Long Runs–Things to Consider

I just finished running my long run for the week.  The run spanned over 13.5 miles, and my legs and feet are tired—no, sore to be more exact.  As I type this, I am rolling my feet over a narrow cylindrical bottle of frozen water to help reduce soreness under my feet; and it feels good.

Anyway, when doing long runs (anything in the 10 plus miles range) , you need to take into account the following:

  1. Hydration:  For my long runs, I use a hydration belt with two 8-10 oz. canisters.  This seemed to be just enough for my 13.5 mile run.
  2. Energy Gel:  At my 12.5 mile mark, I started to get that weird feeling of weakness.  Generally this can happen if your body’s glycogen (stored energy) is depleted.  Most runners hit this at around the 18-20 mile mark.  I probably hit it early because I haven’t eaten anything since last night.  An alternative to using energy gel is just to use fluids that provide some calories for the run.  I generally use Powerade for that.   It has 80 calories per 12 fl. oz., and so every sip introduces some calories into the run.
  3. Proper Socks:  When you run long distance, it is best to make sure you have comfortable socks—the type that doesn’t cause pressure points between your feet and your shoes.  When you run long distance, any minor irritant, can become an injury—blister to be more exact.
  4. Audio:  Long runs can last for as much as two and a half hours.  I typically listen to the news, an eBook, or a podcast so that I can learn something at the same time.  Some say you shouldn’t distract yourself with such things, and to just listen to your body; but everyone is different, so do what works for you.  This definitely works for me.

That is it.  Hopefully this is useful for anyone wishing to conquer a half-marathon or full marathon someday.


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