Preparing and Recovering for a Long Run!

Happy Friday!! I always love the end of the week.  This weekend Michael and I don’t have much planned and I’m kind of happy about it.  Saturday I have an 18 mile run with Team in Training which I’m mentally preparing for today.  Sunday we plan to head to our favorite yoga class and we may head to the outlets to do a little shopping but it’s all to be decided.  I love knowing that we don’t have anywhere to be or anything we must do.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to have a quieter schedule while I finish out studying and push through this final month of marathon training.  Being able to focus on my runs, have down time and get plenty of sleep makes a significant difference in my training and honestly makes it all seem easier.  Anyone else feel that way too about marathon training?

Yesterday on Twitter I announced the winners of the VitaCoco giveaway and today I’m announcing it here!

The grand prize winner of the Vita Coco giveaway was:

Vita Coco Grand Prize Winner!

Krissy won 2 cases of Vita Coco!  The runners-up each receiving 1 case of Vita Coco are:

Vita Coco Winner

Vita Coco Winner!

Congratulations Ladies! Please email me at LiveRunLoveYoga at gmail dot com with your addresses!!

Since I’m mentally preparing for my long run tomorrow and it’s really all I can think about let’s talk about how I prepare for my long runs and what my post run routine looks like.   What is my morning routine like before the run?  What do I do after?  I know everyone has a little bit different way of getting ready for their long run and recovering but I think you can always learn from others so it’s worth sharing.

I’m running the Boston Marathon with Team in Training so with that I get to do my long runs with the team on Saturday mornings.  My pre-run routine isn’t much different if I’m running by myself from home except that I don’t have the drive.  So here’s a look at how tomorrow morning will go:

  • 6:30AM my alarm will go off to get up and get ready.  I’ll still be tired and will hit snooze.  The alarm will go off again around 6:40AM and I’ll lay there and wake up for a few minutes.  I’m up and out of bed by 6:50AM.
  • First thing I do is wash my face and brush my teeth.  After that I use Body Glide on those likely to chaffe spots.  I also tape my knee and IT band with Kinesiology tape.
  • Next I get dressed for my run.  It’s supposed to be in the mid-30’s tomorrow so I’ll wear tights and a light base layer on top under a half zip.  I usually just put on my base layers and throw on a hoodie or something comfortable and warm.
  • After that I head to the kitchen to make breakfast.  I ALWAYS drink 2 big classes of water in the morning before my run. In the summer when it is hot and I know I’m going to sweat more than usual I drink an additional glass of Gatorade.
  • I make plain oatmeal for breakfast.  My general rule of thumb is 13 miles or more I make 2 packets, 13 miles or less I make 1 packet.  I will add a small spoonful of applesauce to give it some flavor and a small scoop of almond butter.
  • I pack a water bottle, a Clif bar and dry clothes and head to practice.  It’s about a 25 minute drive to get there.
  • Once at practice we have mission moments, and team announcements which usually take about 20 minutes.  During that time I do some light stretching and use “The Stick” to massage out my legs.  And sip more water.  If I am still hungry I snack on my Clif Bar.  I decide on my top layers and double tie my shoes!
  • We are provided Gatorade, and foods like Shot Blocks, Gu, Peanut M&Ms, Swedish Fish, Pretzels and more at our water stops which are about every 2 to 3 miles.  I bring my own Shot Blocks since my stomach is picky with the flavors.

Team in Training Water Stop

  • If I’m running at home I prepare a fuel belt to wear.  In this case I do one bottle of Gatorade and 1 bottle of water and Shot Blocks.

With Team in Training it takes about 2 hours from the time I wake up until I run.  On my own it usually only takes me 45 minutes to an hour.  I can’t rush out the door for my long runs.  I need to be awake, fed and ready to run on my terms not the clocks terms.

My first few miles of the run are always slower than I like.  Not terribly slower but definitely slower.  I average about an 8:45min/mile pace on my long runs and my first mile is usually a 9:15min/mile pace and mile 2 is about a 9:10min/mile pace.  After that I settle in, find my rhythm and cruise.  My feed schedule for 18 miles will look something like this:

  • Mile 3: Sip Gatorade
  • Mile 6: Sip Gatorade, take my first Shot Block
  • Mile 9: Sip Gatorade and Water, Shot Block
  • Mile 12:  Sip Gatorade and Water, Shot Block
  • Mile 15:  Sip Gatorade, Shot Block
  • Mile 18: Done! Drink water followed by Nuun and eat a Clif Bar

I LOVE Nuun post run!

After my run I always stretch, foam roll and use “The Stick”.  This can take me half an hour or longer.  What can I say, I’m thorough!  Ice Baths are always to be decided mid-run and the decision is re-evaluated post run by determining how sore I am and how willing I am to sit in a cold tub of water and ice.

Ice Baths are always TBD!

A good, hearty and filling lunch always follows before a hot shower!  Naps following long runs are also to be decided.  I know a lot of people love them and nap religiously after their long run but sometimes it’s not feasible for me and other times I’d just rather tough it out and go to bed early.

Naps are TBD!

Long runs take a long time.  The run itself is long, and it takes a long time to stretch, recovery, refuel and shower (I stand in the shower under the hot water for far too long after long runs!).  The feeling of satisfaction from completing a long run is just amazing though and makes it all worth it!

Let’s Discuss! What is your morning long-run routine? What do you eat for breakfast?  What is your fuel schedule like? How do you recover after your long runs? Do you stretch and foam roll? Do you take ice baths? Do you find the order in which you recover can make a difference? How does your routine differ from mine?


12 thoughts on “Preparing and Recovering for a Long Run!

  1. short happiness quotes says:

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Preparing and Recovering for a Long Run! .


  2. bugontherun says:

    Hi whitney! I just found your blog through Matt’s post that featured you!
    I just started a blog, and I am also from the Boston area (I love reading local blogs!!).
    Anddd I am also running with TNT, but I’m training for the San Diego Rock n’ Roll.
    Good luck with your race… I can’t wait to read about how it goes!

    P.S: I love your yoga page…I’m excited to check some of those spots out!


  3. Michelle @ Running with Attitude says:

    This is great – I love hearing how others prepare and recover because I always learn something. My morning is similar to yours – I usually grab a whole wheat English muffin with almond butter and honey. I carry Nuun, water and GUs (1 at 4 miles and 1 at 8 miles). Post run includes the foam roller and sometimes an ice bath. Going to try Epsom salts after tomorrow’s run!


  4. JessSutera says:

    This may sound crazy, but reading about your long-run prep and post-run recovery makes me wicked excited to be running these distances when I train for my first marathon this summer! Such great advice and a nice little look at what works for you. Awesome!


  5. runcupcake says:

    You are THOROUGH! My routine is very similar, however I don’t think it out quite as much. I eat whole wheat bagel with PB and banana before a long run. I’ll eat the whole bagel for runs over 13 miles, half a bagel for runs under.

    I can’t fuel with shot bloks, they get stuck in my teeth, they’re so huge and hard to chew! I eat honey stinger chews, sport beans, and hammer gels.


  6. Danielle (aka Foodosaurus Rex) says:

    I’m in the same boat in terms of not being able to run out the door. While I applaud everyone that can get up, get ready quickly, and get out the door early in the morning for a long run on Saturday or Sunday, I just can’t do it. I fight between wanting to sleep in because it’s the weekend, but also wanting to get my run in and done so I can enjoy the rest of the day. Your routine seems a lot like mine, especially with the snooze!


  7. Elle says:

    This is so interesting to me as I prepare for my first half marathon to be run mid-May.

    Can I ask some questions? Why do you use nuun AFTER instead of before and during. Why Gatorade?

    I am interested in The Stick. I don’t use a roller now and think I should get into it. Can you tell me why you chose it.

    Yesterday I bought a bag of epsom salts.. going to have a hot soak after my long run Saturday. I tried a cold bath once and my legs just cramped!

    And I am so excited about my Vita Coco win…. really looking forward to trying it. Thanks!


    • liverunloveyoga says:

      Of course you can ask questions, anytime! I use Nuun after because it has less sugar and really just gives my water some flavor and the electrolytes my body needs. By the time I finish a long run I’m sick of Gatorade so it’s just a nice change. I use Gatorade mostly because I’ve always used that since that was what was offered in college. I can only drink orange, lemon lime and fruit punch. Everything else causes stomach troubles. I also don’t use Nuun while I run because it’s not offered on the course during marathons and I don’t want to carry my own fluids. Once I find out what the Gatorade flavor for the race is I will only use that to train with.

      The Stick. You should definitely get a roller they are awesome. Basically they remove the adhesions (think knots) in your legs that cause pain and soreness. A roller will bring blood flow to the muscle and helps you recover. And really it just feels like a massage which is awesome. I use both a foam roller and The Stick. They are each a little different. The foam roller can definitely go deeper and be more intense where The Stick tends to be more gentle. I’d start with The Stick because you want to adjust to rolling, it’s cheaper and it’s more portable.

      I need to try Epsom salt…it sounds nicer than the ice bath! I hope this helps and your Vita Coco will be in the mail soon!


Any Thoughts, Suggestions or Similar Experiences?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s