I’ve been running for about 18 months now, although running first started to appeal to me about two years ago. In that span, I’ve gone from barely being able to run 1-2 miles on the treadmill to having ran a half-marathon, a handful of 10Ks as well as an intense relay race.
But in that span, I’ve only ever ran more than 13 miles on two occasions. One was my half-marathon, a race that according to my Garmin was a distance of 13.5 miles. The other was on Sunday, when I ran 13.28 miles with the Lopers.
Thus, Sunday’s scheduled run of 14 miles will be uncharted territory for me and another first in my increasing list of firsts. It’s going to be the longest run of my life for about a week, until our 15-mile run the following Sunday.
Am I worried about logging 14 miles? Not really. I mean, it’s a long distance to be certain but I have to approach it like I do every other run, as something that will be a challenge but as long as I stay focused will be able to meet and conquer.
Part of the focus is to prepare for not just the run itself but the days leading up to it and the time immediately after. And that’s where I need to reinforce some things.
> What is the best type of food to eat immediately after runs of 14 miles or more?
> Should I eat a meal within an hour of finishing said runs? 90 minutes? And what kind of meal should it be? Protein-heavy? Carb-heavy?
> Should I drink water? Or is something like Gatorade the better option because of its nutrients and electrolytes?
I’m pretty sure I have my pre-long run routine down, at least an effective one. And I know this because I didn’t follow it before Sunday’s run and I was dragging some on Sunday.
First and foremost, I can’t pull into the finish with a lot of Gatorade left in my fuel belt, which is what I did on Sunday. Yes, I drank water and Gatorade at the water stations along the run but I still should have drank more along the way.
Also, carbo-loading should consist of pasta, particularly on Friday night. If I make pasta for dinner Friday, I can have a nice, filling meal that night plus have some on Saturday as well. I didn’t have pasta on Friday or Saturday.
Sleep would be nice, but I was only able to get about 4-5 hours of sleep before Sunday’s run. Of course, that was due to my Saturday work schedule, but that will change here in a few weeks as I won’t be working much on Saturday nights coming up soon, thank goodness.
All of those factors combined to drag me down following Sunday’s run but I think I can do better for next week’s 14-miler. I’d really like not to drag through this Sunday so I’ll be making some pasta for dinner this week.