half Marathon distance:

  • Weather: was cloudy, windy (I hate wind)
  • Beautiful scenery helped to motivate and get lost in time.
  • Legs: felt them a lot and it was painful for the last 6km.
  • Mind: very challenging as I got lost in the park, legs hurting and I knew that I have to get all the way back to take the tube – only one way out!


  • Nutrition: I had a gel at 10km and half a bar when I was hungry. Very tasty and I felt energetic afterwards so definitely will have that on the Marathon.
  • Distance covered: using the music on the phone and the GPS killed my battery and I just could calculate how far I covered in the end. ==> Time 3,5h and maybe 26km

Overall I was satisfied that I managed to be on my feet for that long, as that was my goal. I planned to run/walk for 3h and ended up doing even longer. Instead of having a certain km/milage in mind it helped to think about the time on my feet and at the end I did the km anyway.
My important learning from this session was to get my mind ready for the time im going to run on race day. I won’t be fast , it’s more about a constant pace which I might have to keep up for 4,5 – 5 hours. Knowing that I have covered 3,5h is a good base.


2nd Long Run above Half Marathon distance I ran the week after to do exactly the same:

Richmond Park is so lovely with all the dears and little ponds. On the same time it’s also hilly and after last weeks run I know now what to expect.

  • Weather: was sunny, windy (I still hate wind)
  • Beautiful scenery helped to motivate and get lost in time.
  • Legs: felt them, but the ankle wasn’t suffering as much as the week before.
  • Mind: challenged, but I knew what to expect and I knew I can do it again. Felt stronger.


Beautiful view and every time I passed this bench I was tempted to sit down and just relax and enjoy, but I didn’t.

The park was very busy due to the weather and also me running in the late afternoon. It was  not easy seeing everyone lying on the gras, having picknick and eating ice-cream while I had to push and keep on running.

I set myself a goal and I managed to do it. After that I felt great and glad I done it.

Goal was 3,5h on my feet.
Action plan:
– 2km warm up walk from station to the park.
– 2x the big loop 11km each = 22km
– 2km cool down walk back to the tube
Total distance 26km

How did I keep it up? Yes, my ankle was still bothering me, but I managed to focus on my technique and changed the running strikes and the speed a bit to keep me entertained. This long run session was all about building up a strong mind and the body to follow.

I finished tired, exhausted but with a strong mind = “I can do this’! And that’s what I needed.
This was the last possible long run before the race and I nailed it.

Tapering down was next…

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