Long Run Wisdom

During our Sunday Long Run season, we get weekly words of wisdom from Jim.

Jim has been organizing our Sunday Long Runs for 10 years and does a great job. He creates the routes, organizes the volunteers and makes sure we have enough supplies for the water stops.

Today I am posting Jim’s words of wisdom for our 20-miler. Good advice for all runners who are training for a marathon or doing a very long training run.

marathon training, running, sunday long run wisdom

Here is Jim’s Sunday long run wisdom for our 20 mile run:

Week 9 – Time for Twenty

March 7th, 2014

After a great 18 mile run for everyone its time to turn right around and run a twenty miler. Only two miles you haven’t run before, so no big deal.

Ok, time for some words of wisdom. Running 20 miles is a big deal. Its a long way. It isn’t easy. But everyone that has been training since the start of January is more than prepared to run it. There are a few key things to keep in mind:

First – Sunday is a training run, its not a race. Don’t run it to set any records, run it to travel 20 miles. Your body knows you’re serious now and its adapting to the things you’re making it do. Let it feel its way through 20 miles.

Second – Sunday is a training run. I know its the same as 1, but I mean it differently. This is your chance to try out your race day… and the day before your race day. The 48 hours before your marathon all contribute to the 3 to 6 hours you’ll be running it.

The start of the race starts Friday night, so lets gear this weekend up like that so when you screw something up its for a training run, not for marathon day. The night before the night before get a good nights sleep. Like 9 hours of sleep. Rest! The day before don’t do anything taxing on those legs, you’ll need them the next day. Eat a good hearty lunch.

The night before eat a healthy, rather bland dinner. Some pasta is always good to put some carbs on reserve. Some chicken is good as well for the protein. Vegetables are ok, but be wary they tend to take longer to digest and I’ve heard stories of people that regret what they ate the night before. Spicy, stay away from that. A good staple is what has been dubbed “Chicken Carsonara” by my marathoning buddies. I ate it before every marathon I ran in some form. It consists of Chicken, Pasta, and red sauce. That’s it. Give it a try.

Sunday morning get up early, well before 8AM and EAT A BREAKFAST! You’ll need that to get you through hours of running. I can’t make it through hours of sitting at my desk without snacking I’m not sure what makes people think they can work out for 3 hours and not have eaten in the past 12 hours. All through that 48 hours DRINK. If you’re going pee every 15 minutes you’ve had enough to drink, if you’re not go get a glass of water. Now you’re ready to run.

Third – Twenty miles can seem overwhelming. Like any task its best to break it up into small, less overwhelming, subtasks. Luckily for you I’ve done this for you. You aren’t running 20 miles Sunday, you’re running 4 miles five times. And who in this group can’t easily run 4 miles? You all can, so its no big deal. Run from water stop to water stop and don’t think about anything further than the next time you get to see me, Jeff, or Mikey pouring you a cup of Gatorade.

Fourth – Eat and Drink. Yeah, while you’re running. You should have been practicing this all along. I’m not out there because I enjoy freezing my butt off. Typical plans are every other water stop have a sip of sport drink. The other water stop have a gu or candy and wash it down with water. Keep your body happy and it’ll happily get you to the end. Treat it like a prisoner on a chain gang working all day long without food or water and it won’t be happy. Every one of you experienced marathoners that crushed the first 20 miles without taking advantage of the water stops and then say “I don’t know what happened to me over those last few miles” I know what happened to you… you didn’t listen to me.

Fifth – Sunday is a training run. This time I want you to consider what you’ll be wearing on marathon day. Those snazzy no-blister socks. Try them out. Its a good day to figure out that seam is bothersome to your pinky toe. Those snazzy shorts that will turn heads, make sure they don’t make you chaff places you’ve never chaffed before. That tank top with your name emblazoned across the front, would be a shame to find out what it does to your nipples on race day, or that the tag on the back is rubbing a hole through your skin. Lets find that out this week while I have extra Vaseline, body glide and Band-Aids at the ready. You can even bring me alternate socks if you might want to change them during the run. Of course the weather on race day is different than early March of the coldest winter since the glaciers receded so you can’t just wear those clothes, but figure out a way to test them out. You’ll only have one more really long run to do it again.

One thing you should be doing this time of your training also is looking at your running shoes. You’ve run a lot in the past few months, make sure those shoes you want to run a marathon in will make it to race day. If they’re looking worn buy a new pair now and break them in. You can use your current pair for the big runs only if you want to wear them or you’ll have broken in the new pair so you can run in them during the 22 in a few weeks and know they’re a good pair. After the 22 there’s no time left to test things.

Ok, that’s it for my pre-Sunday Sermons. As far as the route goes, look at the maps. Its long, its new in places, and you don’t want to make a 20 mile run any longer by getting lost. Short runners have the prescribed route to run or this week you have an option of carpooling out to the Eugene St water stop and running the middle part of the run, which is a lot more scenic than the scenes you’ve seen several times this season already. Let me know what you’re thinking.

Run well my friends.

Andy

Author: OmniRunner

9X Boston Marathon finisher, 17X marathons total. Sharing my love for running and the fun adventures and lessons that come with it. Helping non-profits increase fundraising and new runners celebrate their First 5K.

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