I haven’t run over 12 miles in at least a few years, but I’ve always wanted to do one. I decided to train in somewhat of a minimalist manner. I try to stay somewhat fit, but not quite the fitness required for a marathon. So my plan was pretty much to run a long run every other week and complete 2 or 3 maintenance runs each week. My long runs started as 8 miles and climed to 10, 12, 14, 18, 20, 24 over a few months. My maintenance runs were generally in the range of 3 to 5 miles.
The runs were over all pretty good, but I had considerable soreness after the last three long runs. My muscles were generally fine, but it was my bones and tendons in my feet that really took a beating.
I have found that it is easier on my body to run in lower profile shoes than my normal trainers. My trainers are typically in the style of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8. I have taken to running my long runs in light weight trainers or road racing shoes. This is leading me to put more stock in the idea of minimalist running. Here is a great post on minimaist shoes.
Along with plenty of water, I have been using Clif Shots and Clif Bloks on my long runs. I have found the Clif Shots with caffeine to be particularly awesome. Over the course of my 3 hour, 24 miler, I consumed one pack of Clif Bloks and 2 Clif Shots. I really think I could have used one more Shot, but I made it through. I have been using them in training and racing events for years and have nothing bad to say about them.
So, wish me luck this weekend; I’m going to need it. My buddy already convinced me to run in a 50K ultra this February, more on that later.