There is probably no standard definition of the long run. Personally I consider any distance greater than the Half marathon distance of 21K as a long run. Long runs need some preparation in terms of proper hydration the previous 24-48 hours, greasing up to avoid chaffing and water during the run. Even during the cooler months in Bangalore it is difficult to run beyond 15Kms or so without drinking water. I needed to get in a 25K run this weekend (midway between my April and May marathons). Due to personal constraints I was not able to drive over and join other runners for a run during this weekend and decided to do a solo run locally in the CV Raman Nagar area. Since joining Runners For Life over 3 years ago one has got used to having company on long runs - solo runs of over 20K have been very rare.
I set off with a couple of bottles of water in my hand at quarter past 5 on May 1st(a holiday for labour day)- it was still quite dark and not great fun running down Old Madras road towards BEML road. I was quite relieved when I crossed the railway track into the CV Raman Nagar area. I hid the water bottles in the bushes behind the statue and had a very decent run keeping pace around 5:55. I went upto the HAL walkers park next to the HAL hospital, did a couple of loops there and came back and did the usual loops around Bagmane Tech Park. Was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few runners out there- running is definitely picking up in Bangalore. I was quite satisfied in doing a comfortable 25.5K in 2 hours 30 minutes and happy that I could still do solo long runs if I needed to- though unlikely that I will ever be able to do 16 loops of 2.5K again like I did when training for my First full Marathon in 2002. I am as ready as I possibly can be for the next marathon two weeks from now in the RFL run on 17th May. Once again the weather will be a big factor and hopefully this time I can start around 5:15am.