20 miles…check!

I woke up this morning and was psyched to get an early start on my last long training run due to daylight savings!  I jumped out of bed and quickly ate my breakfast of cinnamon toast and peanut butter to give it time to digest.  Once I was all geared up with my GU and water, I headed out the door for my 20 mile run.  I have been training for this marathon since July 20th, so it is amazing to me that there are only 3 weeks left until the big day!  I’m super excited, but definitely nervous at the same time.

It was a good run overall.  My legs felt a little heavy, but I managed to keep a good pace throughout the run and finished well.  Since I have been training for so many weeks, I figured I would write down my 6 tips for my long run days!  So, here is goes:

1. Eat your carbs! (and protein and fat) – I think that it is very important to eat some carbs, protein and fat before a long run in order to have the energy to complete the run well.  Your body breaks down the foods you eat and absorbs what it needs, and uses those nutrients when necessary (like during a long run!).  A breakfast of champions for a runner is toast (or a bagel, etc) with peanut butter, banana and a drizzle of honey – perfect!

2. Get plenty of fluids! I make sure to drink a lot of water all the time, due to it being so cleansing for your body and since I am running so much.  But, I especially drink a lot of water on the day before a long run.  It’s important to be hydrated so that your body will perform the way you want it to.

3. Get lots of sleep! Your body cannot function as well if it is sleep deprived.  A good night sleep before a long run will work wonders.

4. Get your electrolytes! I find that taking a supplement during the run really really helps me.  GU is extremely popular and some people swear by Gatorade.  It is important to eat them before you feel like you need them so that your body has time to work its magic.  Research shows that you should take them after about 45 minutes of strenuous exercise (and every 45 minutes after that), but I find that my body performs well if i take them every hour.  And, make sure you take them with water!  I do not love Gatorade, so I prefer to just drink water and to eat something during my run.  It definitely helps me to use my Cliff Shot Blocks or Luna Moons.  Today’s supplement of choice was watermelon Luna Moons – yum!

5. Eat your protein! After the run, the most important thing to do is get some protein in you right away (ideally within 30 minutes after the end of your run).  I have read that your muscles need that protein within 30-45 minutes in order to help them recover faster.  I look forward to my post-race smoothie!  I get home and whip up a PB Chocolate Banana Smoothie – delicious!  See my recipe below.

6. Relax! I try to enjoy a relaxing day after these super long runs.  I love to lounge all day and read/watch tv.  We deserve it!  Today, however, my husband and I spent the day organizing our place…I guess that is relaxing for me :).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Normally serves 2 (after my 20 mile run, it served 1!)

Ingredients:

  • handful of ice
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (I use Whole Foods crush-your-own PB)
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed flax seed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk (I used almond milk)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and mix it up!

This smoothie is totally satisfying and keeps me going while I stretch and shower.  I also make sure to eat lunch soon after with more healthy stuff in order to increase my muscle recovery!

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