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
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.
- 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