Training for my first half and most of my second, I absolutely dreaded runs over about 8 miles and I have no idea why I kept signing up for these longer races. My stomach could not figure out a solid fueling system (most gels and chews make me feel sick) and I never planned well but finally things have started to click. Throughout my most recent training cycle I have had some seriously amazing long runs and I don’t dread them anymore, I’ve even started tossing around the idea of something further than a half marathon (Like a full??? Stop it I dont know)
**Normally I would have a Target Practice Friday post for you today, but I’m on vacation. Quite frankly, I’m just hoping to get in a good long run this weekend. Pun intended! Today’s post it brought to you by the witty runner, Ashley, from The Broccoli Blog.**
Good morning everyone, Ashley here from The Broccoli Blog. I’m very excited to be posting over here at Chasing Raspberries. Jillienne and I both started toying with distance running around the same time last summer which is how we found each other’s blogs. Now, with a few half marathons under my belt, I think I’m finally starting to figure out that recipe for a good long run and I wanted to share it with you.
A Solid Breakfast or Snack 60-90 minutes before
If you run first thing in the morning, a lot of people like to roll out of bed and go but for longer runs it can be dangerous to head out on an empty stomach. I like to eat some toast with nut butter and a cup of coffee an hour before I go, it keeps me pretty full without weighing me down.
Hydrate and eat well the day before
This is a lesson I learned pretty recently but should have been more obvious. It’s not just the day of the run that matters its everything you have put in your body leading up to that run too. I’m not saying that you have to eat perfectly 100% of the time. Elite runners probably don’t even do that. I’m just suggesting that you don’t eat a giant plate of bbq the night before a long run. Eat something balanced the night before and save the bbq for after the run, it will taste even better.
As far as hydration, chugging water before/ during your run isn’t enough. Your body should be hydrated at all times if you want to feel your best on a run.
Know Your Mid Run Fueling Needs
It took a lot of experimentation for me to figure out what I needed. For my first training cycle I completely gave up and ran with nothing and then I found out that there was a wall and I hit it hard. Fueling isn’t just for races, know what you need in terms of water and snacks and plan your route so that you either stop drinking fountains or carry a water bottle.
Prepare everything you need before you need it
Even if you don’t run first thing in the morning stressing out about finding the right socks or the right gummy bears is annoying and stressful. I like to spend a few minutes the night before making sure I have everything I need in case I need to run to the store for some peanut butter or something. Also, charge your garmin.
The most important thing is to not go into a run all stressed out and worried that it will be bad. Starting off on that foot almost guarantees you an iffy run. I also realize that sometimes getting better just comes from building a base and learning what to expect so if you have a few bad runs don’t let it get you down, your body is just figuring itself out so make sure you are listening to cues and helping yourself adjust.