Long Run Ritual

For anything you do, having a ritual about it makes it easier.  There are bedtime rituals, morning rituals, how you make your coffee ritual.  It's comforting somehow.  The same goes for the Long Run.  It may take a few tries before you nail your own ritual that works for you.  This is mine:

It starts the day before.  I try not to be too active.  Must rest the legs!  I also eat a few more carbs than I normally would.  Nothing excessive but consciously more.  No, I don't indulge in a huge plate of pasta.  That just sits like lead in my belly!  I will choose to eat more whole grains like oats and rice, perhaps and extra serving or two throughout the day.  I will also eat more fruits and veggies since they are very hydrating and nutritious.  I will make sure I drink my 2-3L of lemon water.  I know from experience that if I start my run even a bit dehydrated that I will get a bit queasy.  That's not fun and will ruin any run!  No alcohol the night before.  no matter what.  In fact, alcohol is pretty low on my list of needs.  I limit it to just a few times a month.  More on that on another blog, perhaps!

Bedtime is a little bit early.  I like to relax and read about running before hitting the hay.  Reading about running helps put me in the right frame of mind for the morning.  I good 7-9 hours of sleep is great.  If it is uninterrupted, all the better!

Morning is all about getting the right food in me and having enough time for all the necessary bathroom breaks.  They are numerous!  I find I  need a minimum of 90min before heading out the door.  Get up, eat and walk around as that helps to move things along!  Just like we walk our dogs for the same reason.  We are not much different.

My breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • cinnamon
  • coffee
  • Vega One mixed with water

During my Long Run I will use either nuun or Vega Hydrator and add a scoop of BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids) to prevent muscle breakdown.  It works!  I will also use Clif Bloks and/or Carboom gels for runs lasting longer than 75min.  It's somewhat a matter of taste but I also like to look for good quality ingredients.  Less artificial crap!

Post run, and I mean right after, I will drink my Vega Recovery with one scoop of L-glutamine mixed in.  This helps with muscle recover and also boosts my immune system.  I got onto this in my bike racing days and I swear I felt better for training the next day and rarely got sick.  So, it's part of my ritual!  I drink this within the first 10min.  Then, if it was a very, very long run…like 20miles, I will make a protein shake with whey protein, fish oil, more BCAA's, banana, blueberries and milk.  I will have that within 30min of finishing.  I'm now nicely rehydrated and nourished!  NOW it's time for that shower!  Post shower it's time for my coffee!  I start dreaming about my coffee during my last 3miles.  I love my post run coffee!  Such a feeling of satisfaction from the run….ahhhh!  Back to reading more running mags!

What do you do??

© Jennifer Wasylenko 2013