How do you prepare for a long run?


Anyone who has trained for a longer race knows how the routine you have before a long run is so important. If you don’t have the right type of bread, your favourite socks you know you are destined for a crappy run. I’m always interested in seeing how other people prepare….what meal works for them, what gels they take. Do you stretch before?

I actually quite like the routine – as it is in essence a series of meals. Here is how mine goes.

Night Before:

Pasta is my dinner of choice. However it is usually determined by whatever we have. Thankfully today there were the makings of a spag bol so I demolished a massive plate of that. We normally eat wholegrain pasta but I find the white type easier when running. Are we the only people to put any and every kind of veg we have in spaghetti blognaise? I bet there are Italians mortified for me by that picture.

This is always followed by some chocolate. I don’t drink so I get my empty calories from chocolate. Wait wait.…..let’s be honest here. This isn’t a Friday night thing but an everynight thing. However I feel less guilty about it on a Friday. My bar of choice is a Kit Kat Chunky……it takes a good 2-3 seconds to bite through the outer layer. It’s bliss. What your glass after red is to you Kit Kat chunky is to me.

Lay out my clothes for the next day…..I usually check the weather and see if it is one of the 5 Saturdays that it will rain in Perth. If so I search endlessly for a beanie and never find one and have to borrow one of Franmans. If not shorts and tshirt it is. I’m a fan of colourful running gear but trying to tone it down lately as everyone always comments on what I wear.

We’re traditionalists in our household and like to watch a good old detective drama on a Friday night. Lately it’s been Wallender. The crime drama set in the part of Sweden where everyone speaks English.

Saturday Morning

I usually set my alarm for about 5.25 if we are running at 6. If I wake up at 5.20 I give myself a silent high 5….if not I try and get my alarm turned off as quickly as possible. 5.25 is early on a Saturday if you aren’t a runner.

After getting dressed I make some breakfast – toast and jam – and drink some water. I would love to be able to drink coffee but my stomach wouldn’t thank me later. On a side note, I am on day 3 of no coffee…..I am seeing if I can go off it and take some caffeine pills the morning off the race. Votes – is that a really stupid decision? Or an amazingly inspired one?

Anyway, I also take some Beta – Alanine. I spoke about this before but it is meant to help delay muscle fatigue….I think it works so I take it. It doesn’t affect me negatively so why not!

I grab my garmin and I am out of here at 5.50. Oh, I always take some gels as well. I’m currently going through a box of Gu Lime Sublime. The 5th week of them is not so sublime.

Saturday Morning Post Run

Our club all starts at different times with the aim of finishing at the same time. After the run we all head back to our Wondercoach’s house for coffee – from his commercial coffee machine! – Protein shakes, stretching and debriefs. This is the best part; seeing everyone in the same boat and hearing how everyone did. There is usually someone who has ran the furthest they ever had and OMG can’t believe it….that’s always great to see. Another one hooked!

After a while I start to seize up so head home and have the longest hottest shower, make some porridge and watch some quality TV.

I imagine this is pretty similar to what thousands of runners all over the world do. But whatever you do make it fun!



One thought on “How do you prepare for a long run?

  1. I love the running routine! Bit of familiarity to calm the nerves and make sure you actually get out and do it. My routine is:

    – pasta the night before, and garlic bread if I’m not running with anyone I know 😉
    – coffee & cereal the morning of

    Mid-run I love thinking about my chocolate milk that I’ll drink at the end.

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