Getting Through The Long Run

Happy Monday guys! We are three weeks away from The Chicago Marathon and that means TAPER TIME! I thought this would be a good time to share what has helped me get through those long build-up runs the past 15 weeks. Here are 10 tips that make running long distance a bit more bearable.

1. Have your route planned before you head out.

18.53It’s so much easier to run long distance if you have a good idea of where you’re going. I’m usually pretty good about this, but I failed on Saturday when I set out for my 20 mile training run. My first loop was 14.9 miles (which was preplanned and routed using MapMyRun). The second loop, I underestimated and by the time I got to my starting, point, saw my watch and then my car, I decided to call it quits. I know that if I had planned that second loop better, 20 miles would’ve happened.

2. Create a killer playlist. Last weekend, I thought I forgot my headphones at home. I was just about to get in my car and drive back and I saw them laying under my seat. I couldn’t fathom running 18 miles in the cold without some sort of distraction. I use Spotify for all my running music and used it to create my Chicago Marathon playlist last year. When I’m not training, I use the free version. I can usually get through a decent run with very little commercials. I found that with some of my training runs, my wireless data would cut out and leave me without music for a little bit. This annoyed me and so I figured if I’m training for a marathon, I might as well treat myself to uninterrupted music. You can download music and play it offline from your mobile device with the premium version. You can also find me *here* if you’re looking for more spotify friends.

3. Run with Friends. Don’t have friends that run? Find new friends! 😉 Or join a running group and make new friends there. I have done most of my build up runs with Badgerland Striders and I have met some fellow Chicago marathoners in the process. Running with people that share a common interest helps pass time and keeps you on track. When you’re running with a friend, no one wants to be the first person to stop and start walking. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and each other.

treatspostrace4. Get inspired. Confession time: some days, running is the last thing I want to do. As much as I LOVE to run, there are days, like Wednesdays after work, where running 10 miles is the last thing I want to be doing. Sometimes those midweek longer runs really take some mental preparation. When I need a little extra inspiration, I will read some of my favorite running blogs (Hungry Runner Girl, Run Eat Repeat, Chic Runner) or scroll through  my Instagram feed for inspirational pics. This usually does the trick and gets me a little bit more excited for my run.

5. Treat yo self! Training for a marathon is no joke. It takes a toll on your body, your mind and your overall well-being. Reward yourself for setting your alarm( on a weekend) to run what some would call a crazy amount of miles.


6. Find a GU that excites you! Because if you’re not running, when else is it acceptable to eat salted carmel GU?

7. Get some fun toys. I would be lost without my Garmin and now add in my bluetooth headphones to running gear I can’t live without. I love uploading my runs and seeing how I’ve improved from last year, where I struggled in my run etc. It’s definitely  more than just a GPS watch.


8. Have a support system.  Marathon training & sometimes running in general would not be possible if it weren’t for my wonderful husband, mom and sister who have helped to keep an eye on Madelyn while I’ve spent all morning running. This also involves them waking up early on weekends (or staying up after working all night) when they really didn’t have to. It’s nice to be surrounded by loved ones who understand why you want to be in bed by 9pm on a Friday night…

9. Get properly fitted gear. I cannot stress enough the importance of going to get professionally fitted for every pair of shoes you wear. After I had Madelyn, I got fitted at a local running store and they put me in a very stable Brooks’ shoe. I continued to run in this same version of shoe throughout my first marathon training and after. I couldn’t figure out why, later on, my feet were hurting me so badly. They were a great shoe! Turns out, after a while I didn’t need that much stability and I had been running in the wrong shoe. They were right for me after I had a baby, but as I got more strength back in my core, the shoes were a wrong fit for me. Shorts are also a big one for me. Ill-fitting shorts have the power to break your run. My favorites are my Lululemon tracker short. I haven’t really tried any other brand. When you find one that works for you, you stick with it. And sports bras ladies!!! Definitely find a great fitting sports bra. I know that I will NOT be wearing my black Nike one for the marathon. If ever.

10. Recover. Ice baths and foam rolling is where it’s at if you want to walk like a normal person the next day.

iceicebabyAnd sleep. Allow yourself a nap if needed over the weekend of a long run. It will make you feel better. I promise.

Question of the day:  Tell me! What gets you through a long run or a grueling workout? 


7 thoughts on “Getting Through The Long Run

  1. Kelli September 22, 2014 / 11:40 am

    Awesome list! I agree with everything on it 🙂

    I love my Garmin 10, and I always pack my phone with fun podcasts before a long run. I listen to podcasts for most of the run (mostly Stuff You Should Know), then use my songs as a backup to get me pumped up at the very end! That always works best for me. Oh and I actually love Clif Shot Gels (chocolate and espresso) WAY more than Salted Caramel Gu. The texture is so much better!


    • Maria C September 22, 2014 / 1:49 pm

      I just switched back to the iPhone and completely forgot about podcasts. I used to listen to them while I was pregnant with my daughter. Mom podcasts and Jillian Michaels podcast were my favorite ones. I’ll have to look for some new ones. I’ve never tried Clif Shot gels but those flavors sound so good!


  2. fitfoodiemama September 22, 2014 / 1:17 pm

    Finding inspiration through running blogs and IG also helps to get me motivated! Knowing my route is also a bonus- there are times where I haven’t mapped correctly and come up short and just gave up because I was not mentally prepared to run the extra mile up and down the road!


    • Maria C September 22, 2014 / 1:50 pm

      Yeah I got back to my starting point, looked at my watch and was pretty much like I’m done. I’ve got this. I still feel ready for my marathon.


  3. kristenk September 22, 2014 / 11:28 pm

    OMG yes to so many of these, especially #1! I did my first 9 mile run around my old neighborhood and remember re-running streets over and over again and going in loops around a few blocks to get the full amount done and was dying of boredom and trying so hard to talk myself into cutting it short.


  4. Sun September 23, 2014 / 10:47 am

    Ha, yes to salted caramel GU, especially now that fall is here! Have you tried the root beer flavor? I felt it tasted less root beer-like and more like maple syrup. Not a bad thing 🙂

    To get through a long run, I often break the run into sections. For example, if doing 20 miles, I’ll break it into four segments of five miles or five segments of four miles. For whatever reason, that always does the trick for me!


    • Maria C September 23, 2014 / 2:06 pm

      Good to know about the root beer!!! I was too hesitant to try it out, but now I might have to. I hear the caramel macchiato is really good too. PRO should be getting it soon.


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