The Dress Rehearsal: Your last long run!

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In honor of my last long run before Boston, I thought it would be helpful to post some tips. The what’s and whatnot’s…I honestly refresh my own mind every time I encounter the “last long run” before a marathon. Hey, even the pro’s need to refresh their brains and remind themselves of certain things!

And also…well done runners..you have survived marathon training. (In the WINTER of ALL times). You have logged serious miles. (If you feel like you should go back and review your logs-I think you SHOULD. You kicked ass this season, my friends, review away.

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1.) Your last long run is your chance to practice exactly what you want to be doing the night before/day of your marathon. Take notes on what works for you so that you can review later and change what you need to. Last week, during my long run-I felt fairly good afterwards and I think its because I took the previous day off. I’m going to repeat this habit this week for sure! Two weeks ago I felt like death on legs: and I had run the day before…practice makes perfect!

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2.) Eat a meal that’s right for you . Maybe your body responds to a high carb pasta meal-maybe to proteins. By now, you should know what is going to give you the trots…and for the love of god, don’t eat it the night before. #nobodywantstopooptheirpants I personally do best with a mix of proteins, carbs and veggies. I can’t do straight carbs because just don’t blend well. (See above Hashtag)

3.) Practice your breakfast for race morning. If it works, repeat it. If it doesn’t? You still have time for adjustments!

4.) Pack your fuel accordingly:
Take enough with you so that you know what works and what doesn’t. Last weekend on my 21 miler, I personally used two gu’s, packed a few airheads, and a lot of Gatorade…But on Marathon Monday: I will only be bringing along the food fuel-there are water stops along the entire course and I don’t need/want the extra weight. Note how many you used during that run, and pack an extra (or two if you have the room).

5.) Research the water stops at your marathon. I have never, ever run one that didn’t have stops at least every other mile…But it is a possibility. Same goes for porta potties…The race I’m doing this weekend has … one along the course. Lets all hope my breakfast stays right where it should, k? Knowing what fuel you will have on the course ahead of you alleviates stress and allows you to pack accordingly.

6.) This is not the day to try something brand new.
New sneakers, new foods..not the day. One or twice, I have tried out a new article of clothing during a long run, but honestly I prefer to do it on a shorter run. (Nobody likes getting to the start of a race only to find that your shorts are actually CONSTANTLY riding up and give you cameltoe/wedgies/showing off your cheeks)

7.) Don’t forget that even :
-if your dress rehearsal is absolute crap,
-if you poop your pants,
-if you forget to pack food and nearly starve to death,
-if you don’t sleep a wink the night before and basically stink (all of these have happened to me at least once-doyou feel bad for me yet? just kiddin)
all this stuff???
this DOES NOT MEAN YOUR RACE DAY WILL SUCK.
In fact, I am actually FAMOUS for having the most amazing training runs (I could write chart topping song regarding said amazing training runs) and somehow manage to have the worst marathons. #liveandlearnmyfriends

8. Last one:and listen up-this is the MOST IMPORTANT.Remember just WHY you wanted to run this in the first place: is it in memory of a loved one? For your friend fighting cancer? For a cutie pie little boy who had cerebral palsy? (<–me) Whatever your "why" is-find it, hold it tight, and use it to fuel you on your last long run and let it power you through the marathon. Nothing lights a match under your feet than your own personal cause and motivation.

I hope these tips help you as you are lacing up your kicks for your last long run. Oh and one more thing! Afterwards: Make sure you pat yourself on the back, and have your favorite celebratory beverage.

Congratulations…you have survived marathon training ☺️

Now let the taper crazies begin…

tell me all about your long runs for your weekend!

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12 thoughts on “The Dress Rehearsal: Your last long run!

  1. Great tips! And you are so right, we all run for a reason (or a few), and that’s what matters most, a bad race or run should never take away from that.
    Oh that toilet paper thing is so spot on!

  2. oh WOW!! Yes I would love to help you with this..i begin my taper three weeks before a marathon-your muscles get exhausted if you don’t. And i vary with my training runs-I can run 7 miles on a monday and 10 on a tuesda-but you have to mis it up: tempo runs, fartleks, yasso’s, sprints, easy tuns, long runs: all of these things make up your various running weeks. Next week i will put together a post for you! 🙂

    As far as resources go: Runners world has amazing training guides and a smart coach app that you can put on your phone to guide you..You can also pay for a training plan from them-I never have but they DO look fantastic.

  3. Good tips as always. Even though it’s so counter-intuitive to try something new at a race, I think a lot of times you’re like “UGH this bra feels weird! I think I have a new one somewhere, and new is better than old right? I’ll just try this new one!!” and that’s how disasters happen, I swear!

  4. Brahaha I love the 5K image at the end of the post! I honestly consider half’s a “short” race, and my wife hates me when I say that!

    Question for you! I am horrible when it comes to timing my training. I will run 26.2 miles a week before a race. When I did the New Bedford half marathon I ran 15 miles the day before! For some reason I dont like to take time off! If I take more than 5 days off, I can feel it when I start running again.

    I don’t know if you’ve done a post like this in the past or not, but I would like to hear about how you prepare for a marathon.

    My preparation usually goes like this run constantly! Nothing below 10 miles! Do a couple of back to back 15 mile runs once a week. Run a 26.2 run at least a week before the race. Then take the day before the race off, and make sure not to eat anything too heavy.

    I would like to learn how to take time off to improve my race performance, but I’m not sure where to start! Any good resources that you’re familiar with?

    • oh WOW!! Yes I would love to help you with this..i begin my taper three weeks before a marathon-your muscles get exhausted if you don’t. And i vary with my training runs-I can run 7 miles on a monday and 10 on a tuesda-but you have to mis it up: tempo runs, fartleks, yasso’s, sprints, easy tuns, long runs: all of these things make up your various running weeks. Next week i will put together a post for you! 🙂

      As far as resources go: Runners world has amazing training guides and a smart coach app that you can put on your phone to guide you..You can also pay for a training plan from them-I never have but they DO look fantastic

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