Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Prepare for the Long Run

Today I am about to go on my weekly long run.  I used to dread the long run, but now it is the highlight of my week (yeah, LAME).  I love getting outside, putting on some music, and running for hours on end.  It allows me to be alone with my thoughts while pushing myself physically.  

I also am a fan of a routine, and I have quite the routine the night before my long run.  I like keeping things consistent so that my body (and mind) has a routine before long runs and then I keep that same routine the night before a race. 

Fuel- I will eat dinner at the time I usually do, between 6-7pm.  I increase the amount of calories I typically eat and add in some more carbs.  For example, last night I had chicken with with mashed potatoes and a side salad (Jeff had talapia with mango salsa because of lent, I had food envy).
Hydrate- I keep my water bottle next to me and make sure I am properly hydrated.  If I am running anything more than 13 miles, I will alternate an electrolyte drink with water. I prefer to drink GU Brew or the GU tablets because they are formulated for endurance athletes (they also are not too sugary and taste great).

Music- I make a new playlist for my iPod and download new songs.  I love listening to music when I run and especially for long runs.  It’s fun to switch up what I have been listening to and I treat myself to some new songs to enjoy.  Sometimes I have Jeff surprise me with a playlist that he has made, and this is what he put together for today's long run:
Route- I decide the mileage and then map out the route I am going to take.  Not only is it a good idea to decide where you will go (less thinking); it is also smart for safety purposes.  I will save the route and email it to Jeff so if for some reason I don’t return, he will know where to look.  I prefer to use because it is easiest to use (better than mapmyrun) and I have found it to be VERY accurate.

Clothing- I look at the weather and decide what clothes I want to lay out.  I do this the night before so I don’t have to think about it in the morning.  It is in the 40’s and sunny;  I'm wearing a long-sleeved technical shirt, a KU t-shirt (because they play Mizzou today and I am supporting my Jayhawks!), half tights, and a hat.
Sleep- It is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep in so that you wake up refreshed.  This morning Jeff and I got up a little later so that we slept 10 hours.  Look how cozy Jeff looks in the morning, and how Jay thinks he is a human by using a pillow.

Off to get in my run!  Lets hope it goes well!!!

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