Tips for Staying Strong on the Long Run

November 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Courtesy of Picapp.comSo you’re thinking about running a marathon? Cheers to you mate, that’s a big commitment. Running that kind of event is a lot of work! Here’s a short article with some tips to keep you going on the long run, written by me, a guy who never saw more than 3 miles pass under his jogging shoe until I started training for the Rock n’ Roll half to benefit children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It’s my first long distance run of any kind, but the information I pass on comes from both my own experience and that of others.

With time, refinement, and intelligent training, I know that soon I’ll be crossing the finish line of my first marathon. And who knows, maybe one day even an ultra-marathon or two.

After stammering and nearly talking myself out of the whole thing, I decided it was time to bunker down and get serious. Who can blame me for hesitating, I mean long-distance running is a lot of work!

Once I got serious about it though, I took the time to read up on some best practices and applied that to things learned first-hand from previous training sessions- and the results were great!

Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty- Have a Plan!

Staying properly hydrated is extremely important on long runs, in researching I read that having a hydration plan prior to undergoing an endurance workout will yield significantly better results than just drinking when the “need” arises. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. At this point you’re likely more exhausted than you would have been had you been drinking water in regimented amounts along the way.
Courtesy of Picapp.com
I purchased the Helium four-bottle hydration belt from Fuel Belt and tried that out. It comes with four small plastic bottles that strap in place firmly along the waist. First I drank a decent amount of water about 20 minutes prior to running (enough to feel hydrated but not too weighed down with liquid) then filled up each bottle half way (roughly 3-4oz each), and drank one down every 15 minutes after the 45 minute mark.

Don’t Dilute Yourself
Water is essential as anyone will tell you, but it’s not all your body needs for the long haul. It’s equally important to keep yourself fueled with the necessary amount of electrolytes. As our Team Challenge New York trainer Jay Hachadoorian explained, our body’s muscles have natural storage capacity for about 1 hour’s continuous activity. After that point you must replenish yourself with the necessary fuel to keep going.

If you’re considering running a long distance, experiment with various on-the-go electrolyte supplements like gels, tabs, or goos. See how they react with your stomach (a good reason not to wait for race day to start trying them!), and which ones gives you the best sustainable lift. My favorite is the Clif Energy Shot Block Chews. They taste great, are convenient to carry around, and don’t seem to cause any stomach issues.

You can support me too if you like- good time for a tax deduction!
* A quick note, I’m not sponsored by either Clif Bar & Co. or Fuel Belt. They’re just great brands that I trust and love.

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