This was so necessary this morning.
I took it easy yesterday when I got home from work with a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. To be honest, I really wanted to just take off and run, but I really want my legs to recover from my long run on Sunday. Speaking of long runs, I went searching to find out ways to improve it and get better. I also wanted to find out why the “long run” is so important to a runner. How long they should be.
One thing that I didn’t know: Long runs force your body to use fat and spare Glycogen. Glycogen is used in your body (liver and muscles) to provide the body with a secondary energy source long-term. (fat being the first) Running a long run, or any long aerobic workout, forces the body to use fat.
**Remember I am not trained nor certified in training**
Things that helped me finish my long run:
- loose upper body. I find that if I tense up my arms and shoulders, my run feels very labored. I dangle my hands and try to remember to keep my shoulders loose.
- Wear the right gear. I think that if runners could run naked, they would. The less the better. I even believe that if I shave my legs before a run, I will run a tenth of a second faster. Really I do. :) Anyway, gear. I find that wearing some compression pants, a light weight wicking shirt (this pulls sweat from your body), Asics sports bra. Because my thighs continually talk to each other, wearing a skirt or shorts is out for me. What doesn’t work for me though, may work for someone else. That’s the beauty of being individuals!
- Under any circumstances don’t psyche myself out. Running, I have learned, is more of a mind game than anything. Our bodies can really do the running, it’s the mind that tells us that we can’t.
- Take walking breaks. Sunday’s long run was without walking breaks and this is something that I was so excited about! But, with that said, I am not ashamed to take walking breaks when it comes to long runs. Don’t be ashamed if you feel the need to do this. This actually could energize your running muscles and help you go further.
- Find a soft surface. Again, I am no expert, but I find that running on a soft surface helps me to go farther. And it helps my 37-year-old knees. I am not ashamed to run on a treadmill!
- Fuel your body well. I know that if I load up on sugar and don’t drink plenty of water throughout the day, my run will not feel good. I have even had to stop because I didn’t fuel my body well.
- Have a great play-list. I can’t tell you how much this actually helped me continue my run. You do what you have to do right?? I love the play-list that I have right now and I crack myself up when some of my favorite songs come on. Fort Minor’s: Remember the Name (clean version)….Bam!! I am running in a commercial for my Brooks Ghost 4’s!! Lol!!
Well, those are some of the things that really help me. Do I always do the right thing? Not always, but I think that running is such a learning process and you have to find out what works for you. If I was to stand next to a tall, nothing but legs person, their running techniques will probably not work for me. Some may, but some may not. You just have to work through all of it. And the most important thing is this: You can do it. No matter what exercise you are doing right now and you feel like there is no way that you can do it. You really can.
So last night was the night for a lot of season Premiers! Who watched Dancing with the Stars?? Castle?? Revolution?? There was quite a lot!!
It’s almost time for my run! I hope you guys have a great day!
Question: What works for you when it comes to long runs??