From Tears to Tenacity: 5 Preparations for a Successful Long Run

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Young Woman Working OutAll week I’ve been trying to come up with something to write about today when finally I decided not to worry about it.  I had 10 miles to run this morning, plenty of time to come up with something!  After all, I can usually find a solution to most any problem while running – especially when it’s close to a two hour run!

Unfortunately, while my run went surprisingly well (even after last week’s emotional breakdown into tears at mile 7), my thoughts were rather scattered.  So, if this posts reads in similar fashion, I do apologize.


From Tears to Tenacity

On my run this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder what was so different about today that made me feel much more confident and capable than the week before?  And the biggest difference between the two runs (certainly not the mileage since last week was “only 9”) was the fact that as soon as I was finished with the 9 mile run last week I was jumping on a plane to spend 5 days on the beach in Mexico.  A grand reward and awesome motivator…  wouldn’t you think?  It turned out to work against me, in my head that is.

So, I thought today I would put together a little list of how to be prepared for your long run during distance training in order to get-through-the-miles-without-bursting-into-tears, then calling your best friend to talk you through the last two miles (Thank you, Heather!).  So, here it is…

5 Preparations for a Successful Long Run

5.  Give Yourself Enough Time

While we ended up having plenty of time to make our flight last week, I couldn’t help but worry about all the last minute items I needed to pack, having time for a shower and I wanted to stop at the gym to use the foam roller (since I was having IT Band issues).  My goal pace was right in my face which instilled the dreaded “I can’t” negative self talk into me.  Time was not on my side and I knew it.

4.  Be Well Rested

We bumped our long run up last week so that we could rest on our trip.  This was different for us for a couple reasons.  The first, we ran our normal runs at the beginning of the week so there was no rest day between those runs and our long run.  Second, we did not sleep well (or at all, really) because we were SO EXCITED to be leaving for Mexico the next day.

3.   Charge Your Crap!

My mp3 player died a little over half way through the run.  Not cool.  Later in the week my Garmin wasn’t ready and charged for another run.  Also not cool.  Charge your crap.

2.  Hydrate

Start hydrating a day or two before your run, drinking water regularly throughout the day.  Don’t cram it in prior to your run, which may cause cramping or discomfort.  Run with water so you have it on hand and can refresh when you need it. Waiting for the places along my route where I could stop for a drink killed me on that run.

1.  Eat Right

I really notice on my long run if I haven’t eaten properly throughout the week.  Your body functions on proper nutrition.  Don’t expect it to perform optimally if you fill it with junk food.  Load up on fruits, veggies, protein, and healthy carbs throughout the week so that you have enough energy to propel you through your long run.


At a certain point, it’s all about breaking your own mental barriers and just getting into the zone. I’m going to share a post I read on Facebook from the McMillan Training Company that I think fit perfect for your long runs (or races)!

Races are a battle between your ears – in you mind. Find your best mental state for creating success. It could be happy go lucky or super serious and focused. (Most of us perform best with a mental outlook somewhere between those two extremes.) It doesn’t matter which outlook works for you. Just find yours, stick with it (reigning yourself in when you get outside your best mental state) & races will go well. – Coach Greg

Be kind to yourself.  And have a supporter to call when running brings you to tears!

How do you prepare for your long run?


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