Things to do & not do before a long run

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I went for a 5 mile run today after having a big lunch with my mother-in-law. I had almost all of my daily calories at lunch, but it was SO GOOD. I had:

*Buffalo Blue Cheese Hamburger
*Spring Mix Tossed Salad w/Blue Cheese Dressing
*Big piece of chocolate cake
*French Roast coffee & creamer

Here are some things I learned NOT TO DO before a longer run:

*DO NOT eat rich foods, spicy foods, or coffee a few hours before you run
*DO NOT drink prune juice the day before a long run (*sigh* My favorite is Plum Smart which is lower in calories, but still high fiber)
*DO NOT only take a single bottle of water when the heat index is 90 degrees

Some positive things that I have learned to do are:

*DO wear a supportive, comfortable, and wicking style bra
*DO invest in good running socks. I personally wear Thurlos in a thick running style. I love, love, love mine. Everyone has their own personal style. Just make sure they are the wicking style and have plenty of cushion. Invest in several pair.
*DO wear shoes that compliment/support your running style (I roll my feet to the outside so I need VERY supportive soles)
*DO wear sunscreen
*DO take plenty of water for your run. If you are consistantly running more than 6 miles, consider buying a Camelbak that is designed for runners. I use a Camelbak Hydrobak and I LOVE it.
*DO soak a bandanna in cool water and wrap it around your neck when the temperature is 80 degrees and over
*DO wear a "breathable" hat to cover your head and shade your face. This sort of hat releases excess heat from your head as well.
*DO wear Chapstick on your lips and Runner's Glide gel on spots of your body that are likely to rub (I put it under my bra chest band and along my waistband).
*DO wear wicking clothing. A basic t-shirt will keep in the heat. I try to go to sporting good stores after the season (winter/summer) is over for clearance deals.
*DO have something lite before a run. I usually have a banana or a small cup of orange juice.

*DO experiment with energy running foods (i.e. Hammer Gel, Goo, Shox Blox, Jelly Beans, etc.) if you are running really far. I know, I know. Serious athletes don't use them. However, most of us don't win the races we run. We are in it for personal reasons, to lose weight, and to have fun. If you find that you are losing energy after running 8 or so miles, consider electrolyte replacement foods/drinks.

*DO consider drinking Powerade or Gatorade (or other electrolyte replacement drinks). Do you find that after a long run, your brow is "gritty"? That shows you that you are losing salts in your body. You will need to replace those. Perhaps consider carrying one bottle of plain water and one with an electrolyte beverage.
*DO make sure to have a healthy snack within 30 minutes of your run. This will help you not to "crash" after your run.
*DO take a soothing shower after your run. Don't make it too hot.
*DO pamper yourself after a long run. If you feel tired, take a short nap.
*DO continue to rehydrate yourself throughout the day after your long run.
*DO pay attention to blisters. So far this training season, I have bruised (and more than likely lost) 3 toenails. Don't freak out if this happens. Long distance runners have a habit of losing toenails. I sterilize a needle and careful drain my blisters. I then pour Hydrogen Peroxide on them. A few years back, I didn't pay attention to a blister and it became infected. I had to have some gruesome work done to my foot and was unable to run a half marathon because of it. Watch and care for blisters early!!

I burned over 3000 calories this last week. Woohoo!
I have an 11 miler planned for Sunday morning. Here is to a good run and no blisters!
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I like this post - lots of good tips, even for us short-distance runners. Thanks, Shan!
    3429 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.