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. What you have mentioned is more important the 1st of time and sun screen lotion. Thanks for sharing the list.