So, I believe it was this man, Albert Einstein, who said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
It got me thinking about doing the same thing over and over again with regards to running, and expecting different results. I think, in running long distances and endurance terms, that actually this is not the case. If you run the same route over and over, and at first (if it is a longer distance you're not used to, it may seem hard or too difficult). Then, over time, as you repeatedly run this route, it gets easier and easier to do, as the route and distance becomes habitual. However, if you are aiming to change your running speed or style or form etc, then yes, I think you must try different things to see different results. So, I am really happy that I actually followed a training plan for once, before this last half marathon, one that included speedwork, tempo runs, slow/recovery pace runs, and trial 10km races as part of the preparation for aiming to get a faster time at the half marathon. This was my first time using a track, and my first time diligently sticking to a program. And it worked! I didn't 'insanely' follow my usual own advice and same tactics for a race - I didn't repeat what I've been doing over and over and expect a different result - I did different things and got a different result. Yay :)
Now, just need to work out how to transform this 'get-faster-for-a-half-marathon' training I've been doing, into 'train-legs-and-stomach-for-long-distances-and-survive-the-full-marathon' training. Hmmm, watch this space. But any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!