Friday, August 22, 2014

5 Lessons from Running I Haven't Learned

Last weekend, I had a pretty crappy long run. I'd wanted to go for 12 miles. Or 10 would've been OK.

I made it 9. Nine long, slow miles.

During that 2+ hour run, I came to realize that after running for several years now, there are some lessons that I simply do not seem to learn. Some mistakes I continually make.

5 Lessons from Running I haven't learned

Perfect for a blog post!

5 Lessons from Running I Haven't Learned

1. Fuel up the night before.
One of the reasons last weekend's run was so tough was because of poor fueling choices on Friday. I can't even tell you how many times I've not only eaten poorly the night before a long run, but I've skipped dinner all together. Or I've stayed up too late (yes, sleep is fuel, too!). Or I've imbibed a bit too much. Or didn't drink enough water. Every time this happens, I think, I know what I did wrong, and I'll not do it next time. And I might be good for a couple weeks, but then I fall back into bad habits.

2. Choose your run time carefully.
For me, this goes hand-in-hand with the whole going-to-bed-at-a-reasonable-time-the-night-before-a-long-run thing. It's gets stinking HOT here in Vegas, and (especially in the summer) it's essential to head out for a long run early enough to avoid the hottest of the heat. I mean there are early morning's when it's already in the high 90s before 6AM, but at least the sun isn't beating down on you. Is it fall yet? Plus I tend to be more of a first thing in the morning type runner, so it's best for me if the run is the first thing I do. The more stuff I do between getting up in the morning and stepping out the door, the worse the run goes. I may be exaggerating here. Some of this is mental; some of it is physical. Most of it could be avoided with a little more preparation.

I'm a fair-skinned beauty, and I've always been susceptible to sunburn. I know this. But sometimes I still forget the sunscreen! I think it's only an hour or so. I should be fine. And then OUCH!!

4. There's always time for lubricant!
Anyone know the movie reference? I used to use good ole petroleum jelly to help prevent chafing when out on a long run, which is messy and slimy, so I would often rationalize not using it. Recently, we bought some Body Glide, which is much easier to apply, but I still sometimes forget. :( Last weekend, I thought my shorts were long enough and my thighs wouldn't chafe. I was wrong. When in doubt, lube up.

5. Stretch it out.
I know that stretching is good for runners, and stretching after a long run always feels good. BUT I get distracted after a run (long or short), and I usually skip this. Unless I'm on the brink of injury, then I'm all about the stretching. But when my body is feeling good, stretching and yoga fall by the wayside. I know that making this a priority throughout all training would further help prevent injuries, but well, I guess I haven't quite gotten there yet. :)

What lessons haven't you learned from running?

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  1. Oh my! This is a good post! I am just like you when it comes to stretching and foam rolling! We should never be too busy to stretch :)

  2. Oh man, you sound a lot like me. I'll do these same things over and over and you'd think I'd learn! I have a hard time not jumping ahead in miles from low to high. I'll be doing fine with 4-5 miles, good and steady pace then I'll get the bug to do a long run and double my mileage. It's not a good thing because my bod ain't ready for that! I'm impatient. I need to slow down and work up my miles instead of leaping ahead!

  3. Awesome post - I tend to make the same running mistakes, too! Stretching post-run is a struggle for me and I tend to slack on my long run fueling. Sometimes I eat something random and it makes me sick later, or I eat too much, or too little. AH! One day I will learn :)

    Amy @

  4. It took me forever to learn the lesson with fueling before during and after a long run. It sound ridiculous now that I think about it but runners can be stubborn!

  5. I am still working on learning not to sleep in when it is so HOT out.

  6. When i started my fitness plan 1st was running i was sorting out what i need to do and what to implement for running the same points even i realised and pointed out. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Vitamin Berry


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