Marathon Training: 5 Tips for Surviving Your Long Runs

Use these tips to help make your long runs more enjoyable

Maybe you really enjoy long runs, or maybe you dread them, but you’re training for a marathon, so you have no choice but to get them done.

Sometimes, getting out the door for your long run can be really challenging, especially when you’re tired from a long week. Devoting a big chunk of your weekends to long-distance runs is a substantial sacrifice and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the miles you need to cover. So, how do you get through your long runs when you’re already tired and running more than ever? The following five tips will help you learn to enjoy your long runs so you that you can race happily when it’s time to run your marathon!

-5 Tips for Surviving Your Long Marathon Training Runs-

1. Recruit Help.
Whether it’s recruiting a running partner to run a few miles with you or a friend to set out water bottles along your course, some help can be the key to enjoying your long run. Fueling properly during a long run can be hard to do on your own, but with some help you can run longer and you’ll be encouraged when you see a familiar, smiling face. Maybe you can even convince a family member or friend to bike alongside you. Long runs can be really enjoyable with some much needed company.

2. Treat Yourself.
Not only should you have a delicious meal or breakfast after your long run, but also the night before. The meals leading up to your long run will help fuel you! Cook a meal the night before with some quality protein, carbs and some veggies, too. Topping off your glycogen stores with a scoop of ice cream or some frozen yogurt or fruit is a good idea too. Put gas in your tank so you are set to run fast when it's time to start running.

3. Take it Easy.
Not all long runs need to be a hard effort. While it’s good to run a faster pace on your harder days, sometimes all a long run needs to be is, well, long. Long runs help your body to learn how to use glycogen and burn fat stores, as well as teach your body to be efficient when running for a long period of time. Long runs are also the key to helping you know what a good pace for your marathon will be.

4. Pick the Right Path.
Plan a long run route that you will really enjoy. Even if it means hopping in your car early in the morning to drive to your favorite trail, running somewhere you like can help you enjoy your run even more. Or, run within distance of a favorite coffee shop or breakfast restaurant to meet up with your family or friends after. Putting in a little effort to plan ahead and pick an enjoyable location can make all the difference.

5. Comfy Shoes.
The right shoes will make a huge difference when you are on your feet for a long time! Go into your local running store and have them fit you with the right pair of shoes. If you are in comfortable shoes and gear, you will be set to enjoy every minute of your run!

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