I’d like to thank Jen from Running With The Girls for helping me out and providing this awesome guest post while I am enjoying my vacation in Virginia Beach!!!!!!!!!!
5 Tips For Your Long Run
A long run can be defined as a run that is longer than what you normally will run. For the longest time, my long run was 5 miles, then 6, then 7. When I started training for my first half marathon, it was a huge accomplishment to reach those new long run milestones – 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Now that I’m in the midst of training for marathon #2, my long runs are now basically double digit runs, with my longest training run being 22 miles. Whatever your long run – I have found some tips that have been helpful for me and I hope they can help you as well.
1. Prepare. The night before a long run, I like to gather my gear, fuel, and clothing and lay it out. What I lay out depends on how far I’m going to run – but normally I plug in my Garmin, lay out my shoes, socks, and outfit, gum, fuel, cell phone, toilet paper, and Camelbak. I have found this to be especially helpful so that I’m not looking around at the last moment for my socks or finding that I forgot to charge my Garmin or don’t have any fuel.
2. Timing. I prefer to get my runs done first thing in the morning. That way I don’t have a lot of food in my system and I can also go about with the rest of my day after a run. This works for me, but Ward has been known to go out for a long run a 9 pm.
3. Nutrition. Nutrition is important in general. Over the past few years I have much more conscientious about what I eat. While I do enjoy indulging in pizza and chips occasionally, my diet is not based on them.
Day Before: Some people enjoy a pasta dinner the night before a long run, but I have found that pasta isn’t my thing. I’ve been have tummy troubles lately and decided to play around with some other carbohydrate sources. Ward is a fan of rice for his form of carbs. I’ve settled on quinoa or rice. Both have been gentle on my system.
Morning Of: I have found my pre-run snack is important as well. I used to have a coffee prior to going out for a run. However, the past few months, I’ve run into tummy troubles on my runs and have spent some quality time in port-a-potties or the woods. It’s taken some adjustments and tweaking, but now I avoid the coffee all together and just eat some oatmeal with peanut butter. You have to figure out what works for you. I’ve also eaten a banana prior to a run for years. But this past week, I’ve noticed some rather uncomfortable cramping early in the run just after I’ve eaten said banana. For the past two runs, I’ve taken the banana out of my pre-run routine and I’ve been cramp free.
During Run: There are many options available to runners and it’s best to figure out what works for you. In the past I’ve enjoyed Peanut Butter GU, Shot Bloks, and Sport Beans. But lately my body has been rejecting those options and I’ve settled on Honey Stingers as my main source of fuel on the run. I’ve also found that re-fueling every 5 miles during a training run works well for me.
4. Hydration. I normally drink at least a gallon of water a day. Yes, I do spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom, but the benefits of being well hydrated far outweigh the negatives of spending time in the bathroom. For the most part, I don’t think about bringing water along on my runs unless I’m going out for 10 miles or more. However, during the summer months, I’ve found it to be quite beneficial to have water with me for my mid-length runs of 5 or 6 miles as well, especially during those mid-day, hotter runs. There are many options available to runners out there in terms of what to use to carry your water. I’ve enjoyed the Nathan handhelds and my Camelbak Classic for my long runs.
5. Running Buddies. I’m a big fan of running with my girls. Having someone to talk to and pass the time on a long run makes the run so much more enjoyable. I’ve also been known to bring along my 4-legged running girl, Pepper, on shorter runs, but she has been great for some of my 7 and 8 miles runs. I just don’t think she’d be able to handle a run much longer than that. But I do know that Christie @Christie Runs brings her running buddy, Cocoa, along on all of her runs. Even the 22 milers!
Bio: Jennifer is a mom to two kids – a 9 year old and 3 year old – committed to inspiring her own family as well as others to get out there and get moving. You can connect with Jennifer on her blog Running With The Girls, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Jennifer is also a fellow FitFluential Ambassador and a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador!!!