12 Minutes of Preparing...120 Minutes of Running!

This morning I ran for 2 hours (15.3 miles) and FELT GOOD at the end of the run!  This was my longest run of the year so far and 30 minutes longer than my previous longest run. 

Although I've run 24 marathons, it has been awhile since I trained for one.  So I had to think last night about preparing for today's 2 hour run.  My daily 30 to 50 minute runs are easy...jump out of bed, lace up the shoes and start running.  Longer runs though take more effort...without proper planning I could be in a world of hurt miles away from home.

So here's what I did, before, during and after the run.  This is not 100% comprehensive or necessarily what YOU should do, but it may prove helpful for your own training.

The Night Before

Last night I made sure NOT to eat stuff that would cause me gastric problems during the run.   No spicy foods, salsa, high-fiber, high-acid foods, etc. To be extra safe, I ate 2 large bowls of cereal, ice cream and some crackers.  The day before a long run is not the day you want to be experimenting with Kellogg's All Bran cereal or eating, say, an entire flat of strawberries like my 3 year old did.

Gathered up all the stuff I'd need for the run - clothing, hat, glasses, water belt and bottles, several packs of "GU", 2 bandaids, Vaseline, sunscreen, watch, etc.

I hadn't used my Nathan Waistpak for years, but quickly remembered why this is by far the best fluid carrier I've ever used.  My Waistpak carries 4 10 oz bottles that are very easy to remove from the pak. The bottles have an odd shape that ensures they stay in the holder yet are simple to replace, making them optimal for use on a run. I love the velcro belt...much easier and more comfortable to wear and adjust than straps.  And the bottles don't move around much, making this belt so much more comfortable than other water bottle holders.

Filled up 3 of 4 bottles...2 with 75% Lipton Sweetened Ice Tea diluted with 25% water, and the other with just water.  Placed them in the fridge.  I probably should have also used the 4th bottle but decided to save it for an upcoming 2 1/2 hour run. Iced Tea??  To be honest, I've never done that before but I like it (sweetened) and it worked fine. (More on hydration here.)

Packed 2 GU packets in the Waistpak.  I've used GU gels for years...they go down well.  I particularly enjoy the banana flavor.

Got to bed at a "reasonable" time, about an hour earlier than normal, in order to start the run at 6:15 a.m. (ended up starting at 6:45 a.m.).

Before The Run

Woke up, wasn't hungry, so downed a bottle of water and one banana GU gel packet.  I usually eat something light and quick, like a couple waffles, before a long run.

Bandaids...Scooby Doo ones (all I could find)...over the nips.  I'm fortunate not to have a hairy chest so these go on/off easily. Long run, shirt, sweat, abrasion, not good...you get it...preventative maintenance...bandaids on nips for all 2+ hour runs.

Vaseline...forgot to use today and lucky not to need it.  Long run, shorts, sweat, thighs, abrasion...not good.  Bigger issue if you wear shorter shorts that scrape the inner thigh.

Sunscreen on arms, face, ears, back of neck. Gotta protect your skin, especially during these sunny summer months!

Wear hat, watch, double-lace up shoes, insert bottles into Waistpak, wear Waistpak, sunglasses, and I'm on my way.

During/After Run

Pit stop 15 minutes into run was my only stop.  Think strategically when planning your runs.

Started drinking the fluids right away.  You start sweating right away in the summer so replenish those losses early and often.  Ate my 1st and only GU gel at mile 5 and tossed the wrapper into a trash can.

Took it nice and easy the entire run.  There were some decent climbs and I made no effort to maintain pace going up these hills.  The goal of the long run is to acclimate your body to the distance.  I just wanted to finish feeling good.

Within 10 minutes of finishing the run, I jumped into the pool to cool off and provide relief to my battered body.  Highly recommend this for your recovery!

Other than several toenails that are complaining to me, I felt great today and spent the day out and about with the kids.

Looking forward now to the NEXT long run!