How to prepare for a long run

How to prepare for a long run - main image

Prepping for that long run race day using marathon training techniques and a solid training plan

What does a long run sound like to you? Is it a 5k, a 10k or maybe a half marathon? Some of the more experienced runners may find those to be warm-up sessions, but whether you regard them as long or not, there are certain ways to help you prepare for a long run – no matter the distance.

You might find the same route to be comfortable, but maybe it’s tiresome, and you want something new. Perhaps you’ve completed a marathon distance run before, but for some reason, you can’t complete it again. No matter your position, no matter your experience, preparing for the long run in the right way is essential.

Too many people ignore things like mid-run nutrition plans or actual race pace consistency

And some don’t even know where to start at all.

Let’s do it.

Thinking right

First thing you need to do is think right. It’s no good marking on a physical endeavour if your head’s not in the right place. A long run can take a lot of work, especially if you have to complete a series of long runs across the month. My advice would be to not jump ahead and instead, focus on today’s battle. If you think about all the things you should be doing, you can easily overload yourself.

You also want to recognise your achievements so far. Progression empathy is important, if you don’t feel like you’ve progressed, then you won’t be motivated to carry on.


Helpful tips like resting right are important too. If your body isn’t in the right frame of place, then you won’t perform well, simple. Make sure you’re sleeping enough, staying away from blue light, staying away from sugar and definitely staying away from caffeine towards bedtime. Muscle soreness needs to recover, too. So if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll be feeling the pain and less likely to succeed.


Think about entertainment too. Long workouts require long-form motivation, but sometimes distraction is useful too. If you’re constantly thinking about long distances and fatigue, then you’ll hardly remember how to have a good time. Using things like music or audiobooks to drown out your own noise can be great too.


You can invest in some top gear too. From hydration vests to belts, you can get some brilliantly designed hydrating tools. If you don’t have enough water, then your body won’t have enough energy. Simple.


These are just a few of the things you need to do in order to prepare for the long run. Long runs require a certain sense of preparedness, and if you miss the mark, you’ll be feeling the pain. Plan ahead, predict things like cold weather on a Sunday morning, or make sure you have the right sports drink at the right time before running. It can all be very sensitive.


Is static stretching better than dynamic stretching?

Modern data suggests that dynamic stretching is far better, encouraging a range of motion and muscle adaptability.

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