hello my beauties!
first things first—thanks for love on my marathon story. i'm glad that so many people could relate! running is fucking hard, but it's also rewarding as shit. it hit me a few days ago that at this time last year, i had just decided that i wanted to think about running a marathon. if you missed it, you can check out how i went from 'i-can't-run-a-mile' to 'i-guess-i'm-gonna-run-an-ultramarathon' here.
so, yah know, part of that whole ultramarathon thang is... you have to train for it. *sigh* i know! rude! i actually really like the training part, because i love having a plan to follow, but this round has been a lot more aggressive. this will be the longest distance i've ever run, and i won't actually run 31 miles until the race. that means more mileage all around, and i've even signed up for a trail marathon in May to prep.
it'll count as my long run—yep, the infamous long run. it seems like it doesn't matter which marathon program you choose to train with, there's always a long run workout. usually on the weekend, these workouts are anywhere from 10 to 24 miles, depending on your plan.
if you're new to running, there's a few things you should know about prepping for these runs—they are hands down, the most important part of your training. it's where you develop mental toughness, get your bod prepped for being on your feet for long periods of time, and get comfortable being uncomfortable. here are my seven must-haves for a long run:
1. hand-held water bottle
yo dude, you need water when you run. i'm a big fan of this one from nathan because it's super comfy and can hold my car keys, a pack of chews, and a little $$$. plus, it's lightweight and flexible.
2. seriously good socks
chafing. is. the. worst. thankfully, you can wear the right clothes to prevent chafing of the bod (no cottons, nothing too lose, pants/crops to protect legs) but blisters are a different story. i rock these dorky toe socks from injini because they feel amazing on my bunions and they don't give me blisters after multiple miles.
3. fuel chews
ok. this is where runners are all gonna have SERIOUS opinions. fueling for your long runs is a very individual thing—your stomach starts to do wacky stuff after 10 miles of jostling. but you need to fuel about every 45 minutes, or every 6ish miles, so you don't hit the wall in the back half of your run. i'm partial to honey stinger chews because they're pretty pure. gu gels, gatorade blocks, and some of the other popular brands are loaded with funky chemicals that i'm really not a fan of. if you wouldn't eat something on a regular basis—like, pure sugar, or artificially flavored nonsense—why the eff would you put that stuff in your body when you're trying to run a super long distance? doesn't compute to me. keep it clean, folks, but experiment with a few different fuels to find one that works for you.
4. electrolyte drinks
potassium, sodium, magnesium, BOOM. you need that stuff so your body can absorb all the water you're throwing back while you're simultaneously sweating out of every pore. again, best to go au natural here. ditch the gatorade and try vega's electrolyte drink, which is all-natural and vegan!
5. salt sticks
i like to keep these on hand for a few reasons. first, they have ginger in them. i've been known to get crazy-bad nausea on long runs, and ginger is scientifically proven to help with that. it seems that i also get incredibly picky in the middle of my long runs. sometimes a drink or snack that sounded amazing when i packed my car up in the morning sounds like total dogshit when it actually comes time to eat or drink it. this happens to me a lot with sports drinks (I just want water—BORING.) so in order to get in those good electrolytes we were talking about i'll swallow a few of these. they're really salty, though, so don't try to chew 'em.
6. amazing headphones
literally the most important thing for my long runs. music moves me. having quality headphones is key—and when you have shitty sound quality it can totally kill your boner! i'm obsessed with yurbuds. at this point, i've bought at least 4 pairs because i inevitably lose them, wash them, or let someone borrow them and they're gone forever. dear yurbud, please sponsor me?
7. post-run food!
most importantly, you need good food to look forward to after your run. i do my long runs on sundays so i can go to brunch afterwards. yes, it's strategic and sneaky, and sometimes it's the only thing that gets me out of bed. but truly, even if you're not hungry it is important to get some fuel in your bod to help with recovery and overall wellbeing.
q's? let me know what you need answered in the comments below!