Often times one of the hardest parts of running is just getting out the door especially when you know that it is not going to be your best run. This past Sunday I knew going into my run that was definately going to be the case. With my marathon coming up in just over a month that no matter how aweful it was going to be it was totally necessary and that even with all the excuses in the world I still had to get out there and run. However sometimes if your lucky even the runs that you expect to be really terrible will surprise you and be good but this past weekend this was not the case.
As an experienced runner, these are the runs that are the most challenging but also the most important. Not only do they add to your weekly milage and keep you on target but they also make you stronger and confident. Personally, I find that when I'm racing you start to loose focus or get tired that I will think back to these really difficult runs and knowing that if I could make it through those runs that I just need to refocus and do it today. So next time when you are feeling exhausted think back to those challenging runs remember how you refocused your energy and know that you can do it and pull yourself together!
But before you get yourself to that point here are some tips to keep you on the Rhode to sucess!
Top Tips for Long Run Success
1. Make sure to stay hydrated the days leading up to your long run as well as the morning or day of the run.
2. Another key part of a sucessful run is your diet. Make sure that you are properly fueling the days leading up to the run as well as that morning. If your not eating enough that week or paying attention to the foods your eating you could be setting yourself up for failure. Especially for the day of the long run or race figure out during your training what works for you and stick with it.
3. Prepare for your run ahead of time! Make sure that you know where you are going what route you are doing. You can either pre-drive your route or use online tools like mapmyrun or gmaap-pedometer to make sure that it is the proper distance unless your looking for an adventure run (which I personally love) or using your gps watch.
4. Another big one is planning out your outfit, nutrition and water. Making sure that you have clean running clothes made of moisture wicking fabrics that you have worn before to so you know that they are comfortable and that you will not find yourself chafing. If you know that you are prone to that, than you may want to make sure that you have some body glide incase the ocassion does arrise. Another important accessory on long runs is water and nutrition. If you know you are going to need that than check before that morning to make sure you are stocked up so you won't need to make an additional trip. Also with nutrition and water make sure to try it before the race to see how often and how many you need as well as which flavors and if you like caffeine or not. All these little factors make a difference and sometimes a small mistake can cost you a PR in a race.
5. Also remember to keep tabs on your sneakers and their milage. It is very easy to accumulate too much milage on your sneakers with these long runs and quickly find your legs tired and be wondering why. Remember a good pair of running sneakers are only designed to last 350 to 500 miles and any additional wear like mowing your lawn will take off of the life of the shoe. So if possible try to keep your running shoes just for running and use your old kicks for the yard or lifting.
Hope that was helpful and see you next week!