Friday, March 7, 2014

Long Runnin - My Tips and Tools of the Trade

I realize most of my readers are probably seasoned long runners, but I'm currently coaching my two cousins to run their first half marathon (we are all running the Mini Indy in May!) and they starting to tackle the 6+ milers in their training plan that I put together for them.  They are both rocking so far and seem to have only positive things to say…we will see what they think of me after 9 miles ;).

Getting Kristin into running at an Adventure Run when she came to visit me one year!

Janel and her son Brady cheered me on for my marathon…I think that lit a tiny running fire in Janel ;)

All this long run talk got me back to thinking back to when I first started running more than an hour for my long runs and more memorably marathon training and how I fueled before, during, and after my long runs. I actually had a really hard time learning proper fueling because after 90% of my long runs for a while I would get a splitting migraine that would leave me incapacitated for the remainder of the day. I have since learned what works for me and I thought I would share a few of those things for you all (okay, mainly for Janel and Kristin!):

PRE-LONG RUN - I am a VERY firm believer in the you should have a good meal two hours before your long run philosophy (I think I read that somewhere…).  I would get up at ungodly hours on the weekend to get my breakfast in 2 hours before run time.  You have to find what works for you but I ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS had two eggs, some sort of toast or potato and fruit if I have it.  This would be accompanied by a cup of coffee and a glass of Nuun.  

Exhibit A

half eaten Exhibit B
DURING RUN - I'm a big water drinker during my runs so I always carry a handheld or belt for anything longer than 6 miles.  And that water bottle is always filled with Nuun, hydration and electrolytes in one…can't go wrong! 

About to run 10 miles, loaded up with Nuun!
I used a hydration belt during super long marathon training runs because my arm would feel like 100 pounds after 12+ miles with a handheld but for my cousins half marathon training I think a simple handheld will suffice! 

Pick a flavor, any flavor!
If I'm running longer than 9 miles I try to take in some sort of fuel in the form of food as well.  I'm pretty loyal to Sports Beans, mainly because it feels like I'm eating candy during a run but I've tried things like Gu Chomps and Clif Shots before and those weren't terrible.  Don't even get me started on Gu's…power to all of you who can actually stomach those things but they just make me gag every time I try them…don't try to convince me to try them again, it ain't gonna happen.

POST RUN - This has been KEY to my not having a huge migraine post long run (along with fueling during the run of course).  I immediately chug a chocolate milk in some form minutes after a long run to help speed up recovery.  Usually for convenience sake it is a Muscle Milk but if my long run ends up at home I'll usually do some sort of protein shake smoothie with protein powder, milk, and frozen fruit! 

After showering and relaxing for a bit I have another meal, I'm not picky about this one at all, but when I first started half marathon training I would always always always have a bagel with cream cheese! 

Question: Do you have any beginner long run advice for Kristin and Janel?

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