The Final Countdown

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I missed my long run yesterday, but the Husband is working from home today.  So I’m about to put Henry down for Nap #1 (don’t you wish you napped so many times a day that they were numbered?) and go on a Monday morning 12 miler.  I’m currently pumping myself up.  Let’s do this!  Let’s do this!


I’m curious to see how this is going to go because I ate something different this morning.  Well, it was my usual breakfast (eggs) but normally before a long run, I have a peanut butter sandwich.  Gotta stick with what you know, right?  But I just couldn’t do it today.  I get so sick of PB sandwich by the end of training!


Hash browns, fruit, spicy eggs.  I shared my banana with Henry. Smile  And he shared with the dogs.


Two questions for you:


When doing a race, how close to the final distance do you run during training?  I’ll run race distance or beyond for 5Ks and 10Ks but usually max out at 11 or 12 miles for a half.  For my marathons, I maxed out at 20 and 22 miles.


And what do you eat before a long workout?  Anyone else SICK of peanut butter sammies?!



  • Lee January 7, 2013, 8:15 am

    I’ve maxed out at anywhere from 10-12 for a half. I’ve never done the full distance as a training run. Good luck with your run!

  • Amy Q January 7, 2013, 8:24 am

    Oatmeal with REAL maple syrup 🙂

  • Lauren January 7, 2013, 8:25 am

    I ALWAYS go with an english muffin with almond butter and banana before a long run or workout. It never has failed me….yet. Good luck !

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 7, 2013, 8:30 am

    Multiple naps in one day? That sounds divine!!! I’ve got a half marathon on my to-do’s this year and I’m aiming to crack 1:30 (I’m only 3 minutes off!). Before those training runs, I usually eat something fairly light since I run really early in the morning, like some Greek yogurt and a bit of dry cereal. Maybe you could switch it up and try almond butter or hazelnut butter instead? Have a great run!! 🙂

  • Hillary January 7, 2013, 8:31 am

    I’ve only ever trained for half marathons, and the closest I came to race distance was 12 miles. And, like you, I’m a fan of PB sandwiches before long runs (well, PB + banana on a wheat tortilla!) It never fails me!

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt January 7, 2013, 8:32 am

    For my half-marathon I only ran 10 miles up to the race. I ran the 10 about 5 weeks before, but did around 7 a few weeks before. I think if I had ran 10 or 11 closer to the race, I would have had a better time, but it was my first half so I was just happy to finish! For me it’s more about time on my feet…I try to get out there and run at least 30 min (hopefully more) each time I trained. If I didn’t hit by goal mileage for that week, I at least was out there and spent time on my feet.

  • Whitney January 7, 2013, 8:32 am

    Oatmeal is always my pre run meal. It’s tried and true and doesn’t affect the stomach so I stick with it. I used gummy bears as my fuel for my last marathon and I can’t even look at them right now. haha For halves I do the full distance and for marathons I max out at 20 milers. Have a great run! 🙂

    • Caitlin January 7, 2013, 8:43 am

      haha i feel like that about shot bloks.

  • Tally January 7, 2013, 8:54 am

    How long before your workout do you eat? I’ve been eating a date and a banana about half an hour before, and it doesn’t last me too long (I get weak about half an hour into the workout).

  • Emily @ The Swallow Flies January 7, 2013, 8:55 am

    I’m the same for anything below a half marathon (go race distance or beyond). Most of the half marathons I’ve run have been while training for a full, so I’ve generally gone beyond race distance. The one I’m planning now, though, will max out at 11. For the full, I maxed out at 20 miles, but I kind of wish we had gone further: the last 6.2 during the race were absolutely horrific. 🙂

  • Sharon January 7, 2013, 9:07 am

    Can you talk more about fuel while running? Any info. would be helpful. Thanks!

  • Sara @ fitcupcaker January 7, 2013, 9:09 am

    usually peanut butter on english muffin or ezekial toast…I havent gotten sick of PB yet.. Sometimes I would just do a banana but that doesnt usually hold me long!

  • Kattrina January 7, 2013, 9:14 am

    I am tired of peanut butter sandwiches because that is what I usually have for lunch if there is nothing else in the house. For my last marathon before my long runs I drank a Gatorade G-Series 1 Prime and a cup of coffee, and I ate a banana. During the long runs I usually ate GU Chomps, which I was thoroughly disgusted with by the time the marathon rolled around.

    I have never actually ran the distance for a half or full marathon. For half marathons I usually do a bunch of 10 mile runs but nothing over that and for a full marathon I usually do a couple 20 milers and a couple 18 milers but nothing over that. It’s always worked well for me so I’ve never thought about doing the distance beforehand.

  • Nina January 7, 2013, 9:17 am

    I plan on training for 3 half marathons this year, and I would like to run 25 km for one of them, just to see if it makes me stronger for race day. I ran one half so far and I think I only run 16 or 17 km for the longest training run, but I didn’t know anything about training back then!

  • Carina January 7, 2013, 9:23 am

    I think it depends on your goal for the race. If your goal for a half is just to finish, anything up to 9-10 miles before is fine. If your goal is to PR, for a half I’d usually go up to about 15 miles with about 8 at race pace. For a full, I pretty much never go longer than about 23, even if my goal is to PR. To race a 5k, my long run is usually about 8 miles; and to race a 10k, my long run usually gets up to about 11-12. I stick with oatmeal before long runs, but I definitely get sick of it. When I really can’t bear oatmeal, I’ll sometimes do a minibagel. Can’t imagine doing that much protein like eggs before a long run. My body would direct blood to the stomach to digest the protein instead of to my legs. Different strokes for different folks!

  • Logan @ Mountains and Miles January 7, 2013, 9:23 am

    For my very first half marathon a few years ago, I had never run more than 6 miles. So the weekend before the race, I just went out to run along the course to see if I was actually going to be able to hack it and managed to do 10 miles without any struggle. I ran the full half without stopping, which amazed even me. I think it was more that I had really high weekly mileage, though – I ran those 6 miles almost every day. I am training for my first marathon right now and actually trying to train for it properly, but I’m doing the Hansons Marathon Method, so my longest run will only be 16 miles (crazy?!).

  • Karen @ Run Shop Travel January 7, 2013, 9:24 am

    For halfs I try and do 12 miles and for my marathon (which I didn’t actually get to run after training for it…was supposed to do NYC this year) I did a 20 miler!

  • Vks January 7, 2013, 9:26 am

    When halfs were the longest distance I raced, I usually maxed out at 11 or 12 miles. Once I started doing fulls (and I was also training with a group of half and full marathoners mixed together), I would usually try to do a 15 miler as well, For marathons, I try to do one 20 and one 22.

  • Corrie Anne January 7, 2013, 9:27 am

    I always have an english muffin + fried egg sandwich. I usually have that on mornings without long runs too lol

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 7, 2013, 9:35 am

    My 5k & 10k I’ve done the full distance before but leading up to it, I take my distance back down to ensure my legs are fresh. For my (first) 1/2 marathon, I won’t be doing that but will probably max at 11 1/2 or 12 miles.

  • Kaitlyn January 7, 2013, 9:51 am

    I usually only eat full meals before workouts if I know I’m going loooong (typically 6+ miles), or if I wake up really, really hungry. The meal is usually oatmeal and PB. And yes, I definitely get sick of it.

    If I’m going for a shorter workout and want to leave immediately when I wake up, I’ll usually have half a piece of bread or half a banana.

    Good luck on your run!

  • Laura January 7, 2013, 9:55 am

    I max out at 12 miles for a half-it helps me feel confident in my ability if I can run almost the entire race distance! I often have tummy problems while running so I make sure I’ve only had a light meal a hour before I run and that seems to help. If I get hungry, I have clif shot squares on hand to eat. Funny story: yesterday I only intended to complete a 4 mile run with my dog on a new to me trail. A woman on the trail gave me bad advice and I ended up running 6.5 miles instead. I was starving by the time I made it back to the car!!

  • Margaret January 7, 2013, 10:14 am

    Before long runs, I usually slice a banana lengthwise, slather it with peanut butter, and put some raisins on top. I never get sick of it!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 7, 2013, 10:41 am

    Oh my gosh, you totally just made me crave hash browns.

    I know this isn’t smart at least according to the running gurus, but I almost never, ever eat before runs (including long runs), and just have orange juice. I’ve been doing that for years. Has always worked for me, though granted my longest run ever has been about 7 miles.

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 7, 2013, 10:43 am

    Oh wow- I don’t even need multiple naps in a day, just one nap would be glorious! Lucky babies 😛

  • Shauna January 7, 2013, 10:57 am

    For my first half, I did two 12.5 mile runs. LOL. I guess you could say that I was a little paranoid about not being prepared. I also trained for like 5 months. This time around, I top out at 12. For my FIRST MARATHON in October, my plan takes me up to 20 but I’m subbing in a 22. I just don’t feel comfortable leaving an entire hour of running unaccounted for, though I know many people train that way.

    Hope your long run was excellent!!

  • Regina January 7, 2013, 11:05 am

    My husband and I are training for our first half together in March (and we are also new parents to an adorable 4.5 month old baby boy 😀 ). For all our runs we eat oatmeal beforehand. For long runs I add in protein powder, double the oatmeal and we have it with walnuts and craisins. Sometimes we add a banana in, depending how long we have to digest before heading out. Our longest run on our training plan is 13 miles.

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu January 7, 2013, 11:13 am

    For my first half I went up to 12 mi, but then for my second I did 15 and set a huge PR, so maybe there’s a correlation? I’m training for my first full and I went up to 21 miles. PS, I think you’re really going to surprise yourself on race day and run this thing a lot faster than you think 😉

  • Kristen L January 7, 2013, 11:15 am

    Training for my marathon I went up to 22 miles. For a half I would probably do 12, but would be ok with 11 too. This year I might try to get to 14 before my target half. Depends how training goes. 🙂

    Good luck on your 12 today! By the way, I think running by feel will be great for your upcoming race. Can’t wait to see how it goes for you!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 7, 2013, 11:17 am

    Before my first half I ran a couple 12 milers and a 13 miler, and I got burnt out and injured. For my second it was during marathon training and so I just stuck to the plan and only did 10 miles beforehand, I PRd! I think it depends on the runner and whether you tend to get injured or burnt out.

  • Jason January 7, 2013, 11:22 am

    Simply, I’ve tried everything and I cannot eat before a run unless I can do it 3 hrs before hand which I do for races. Even for 20, 22, and 23 milers, I can only drink a little sports drink. Ran my last marathon using 2 GUs.

    I will say as my endurance has increased my need for nutrition during runs has diminished. What can I say when you average running 50-60 miles a week for 3 years without eating before hand your body adapts.

    What I struggle with is post run recovery fuel. I’m just not hungry up until about 1 hr after a run. Does anyone else have this issue?

    I know its not optimal to wait this long, but I my appetite is non-existent up to 2 hrs post run.

    • Kirsten January 8, 2013, 4:52 am

      Chocolate Milk Lowfat (1%) or whatever it is in English (sorry), is good for post running – has the correct amount of carbs and protein for revory until you get the appetite back. Works really good for me…

      • Kirsten January 8, 2013, 4:52 am

        Recovery… 🙂

      • Jason January 8, 2013, 11:10 am

        Thanks for suggestion, any non-dairy suggestions? Been trying to cut dairy back. I used to go to Greek Yogurt.

  • Amanda K. January 7, 2013, 11:56 am

    i usually do 14 miles before a half, but just for the mental boost. i need all the confidence i can get 🙂

    before a long run i eat two pieces of bread with a teeny butter and jelly (so sorta like a pb&j w/o the p!)
    i ALWAYS get sick of it. ALWAYS. the day of my last half i was eating it and i almost threw half of it away because i was sooooo over it.
    funny, though, i never get sick of my post-run lattee and omlette :)!

  • Kelly @ Kelly the Culinarian January 7, 2013, 12:00 pm

    I either eat a Flatout/low carb wrap toasted and topped with peanut butter, chia seeds and bananas or I have oatmeal with fruit. I love carbs!

  • Carolina John January 7, 2013, 12:24 pm

    I’ve got a pretty tough stomach so I’ll eat anything I can get my hands on. For anything shorter than a marathon i’ll combine speedwork and endurance work, getting in a couple of 15 mile runs before a half marathon (for example) to get some good endurance in.

  • Rachel January 7, 2013, 12:35 pm

    I can’t comment to either of you questions, but when I saw the title of today’s post, I immediately heard that song in my head. You know the one? “dododo doooo! dodo do do dooo! The final countdowwwwn!” Anybody? Bueller?…

  • Margaret January 7, 2013, 12:37 pm

    The longest training I’ve done for my halfs is 9 miles, and I definitely always feel it in the last couple miles in races! My next one isn’t until mid-May, and if all goes well I want to go to work up to a 14 mile run beforehand.

  • allison January 7, 2013, 2:02 pm

    i’ve only “raced” in 2 10k’s and I always ran at least that far. i’m training for my first full and have 22 as my longest run. we’ll see how it goes! i’ve been off for a week due to hip pain, so we’ll see if i can even get that accomplished! hope so! good luck on your run!

    i always have a piece of dry toast before i run anything over an hour. sometimes i put a smear of pb on it, sometimes not. i could eat pb all day long 😀

  • allison January 7, 2013, 2:03 pm

    also, good luck on you 12 miler! that’s great you’re there so soon PP! 😀 can’t wait to read how it goes!

  • Dani @ Live Lightly Everyday January 7, 2013, 2:36 pm

    How did the 12 miles go? Good for you!

  • Sarah J January 7, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I have done a half marathon once a year for the last 6 years. I am not a fan of super long distances- just don’t have time in the schedule for much more than one hour of exercise per day- so the longest I have ever run beforehand is 8 miles. I’ve never had a problem completing the race.

  • Sarah@KidsHeartRealFood January 7, 2013, 3:12 pm

    I love that I can now share my meals with Tyson – makes it so much easier to take the time to enjoy eating, instead of trying to shovel food in my mouth while listening to a whiny baby 🙂

  • Ali January 7, 2013, 3:13 pm

    For anything shorter than marathon distance, I always overshoot the miles at least twice in a training cycle. For marathons I max out at 20-21 miles and then taper. I’m a huge fan of Recoverite after a long run. I suggest you try it.

  • Lisa January 7, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Plain greek yogurt!!! It’s my go-to snack.

  • Katie January 7, 2013, 5:24 pm

    I literally eat a PB sandwich and I NEVER get sick of them! They are my #1 favorite food.

  • Sarah January 7, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Hope you had a stellar run.!!! Your breakfast looks like perfection, WANT!

  • Deanna January 7, 2013, 6:07 pm

    I’m definitely not a runner or anything like that…but I imagine you can bake things for breakfast. You don’t have to be board!!

    Try these: addictive, pretty healthy (I ate the whole pan because I have major issues) and easy to make:

    There are a zillion other things like rice krispy squares made with brown rice krispies….these are all highly adaptable to breakfast or anytime.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 7, 2013, 6:56 pm

    I did a 12 miler as my longest run before my half, but it was horrible. I didn’t eat my usual bfast because I just couldn’t stomach it and then it was significantly hotter than all of my other runs and I wasn’t dressed for it. The only reason I made it through was my awesome running buddies. I hope your run went wayyyy better than mine!

  • Luv What You Do January 7, 2013, 8:44 pm

    I can’t eat PB before I run…I think I’m the only one : )
    So…I love oatmeal and dough boy smoothies OR an egg wrap with spinach on a sprouted warp. Both fuel me through my run and are easy on my tummy!

  • Sara@RunningInPinkProject January 7, 2013, 9:06 pm

    Coffee (I know, I know) and peanut butter toast before a run. 🙂 (I cant get out there without coffee and it doesnt make me sick so I go for it!)

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet January 8, 2013, 1:37 am

    I used to think peanut butter and banana on bread (or toast), but now for early morning workouts, I always eat some type of quick bread (like banana bread) with milk. I find that protein has the staying power, and is easier on my stomach than nut butter.

  • Beks January 8, 2013, 9:32 am

    I don’t usually eat before long workouts (which is stupid, I know), but I’ve discovered how much I adore bananas and/or hard boiled or steamed eggs after a workout. It’s like I can feel my muscles soaking up the vitamins right away (especially in the banana). I actually read somewhere that bananas are better for you after a long cardio workout than gatorade. I was happy to hear that because I can’t stand gatorade, but I love bananas. 🙂

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed February 11, 2013, 10:55 am

    Never thought to add curry to my eggs… will be doing this ASAP! Quite honestly, I never though about seasoning my eggs beyond salt and pepper until a recent food challenge! Makes quite a difference.

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