According to the training plan that Liv + I are VERY loosely following, this weekend was our 16-mile run. My training has been slacking in a big way lately, so I knew it was going to be ugly. I can't claim to have run the full 16 - I had to stop and walk quite a few times - but I eventually covered 16 miles of distance, at least.
I actually broke up my run into two sections: an 11 mile run, followed by a 20 minute stretch break and refueling before finishing up the final 5. It's probably a little unconventional to split up the distance, and maybe a little counterintuitive since the purpose of long runs is to build up endurance. Even so, I knew that my legs were rusty, and it mentally helped me a lot to work toward a smaller/shorter distance goal.
It was a monumental day for me for two reasons:
- I finally figured out how to properly hydrate and nourish before a long run. My last few long runs have ended far too early because I started seeing big white spots and my legs went wobbly. Frankly, it was a little scary to suddenly get so lightheaded on my runs. And my stomach's tendency to turn over and over has been awfully frustrating. So, I deliberately focused on my hydration in the days leading up to this weekend's long run and was conscious of everything that went into my body. Though my stomach was still a wee bit on edge (and I think it always will be), I felt strong and stable throughout the run - at least until my legs started begging for mercy.
- I tried my first GU, and let me tell you, I'm not a fan. The texture was pretty horrendous in my opinion, but it DID help me barrel through. I tried the Strawberry-Banana (which is normally one of my favorite flavor combos), and it still makes me a little squeamish to think about the way it slithered down my throat. Regardless, I recognize that it helped, so I'll continue to try it out.
Any recommendations for GU flavors? Do you guys slurp it all down at once? I kinda carried it along with me and took a pull whenever I could build up the nerve (which is probably a little like slowly pulling off a Band-Aid one centimeter at a time).