Run at a comfortable pace, easy enough that you can hold a conversation. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. Don't worry about your speed. Just focus on covering the distance feeling strong.
When you first start training, it's easy to think that more is better. But whenever you run instead of resting, or go harder than you should, you raise your risk of exhaustion, burnout, and injury. Stay focused on your bigger objective of getting to the starting line healthy, and staying energized for your quality workouts. This will help keep your training more consistent and increase the chances that you'll reach your race-day goals.
Today is your long, slow distance (LSD) run. The long run is the backbone of any successful training program. It builds your aerobic base, increases your endurance, boosts confidence, and helps you rehearse some of the gear and fuel strategies you'll need for the race. It also helps you prepare for the psychological challenge of racing for a few hours. Since you'll be running farther, you can go out slower than you usually do. On these days your goal is just to complete the distance feeling good.
The race starts and finishes on the grounds of the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel. Founded in 1904, the company was at one time the second-largest producer of steel in America and a symbol of U.S. industrial power in the 20th century. In its heyday, the company manufactured steel for many of the country's most renowned landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Hoover Dam.
If you're running for less than 60 minutes, you can probably go without a preworkout meal. An hour or more, though, and you'll want to fuel up beforehand. If you're going long, aim for 50 to 80 grams of carbs one hour before running.
These long runs will help you build the endurance you'll need for the races. Long runs improve aerobic capacity, develop your strength, and get you accustomed to spending hours at a time on your feet. Don't worry too much about your pace on long runs; just focus on the distance you want to cover for the day. If you feel like taking short walk breaks every once in a while, that's okay. The goal is to stay on your feet for a given distance.
Run 2 miles today at an easy, conversational pace. If you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast. The important factor in easy runs is how you feel. These runs should feel smooth and comfortable, as if you could go forever.