There are a few key things to keep in mind as we enter a more challenging phase of training :
-Hydration. The best way to gauge whether or not you're well hydrated is to take a look at your urine. Is it clear and 'copious'? If so, you're well hydrated. However, if it's a darker, yellow color, you likely need to consume more fluids. Make sure to hydrate well in the days leading up to your long run. During the run, aim for roughly 6-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes. Many of the courses we run have water fountains every mile or so, but not ALL of the courses do. So, if you're prone to heavy sweating/fluid loss, now may be the time to consider bringing a water bottle with you during your long runs. Bear in mind, you don't just lose water! You lose sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other critical electrolytes. So, consider bringing Gatorade, Accelerade, or some other sports drink with you as well.
-Fuel Properly.Recently you received some general nutrition/hydration guidelines which will become important for future long runs. You will likely be out on the road next Saturday at least 45-60 min. Make sure you're properly fueled in the days leading up to Saturday's run AND make sure to grab a gel, gu, powergel, or some other form of simple carbohydrates (gummy bears, jolly ranchers, etc.) you can consume while out on the run. Remember you want to ingest something every 45-60 minutes. Ideally, you want to use WATER to wash down your gel, gu, or powergel.
-Recover FAST! Upon finishing your long run, walk around for a few minutes to help increase circulation and flush lactic acid and other toxins out of your legs. STRETCH LIBERALLY! Start rehydrating as soon as possible. Additionally, try to ingest something with a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Chocoloate milk (believe it or not) is a GREAT option as it has the magical 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Chocolate soymilk will work as well.
-Ice Bath. OK...it's not TOTALLY necessary for the kind of distance you're running, but filling your bathtub full of cold water (or wading into the bay) and soaking your lower torso/legs for 10-15 min. is yet another GREAT way to help heal microtears in muscle fiber, reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, and expedite recovery! It sounds awful, but I SWEAR BY IT!