Health & Fitness
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marathon/distance runners

I have a couple of questions for you:

- Occasionally I do my long runs at night vs first thing in the morning. It ends up just being a scheduling thing for me - I have a busy summer, and running first thing on a Saturday or Sunday doesn't always work out. I find when I run at night, I have a much harder time with recovery & stomach issues. Any tips on what to eat or avoid all day when doing long runs at night? (of course, I ask this today because I'm running 14 tonight... AND I just had 1/2 of a jalapeno cheese bagel for breakfast :/ )

- my other question is what keeps you motivated? I ran my first marathon with TNT last year and had no problem motivating, but this time it's definitely not as easy. Any tips on what keeps you going?



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Re: marathon/distance runners

  • Your first question is a hard one for me to answer because I never do long runs at night; it just hasn't fit into my schedule yet. I do run mid-day a lot, and I find that I usually eat fruit, yogurt, and cereal throughout the morning and then run before lunch. I also try not to eat for 1 - 2 hours before I run.

    I'm training for my first 1/2 marathon, and I think I'm going to sign up with one of my favorite charities to raise money for them as extra motivation. (They don't actually sponsor a program for races, but they have a "team" portion of their website) You can set up your own donation website and people can donate directly for whatever activity or cause you are doing to raise money.

    I also truly enjoy the stress relief and "me" time that running provides. I sometimes feel a bit selfish because it takes away from family time, but I just tell myself that I need some personal time, space and exercise. Your health and body are worth it - I promise!

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  • I too usually run in the morning but I would think keeping your food relatively light will help with your stomach.  Maybe a salad with grilled chicken for lunch and some bread with PB in the afternoon so you have some fat and carbs to keep you fueled.

    As for motivation, I am best motivated by signing up for races, I am very goal oriented so by having a specific date in mind keeps me going.  I know this isn't always possible but even planning one months and months in advance keeps me on track.  Also continuing to run allows me to enjoy wine and other yummy treats and that in itself is motivating!

  • image bchbabe15:

     Also continuing to run allows me to enjoy wine and other yummy treats and that in itself is motivating!


    this is defintiely a huge part of my motivation!

    I like the idea of signing up. I should probably get my app in for the marathon I'm running in Oct. I am sure that the $70+ will help keep me going so I don't wuss out and do the half.

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  • food/stomache issues- I'd lay off spicy foods, limit dairy, limit too many greens as well.  kinda all of the "good for you stuff" can lead to some not so great results when running I've found.  if I'm running at night I try to keep my foods kinda bland & "safe" ones I know that won't cause me too much of an issue.  its really a lot of trial and error, especially the meal closest to your run.... maybe for lunch do a PB& J on wheat with some carrots or crackers, then later an hour or so before you run have some of a clif bar or larabar.... those are just ideas of course.

    motivation- definitely sign up for a race or several races, I find when I'm training for a marathon it helps to sign up for a couple other races and incorporate them into my training... a half marathon or two, maybe a 10K or 5K for some speed work.  It helps to keep you in race mode and also is helpful to see how you are pacing. 

  • that's a good idea as well. I am sure it wouldn't hurt to do a 10k prior to race day.

     I am already regretting the bagel this morning. I will definitely keep away from dairy for the rest of the day. You are right - it's trial and error... I did a 16 in the evening last summer and it was the worst run ever. I was so sick around mile 12 I didn't think I could finish.

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  • I feel you...I tried to do a 5 mile tempo run last night but some GI distress on my part made me decide to go home instead.  The large sugar free cherry italian ice I had earlier in the day probably didn't help much :D  I need to remember these dietary suggestions myself!
  • The best motivation for me is running with a running group/club. Having others to run with that are training for the same races is very motivating.  And it turns long runs into social hours!

  • image LolitaC:

    The best motivation for me is running with a running group/club. Having others to run with that are training for the same races is very motivating.  And it turns long runs into social hours!


    I find this to be very true for myself. Running without a group this time has proved to be much harder, and should I choose to run a third marathon, I will definitely join a group.

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  • I usually run at night for my long runs as I am not a morning person. I don't have stomach issues so experimenting what works is probably your best bet.

    In regards to motivation- very personal. Some people love running with groups, I personally prefer running alone. For my long runs, I think of the next marathon and that's enough motivation to keep me going...

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