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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Long Run

1. The Pace: You are suppose to go at an easier (this translates to slower) pace than your speed and tempo workouts & especially your anticipated/race pace...this can be a slow, painful death depending on where you are in your training program. Ever see a turtle cross the road versus a squirrel? Both are screwed but at least the squirrel, in it's frantic race back & forth, goes out with a bang...

2. The Fuel: Anytime you are training for a longer race, think half marathon or marathon or more, you need to spend some time trying out different types of fuel to see what you like & what will not give you intestinal spasms...this can be an unnerving task...being out there & giving a new product a go...just might translate to having to go. You've got to do it, unless you have found the tried & true product that works for you...it's like Vegas, you win big or lose big, better now, than race day.

3. The Clothing: You should be dressing like it's 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is. Your body will warm up & quickly. And word to the wise, the long run is not the time to try out some new shorts...if you question their wedgey-factor walking around, it's only going to get worse, especially when the long run chub rub kicks in.

4. Hydration Belts: Kind of geeky, yes...probably necessary though unless you have many willing friends & family willing to leave a water stop out for you along your route.

5. The Route: Speaking of...have an idea approximately what route you're going to run, but the ability to be flexible also...it doesn't have to be one long route totaling the mileage necessary..think outside the box, why not try running say a shorter loop of 8+ miles, and then, hit the trails to add on some minutes/miles to change it up, & then, reroute back out onto the pavement for the end of the run. This will keep it interesting, and allow for a possible bathroom break (remember, you will get over doing your business in the woods).

6. Your Business: Remember what I told you about distance running, don't know what it is about longer runs, but you will find youself trying to schedule your business breaks around your training & hopefully, getting those meetings in when you're not out on the road. But if you are, remember, you won't be the 1st nor the last to duck behind a patch of trees in desparation.

7. Post Run Fuel: Yes, you should try to eat & hydrate after your long run. Something with some carbs & sugars to replace those glycogen tanks is great, especially within 30 minutes after your run. This does not give you a free pass to the all I can eat & drink diet. I like a mix of unsweetened coconut milk with good old fashioned chocolate milk from a local farm. I follow this with a real meal/bigger snack maybe 1-2 hrs after...something that includes more protein is great. Meatball pizza would not count!

8. Blinders: Keep your blinders on. Try not to notice yourself in any window/car reflections. I don't know too many runners that look cute in the middle to end of their long run. And ignore all the young 20something year olds in their little hot shorts doing their bouncy 3 miles. Some day they will be on your side of the road chasing freedom too so no need to compare yourself.

9. Compression: Once you're done, give youself some time to finish sweating while getting a good stretch in & foam roll if you have one. While you probably won't do this too much on the hot summer days, some compression socks after your run is a good idea. It will keep the swelling down & just help those fatigued muscles recover. These will help especially if you've had several babies &/or genetics for varicose veins...unfortunately, running does not help those veins, but you'll get over it & it gives you a good excuse to walk around in fun patterned knee socks...veins & swelling not cute, school-girl like compression knee socks...adorable & functional!

10. Results: Remember to keep a log/journal of how you felt during your training. Looking through it while you are training will help prepare you for other upcoming long runs. Ie: note to self, X fuel sent me running into the woods sick to my stomach...or x clothing felt light & comfortable, should get more. And if your long run that day was more of a foe than a friend, there's always next time.
Unfortunately or fortunately, long runs can be friends and foes so try to be patient, trust your training, & enjoy the ride.

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