“Don’t let fatigue make a coward of you.” -Steve Prefontaine
When it comes to the long run, whether you are training for a race, or you simply just want to put some time in on your running shoes…it will push you to your limits. Don’t let that scare you. Instead, embrace the challenge and make that longer distance your triumph. Trust me when I say, it will be painful on the way there, but when you make it the distance, you will be astonished and proud of what your body can do! Here are a few helpful tips that have helped me in my training and long runs thus far:
PREPARE LIKE IT IS RACE DAY
When you go on your long run, do everything you are going to do on race day. Also, use this time to experiment with what is going to work best for you come race day during the race. For instance, I have been experimenting with Gels and different Gatorades lately on my long run to see what will work best to supply me with the energy I’ll need to make it to that golden finish line! If you can, go in the morning around when your race time will be to test how long you’ll need to be up to prepare for the big day!
EAT LIKE IT IS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE & RACE DAY
So many people have opinions on what is right to eat the night before and the morning of your race. However, EVERYONE’S body is different and handles different foods and amounts in a different way. The night before your long runs, try to eat what you are considering eating the night before your race. The morning of…eat what you are going to eat before your race. PRETEND YOUR LONG RUN IS YOUR RACE. You will not be going the entire 26.2, but you can make sure to be as prepared as possible by experimenting and role playing as much as possible!
I have found myself in this predicament MANY times since the beginning of my training. A new practice that I have come up with is to switch between music and listening to my feet and the outside world. Once I get bored listening to nature or looking straight ahead, I turn on my running playlist and imagine I’m in that world. It does the mind wonders! I know when I get bored, that’s the moment I think about the pain and the time I have left to overcome. Don’t let yourself get to this point! Overcome boredom any way you can and KEEP GOING!
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Many runners say the hardest step is the first one out the door. If you are like me, long runs might intimidate you a bit and get in your head. A wise friend once told me to set my clothes out the night before so that you can get up and go. There is no, “Well, I don’t know if I have time,” OR “I don’t know if I should do this today.” Your clothes are set out, along with your music, headphones, sunglasses, etc. and you have NO excuses not to take on that next challenge. I’ve also promoted all over my athlete page and personal page that I have “Sunday Runday” where people hold me accountable for that long run and expect to see results! Have someone hold you accountable and the run will be that much more worth it!
If you cannot fit a certain day in your training, it will not be the end of the world. This is a long process. However, make sure you don’t skip over your LONG RUN! Happy running everyone J. I hope to see most of you in less than 60 days!!! – Ashley