Most people I know have to do some sort of preparation for their long run. Running double digits is a bit different than a 3 or 4 mile stroll around the neighborhood.
You have to lay out your clothes and shoes…especially important if you are going to run in the morning. You have to prepare what you are going to use for fuel. You have to make sure that the Garmin and the ipod are fully charged. I also use a SPIbelt to hold an extra piece of gum and some chapstick.
The fuel will go in my mailbox at the end of the driveway along with a water bottle with the Nuun tablets. I’m a salty sweater, so I make sure that I am getting in some electrolytes. Since I have to run the same loop for my long runs, I am able to stash fluids and fuel and stop each lap (about 2.5 miles) to hydrate.
It looks like rain tomorrow, so I am going to grab a visor, too. I’ll keep it in the mailbox, too, unless it is raining when I start.
You also have to prepare a breakfast of some sort to eat before heading out on the run. A lot of people I know will eat a bagel or a bowl of cereal. Not me. My (notorious) GI issues have to be taken into account. So, I prepped my breakfast as I was making dinner tonight.
It was very convenient, since I made stir fry for dinner.
White rice has become my go-to breakfast on long run/race days. It is really bland and doesn’t upset my stomach too much. I’ll usually add a bit of cinnamon to give it some sort of flavor.
I also make sure that I have the key to the fire station. That way I have access to a bathroom on the south end of my loop. (If I’m on the north end, I can stop at my house.)
My GI preparation actually begins 2 days before my long runs. I really watch what I eat. I try to limit fiber. I stick to gluten-free and dairy free. And, I hope for the best. My recent 18-miler went very well. My 16-miler before that, not so much.
Which reminds me, I had a follow up with my GI doc after the super-fun colonoscopy/endoscopy procedure from a couple weeks ago. I’ll be sure to write up an update. I know you are all on the edge of your seats!
Back to long-run-prep…
The most important (and sometimes most difficult) part of the preparation for my long run is finding someone to watch the boys. Tim works every Saturday (my long run day…Sunday is church day, so I’m not changing days). Sometimes, my mom is able to watch the kids and Tim will drop them off on his way to work. A couple times, we have been fortunate enough to have one of my cousins come over and hang out with them. Jaden LOVES that! Sometimes, it can get a little tricky. I never want people to feel like I am taking advantage of them. And I don’t like to rely on the same people every time. I mean, who wants to get up early on a Saturday morning? (Although, while I am usually on the road before 5:30, Tim doesn’t leave for work until 7:15, so it isn’t that early.) I consider myself very lucky that I have people who are willing to help out and watch the boys so that I can run. I haven’t had to reschedule a long run yet (knock on wood).
So, what is the most important part of your preparation for your long runs?