How are you supposed feel while running long runs?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since it’s getting close to the Little Rock Marathon and I’ve been doing a long run every weekend, how is your body supposed to feel while running long runs? When does the tiredness kick in or should it at all? Does it hurt to pick up your knees like in a high knee? Do you feel like you can’t run another step 4 or 5 miles out and you are just miserable? Should you take a stretch break at some point? These are questions that go through my mind all the time. Since I’ve never run a marathon I don’t know the answers and I’m afraid, very afraid that either I haven’t trained long enough or I haven’t done enough endurance training and here’s why.

After I run around 10 – 12 miles I’m pooped, tired, legs are heavy as lead pipes, I start slowing down, my glutes start hurting, my quads start hurting, my feet are screaming, just in general, tired. I’m doing my nutrition like I think I should, but maybe I’m doing something wrong, or maybe I’m not and everyone feels this way.

Before I head out on my long run I eat a granola bar and drink some water or a few chugs of a Diet Coke too, and then around 4 miles I take a Carb-Boom, around mile 8-10 more Carb-Boom or Luna Moons and water with all nutrition, actually I use Nuun tablets in my water, so it’s never just water. Then depending on how far we are running I might do some more Luna Moons and water, but sometimes I can’t force myself to do the last fuel because I’m nauseated.

I really want to know how other people feel after the halfway point in their long runs, for the last two weeks I have really struggled, I know part of it has been my lack of runs during the week, but that can’t be all of it. Maybe I’m taking on a marathon too soon in my running life. I’ve only been running consistently about 18 months

I’m really unsure about doing a 20 miler, the Cruisers are doing one this coming Saturday, but the following weekend the Little Rock Marathon Training group is doing one, so maybe I should do the 14 this weekend and then the 20 on February 9th, right now, I’m thinking, how the heck can your legs do 20 miles?


5 Responses

  1. I can’t really offer any advice but to say I’m there too. I’ve promising to do a 20 mile run every weekend for a while now and I never get to it. 12, 13, I think I did 15 one weekend but that last 5-7 miles just won’t come.

    I did the half marathon last year and it came easy. I figured the whole would be no big deal. With it being so close, I’m not as sure as I was when I signed up!

    This weekend, I’m planning to climb pinnacle so I doubt I’ll be doing 20 miles after that, so it looks like another weekend of putting it off!

  2. I understand how you feel. I don’t know all the answers I just know that every single long run I ran while preparing for Chicago was torture!! I was very worried about how I would fare in the Marathon and as we all know now I still don’t know because they made us walk the last 8 miles. I know some runs I would start “hurting” or feeling tired within 5 or 6 miles and sometimes I could make it 10 before the fatigue and pain started. Even now the long runs are not easy for me. You know, you have been with me for almost all of them.They are way better than last summer!! I think part of that is due to the longer runs I am getting in during the week. I know you are doubting yourself and I think that is natural. I have read that it is what you eat 2 days before that provides your fuel for the long run. Maybe you should look at that?????

  3. Cheryl,

    Wow – when I read your post It brought back memories when I did my first marathon 5 years ago (the first LR Marathon). I would email Vicki 5 times a day asking her if it was normal what I was feeling. I remember saying should I be dead tired for 3 days after a long run? Why was this long run hard and another not so hard? etc. etc. She always told me that everything I was feeling was normal. I can’t answer your question about if you should do a 20 this weekend because if you have an injury or just feel really tired it may not be what you need to do. I think after you do a 20 you will be ready and the day of the marathon all the excitement and your training etc. will get you throught it. My first marathon was pure torture for me for about 15 miles but when I crossed the finish line all the pain went away and I was sooooo happy. I was not smart and went out wayyyyy too fast and didn’t even walk for the first 8 miles. It was also in May and very hot (which I do not do well in). You will have many doubts between now and then and just know that is normal. Email anytime you want to discuss anything.


  4. My longest run to date is 13.1 miles, so I don’t have any advice for you. Good luck though!

  5. it depends on where u r in ur training. if u make gradual progression up to half marathon distance. start at a few miles 3-5. work to 6.5 daily and consistently. for a while just be consistent and try to improve speed, confidence and confortability. Slowly start working a second run in every other day until you can do daily. eventually ull be at a pain free half ech morning and all the other runs will be extra. weekends. half in morning then another half at nite. but move up progressive with distance, speed, frequency. also incorporate resistance, calistetics (im sure i spelled wrong and im a so-called certified trainer), intervals, sprints, stairs, or “weighted” activities. these will increase muscle size and stamina while decreasing weight and inproving cardio. all these things combined will greatly reduce the pain. MAKE SURE TO EXCERCISE CALVES, HAMSTRINGS AND BACK with moderate weight training OR they will tighten up when u need them. PERIOD. There is no recovery for this DURING a race.
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