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Marathon Sports Tip of the Week: Make the Long Runs Count

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  March 11, 2014 09:17 AM

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What a great weekend for running! No snow or rain, milder temperatures – you can almost hear Mother Nature cheering you on! The Boston Marathon is less than 6 weeks away, which means that there’s only a few more long runs left in your training program.

It’s time to start treating these last few long runs as dress rehearsals for Marathon Monday!

  • Time your run for when you anticipate you’ll be starting on Marathon Monday – your body will behave differently depending on when you wake up and when you run. If you’re accustomed to running early in the morning or later in the evening, try to adjust your schedule for a couple of your runs to match up with your anticipated starting time. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results – your muscles might be better warmed up if you’re used to running in the early morning. You might find that you’re less fatigued if you’re used to running in the evening.

  • Use the course: We’re lucky to have the course in our own backyard. Try to do as many of your long runs on the course so you get a feel for the hills, the turns, where the sun will be, where there will be shade, places where your friends and family can camp out to cheer you on. Get to know the landmarks. It’s going to make the run seem less daunting if you’ve had a chance to run every mile of it – even if broken up over several runs – and are familiar with the terrain.

  • Figure out your nutrition solution – both during the run, and before. Try out different things to see what agrees with your stomach and what flavors you enjoy during the run. Get into a breakfast routine before your long runs – remember, your body wants real food whenever it can have it. Try to have a modest meal about 3 hours before your run. One example: whole grain toast, peanut butter, and a banana.

    We’ll talk about race day apparel and other last minute stuff in a future Tip closer to race day.

    Dan Soleau is Brand Development Manager at Marathon Sports. He’ll provide weekly training tips for those preparing for the Boston Marathon. Dan has completed 6 marathons and an Ironman. He is a mentor for the One Fund’s Boston Marathon team, coach for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Boston Marathon team, and will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon. Follow him on Twitter at @dansoleau or follow Marathon Sports at @marathon_sports

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    Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
    • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
    • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
    • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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