Soleful Saturdays-Enduring the long run….


1 year ago I became a race runner.  To me a race runner is one who trains for running races.

 I have been a runner for most of my life with competitive running in high school and freshman year in college.  After an injury in college, I had stopped running for a while as I was devastated to not be able to participate in the sport that I had come to love and excel in.  Fast forward 10 years and I started playing football that required endurance that I developed by running.  Again, I had found a sport that I enjoyed and was good at and then I had my 1st ACL injury.  This put a stop to any running and activity.  I made my way back to football and again ran here and there but with no real purpose. Fast forward 10 years or so to where I endure another ACL injury which would lead to similar recovery and rehab as before.  The difference this time around was that I was a different athlete.  I was healthier, fitter, stronger and more determined than ever!  I was determined to not let me injury knock me down and out and worked hard to get back on the field.  Part of that rehab was mastering running a straight line. Sounds easy enough but I tell ya after knee surgery, it was not!  What started out as a way to get me back on the football field in time for Nationals in January (6 months post surgery), has turned into my rekindled love of running.

In this 1 year, I have learned so much about running, training and racing.  The one part that has changed the most for me is what I have learned about the long run.

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A long run is the highest mileage run of any week in your training schedule. The mileage of your long run depends on what race distance you’re training for. For a runner training for a 10K, a long run might be 8 miles.  Marathoners may run 20 miles for a long run. Long runs (also called long distance run) are usually done at conversational pace, usually at about 70-75% of max HR.

Benefits/ Purpose:

The benefits of long runs include: helps improve your endurance by strengthening the heart and opening the capillaries; strengthens your leg muscles and ligaments; teaches your body to burn fat as fuel; and develops your mental toughness and coping skills.

Lesson #1:Hydrate…..Hydrate….Hydrate

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Many of times before a long run, my pee has not been the right color to endure the long run.  I often would get tired fast, have a hard time breathing and overall have a sucky run!!

Lesson learned: DRINK WATER!  During the week but most importantly the day before.

Lesson #2-Post Run Stretch

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This is a work in progress for me.  i tend to just get up out of bed, put on some clothes and head out the door.  I have begun to do some dynamic stretching before my runs and have noticed that I am looser and lest strained in my running.

Lesson Learned-still learning but I know stretchering is good for you!

Lesson #3- Pre- Run Fuel


I continue to experiment with what fuels me for my long runs and races.

 I have used:

Protein and fats:

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Carbs and Fats:

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Fueling products:

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To be most honest, I have not noticed much of a difference from one fueling source to the other.  I know that I need something in my body to help me endure the long run but each of these have assisted in that and given me what I need to endure the long run.

Lesson Learned: Always give your body fuel for the long run.

Lesson #4- Gear Check

I am know to be a weather checker stalker.  I get so nervous about not being dressed properly for a run.  I hate being too cold or to hot during a run.  I like to be right in the between.  After checking the weather incessantly, I also check the ‘what to wear’ websites and posters to make sure I am properly dressed to endure the long run.

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Lesson Learned: Check the weather and wear layers.

Lesson #5-Pace Yourself

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I have read many places that your long run should be about anywhere from 30 sec to up to 2 minutes slower than your race pace.  This continues to be a challenging idea to grasp and put into action.  Additionally, I usually run my long runs with my solemate Alanna over at Madeleines and Marathons. She is a much faster runner than I am and once we get going, we typically are running between 9:30-10:00 min miles.  This may be a slower pace for her but is still quite fast for me.  On days that I run my long runs without her, I find that I run comfortably at about a 10:30-10:45 min/mile pace which would still be considered to fast for a long run.  This lesson is a work in progress for me and I look forward to mastering my long run pace that will allow me to endure the long run.

Lesson Learned: Still learning

Lesson #6- Post Run recovery

Lesson 6a-Stretch


Lesson 6b-Post Fuel

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I tend to be ravenous after a long run.  My go to items are:

Herbalife 24- Rebuild Strength

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Chicken and sweet potato or beef and sweet potatodownload (19) images (18)

The combination of these settles my hunger and rebuilds and replenished my body well.

Lesson Learned: Feed the body….recovery happens when the body is well fed!

Lesson #7- Rest…Rest…Rest

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I usually am out and about throughout the day after a long run and never truly give me body the rest that it needs.  I notice that not being able to just rest a little after the long run makes the day a lot longer and harder for me.  Another work in progress for me as I am fully aware of not liking how I feel physically after a long run.

Lesson Learned: Still learning….

How do you endure a long run? 

Have a Fit-Tastic Day!!

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6 thoughts on “Soleful Saturdays-Enduring the long run….

  1. Juliana @ 4 Well Rules says:

    these are great tips! The one I have worked on the most is slowing down during long runs. I used to think it was silly but it makes such a difference! Also, in my training cycle for a half, I like to go up to 14 miles, if time allows. I do much better when I run over the distance, it helps me practicing fueling and also allows me to push myself a bit harder during the race

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ishouldrun says:

    The only part of a long run that I do well is the run part. I feel like I never fuel well, never hydrate well, and NEVER do any post run recovery stuff I’m supposed to do! I’m trying to change all of that this year though! Do you really notice any changes when you do post-long-run stretching or when you don’t? I’m sooooo lazy I want to skip this part. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • fitballingrunningmom says:

      I hear ya!

      I never. Use to do either pre or post stretching and used to have to stop during a run to stretch and often felt sore after a run. I feel better during my runs now and less sore after. It could be mind over matter-lol!


  3. Dee Dee says:

    Very informative. I’m learning lots of these lessons. Most recently I’ve decided that the run for me may be the 10 miler with a half every year to keep me honest

    Liked by 1 person

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