• Helen Phillips

Planning for a Long Run


Getting the most from your long run all comes down to preparation.

Think about what pace you want to run at, how far and how long you want to run for.

Consider the terrain of the race coming up. Is it hilly, a road or trail race. You need to practice on hills, trails and footpaths, as they can be much more draining than running on a straight flat road.

Check the weather. If it’s going to be hot and humid or you’re in for a massive storm on Saturday, can you reschedule your run for Sunday? In summer wear sun shades, sunscreen and carry plenty of water. In winter don’t forget a hat, gloves and wind jacket.

You also need to be thinking about your diet.

The long run aims to train your body to burn fat, which you have a plentiful supply of, but you also need carbohydrate to burn fat. Your body has enough carbohydrate stored to fuel about 90 minutes of running, so if you’re running for longer you need to make sure that those stores are full before you head out. Don’t make long runs harder for yourself by trying to run them in a semi fasted state!

Eat a carbohydrate rich meal the evening before your run. Eat low GI starchy carbs, such as pasta, rice, potato; and make sure you top up your carbohydrate stores the next morning. I always eat porridge with seeds and blueberries for breakfast, but bagels and bananas are popular choices.

If you’re heading out in the evening have a small carbohydrate snack 1 – 2 before you head out to make sure you’re well prepared!

If you’re interested in learning more about preparing for, running and recovering from LONG RUNS, check out my long run tips in courses section.