Saturday, February 22, 2014

11 Lifesavers for Long Runs


Tomorrow, I run 19 miles. Last week, I knocked out 18 miles. In 35 days, I'll run my third marathon. This kind of mileage is tough on my body, but also on my mind. Here are a few of the tools and tricks I'm using to help me pile on the miles without going insane. Well, more insane, at least.

1. Snacks. I have to bring along homemade running fuel for anything over a half marathon.

2. Friends. Your long run is usually performed at a slower pace that perfect for chatting. I much prefer to do my long runs with company.

Derpina sunglasses optional
Will run for Taco Bell
3. Rewards. Figure out how you'll reward yourself for long runs. My run group meets at a bakery and I get either a Mexican hot chocolate mocha or a tamale after really tough runs. My 20 miler will conclude with a run club party at a brewery and my 19-mile run is an excuse to take myself to a Korean spa.

4. Routine. Running with a group makes this natural, but I prefer to follow the same ritual for each long run: awake, drink water, hit the bathroom, have breakfast, dress and drive over.

5. Kombucha. I've sung its praises before, but I drink kombucha almost daily to help regulate my tummy troubles. If I stay committed, it helps.

6. Probiotics. For the same reason as above. I don't take them directly before running, but keep up on my regime throughout the week otherwise.

7. Coconut oil. A great substitute for body glide and general fixer for any post-run skin issues. I'll smooth this over any chafing before showering, too, to lessen the pain. I keep a salad dressing-sized container of it in my gym bag to cure what ails me.

8. Commitment. A marathon is a 26-mile victory lap. The medal is earned with early mornings and red-faced evening laps. Keep your eye on the prize when that alarm clock goes off early.

9. Training plan. I'm starting to believe that the plan itself isn't nearly as important as following it. Training consistently will get you to the finish line as long as you follow it. Executing a training plan also gives you the confidence you need to get to the start line.


10. Route. Map out a general idea of where you're going so you don't have to stop and think about it. Especially during the winter, I like to pick a route that I know will be somewhat clear of snow. Usually, I pick a route based on bathroom availability and the ability to run without stops.

11. Breaks. No, I don't mean stops. What I mean is breaking up your long run into more palatable chunks. For me, I think about the distance until the turn around, the distance until my next fuel shot or how much longer until I can enjoy my post-run reward.

1 comment:

Katie Adams said...

Chunking is my favorite long run technique!

And, so happy you got your Taco Bell. :)