How to prepare for a long run

Stephanie Fish with Norton Sports Health offers tips on preparation for a long run — from meal planning to route planning and the weather.

We have some great tips on how to prepare for a long run as race day for the GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon/Marathon approaches.

  • Trust your training: You have been training for weeks or even months, so trust that this pivotal longest training run will feel great and come naturally.
  • Expect the unexpected: Your longest training run may not go as planned, but don’t let that discourage your motivation or training efforts. Expect aches, pains, tummy troubles, unpleasant thoughts, feelings of defeat, frustration and more. That way, if none of these things happen, it will be an unexpected great day!
  • Plan your nutrition and hydration properly: By now, you should have nailed down what nutrition and hydration needs worked best for you during your training runs. Stick with it for your longest run and race day. Now is not the time to try anything unusual.
  • Be sure to have a well-balanced dinner the night before and a nutritious breakfast before you head out for your run.
  • Hydration the day before your longest run is key, as well as before/during/after your run.
  • Plan your route: Whether you need 12 or 20 miles, plan your route in advance. Running 100 laps around your neighborhood may be too daunting and cause you to quit halfway through. Try an out-and-back route, because what goes out … must come back! You also may want to plan a route with restroom and water stops for a break and refill.
  • Check the weather: Not only will you want to dress accordingly for your run (hint: polyester layers!), but be sure to check the weather. If Saturday looks terrible, maybe your longest run would be better suited for Sunday. Running in rain? Learn more about running in the rain or heat and chafing tips.
  • Be prepared and safe: Charge your phone/headphones/watch, check your headlamp batteries, create a playlist of your favorite songs and lay out everything you need the night before. Prepare as if it is race day. Be sure someone knows your route plan. Wear reflective gear and/or sunscreen as needed. Be aware of your surroundings during your run. Stay safe.

Good luck in the final weeks of your training, and enjoy the journey!

It’s not too late to join the Norton Sports Health team

Join the GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon training group — connect with other participants and get support from the Norton Sports Health training team.

Sign up for text alerts by texting “NortonRun” to 37492 to receive messages about any changes in training times and locations. The Norton Sports Health training program helps prepare you for the GE Appliances Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon on Saturday, April 29.

Before beginning any training program, consult with your health provider to ensure you are healthy enough to properly train and complete the program.

Stephanie Fish is sports events marketing coordinator with Norton Sports Health.

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