Your long runs
can be the most challenging part of your marathon training, especially as the mileage creeps towards 20. Follow these tips to make your long runs easier and more comfortable, and get you prepared for marathon day.
John P Kelly
Some runners get tense in their shoulders and arms when they start to get fatigued, leading to neck and back pain. You can prevent tensing-up and slouching by shaking out your arms and shoulders regularly. Also, make sure you don't ball your hands up in a tight fist -- that tightness will radiate up your arms, to your shoulders and neck.
More: How to Avoid Tension While Running
Rethink the Mileage
Photo by Janie Airey / Getty Images
Mentally break your course into smaller sections. Your 15-mile run will feel much more doable if you break it into three five-mile segments. Once you get to the 12 mile mark of an 18-mile run, think to yourself, "OK, just under 10K from here."
More: Mental Tips for Your Long Runs
Nothing New on Race Day
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
Take a Walking Break
Don't feel guilty if you stop or walk to get the fluids down during your long run. Many people walk through water stops in marathons. And taking a short walking break gives your running muscles a quick rest, so you'll feel more energized and refreshed when you start running again.
More: How to Do the Run/Walk Method
Can I Walk During My Runs?
Find a Running Group
Running with other people make your long runs easier and more pleasurable. Chatting with a running partner definitely makes the time go faster, so your run won't be as mentally challenging. Look for running clubs or join a charity team
in your area.
More: How to Find a Running Group
Run on a Softer Surface
If possible, try to run on a softer surface, like a hiking trail, for at least part of your long run. A dirt path is gentler on your body than asphalt or concrete, and running on it will help you recover faster after your long run.
More: Where Should I Run?