Anyone who is training for a half or full marathon knows it is not an easy task. Especially the dreaded long runs! I am a big believer in following a training schedule to succeed. I am in the process of training for the Louisville Sports Commission half marathon that is November 12. I am following the advanced training schedule they have posted on the website.
Today was my 9-mile run. I felt great when I woke up this morning fully rested. I always need 8 hours of sleep! I put on my running shoes and was out the door. It had rained overnight, so it was humid outside. I was sweating after my first mile. Agh! The first mile for me is always the hardest. I don’t warm-up before I run, so usually my first mile is getting my legs going.
A few key things I always recommend before a long run. Staying hydrated is number one! If you don’t drink enough water, you will get cramps. Trying to get rid of cramps when you are already exhausted is no fun. Eating the rights foods is key too. Before a long run, I will usually eat a Cliff bar, a banana or toast with peanut butter. What you eat after your run is also important. Eating within 30 minutes after your workout is the best thing to do. If you eat soon after your workout, your muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen, and you can minimize stiffness and soreness. Restoring fluids is also important after your run. I am a big fan of coconut water because it has more electrolytes than other sports drinks, and it also contains more potassium than two bananas. Both are crucial for recovery.
Back to how my run went today. It was a tough 9 miles. After I got through the first mile, it was smooth sailing for the next 3 or 4 miles. At mile 5, I hit a roadblock. My body felt exhausted already. I kept thinking how am I going to make it to 9 miles? What I have learned after 7 years of running is that running is mental. Making sure you have the right attitude will get you to your end goal. I have a word I say to myself when I am struggling. I say fighter in my head constantly. It always works for me! The last few miles hearing thunder off in the distance got me to the end. By the time I got into the house, it was pouring outside!