Oversharing FAQs for long-distance running

From, “how do you find new routes?” to “how do you avoid running chafe?

Over the last couple of years I’ve had a quite a few questions about how I personally train for long distance races including my most recent challenge, my first ultra-marathon.

Long runs make me this happy!

SO the organisation freak in me decided to pull together a super cool (not so serious) FAQs blog on training for long distance races.

Yes, I know, I live on the edge.

So strap in and prepare yourself for a lighthearted and hopefully informative blog.

(FYI if you don’t like oversharing and honest talk you should probs tune out now).

Also…when I say long distance it can really apply to any race, long distance is all relative to where you are at with your training!

Frequently asked questions

Why do you run? Followed by, are you crazy?

I am not crazy, I am one of the lucky ones who can explore, adventure and run.

I’ve experienced loss and separately the effects a long-term disability can have on someone, life is too bloody short.

On death’s door you’re not really going to think, shit, I really should have watched that extra episode of The Walking Dead.

What do you eat when your on long runs?

I used to take running gels, but you know, the poops happen. So now I eat nakd bars, flapjack and jelly babies.

Are you training to lose weight? Insert any other weight related comments

This one I got asked a lot before my wedding. So, for any avoidance of doubt, NO I do not run to lose weight.

Running is a celebration of my body, not a punishment.

Just because I am female and carry a bit of booty doesn’t mean my life revolves around trying to look like a catwalk model.

If anything, I am trying to gain weight at the moment because ultra training means ultra eating. Soz… rant over.

How do you discover new routes?

Trial and error. Sometimes I hit the jackpot and discover awesome new adventure destinations, like the Speyside Way.

Other times I am left running around in circles on a marshy hill swearing at the sheep.

Running groups on Facebook are brilliant for ideas and I am partial to some Strava stalking as well.

Plus, if it’s somewhere new I often stick to an out and back route, as I am less likely to get lost.

Cromdale train station on the Speyside Way

How do you fit it all in?

I don’t. Simple as. When I need to fit in lots of training other parts of my life get sacrificed.

The first one to go is sleep, 5.30am starts on a Saturday are routine.

Then my social life, followed by time with my husband. It’s not sustainable, hence why I train in cycles.

After my ultra-marathon things will be calming down for a while.

Is it safe for a young female to run alone in the hills?

I could go on about this one for days. If I stopped myself from doing anything with a little risk to it, I’d never leave the flat.

I take reasonable safety measures any MALE OR FEMALE runner should take, such as; having plenty of food, a charged phone, money in case I need to get a taxi/bus, head-torch if it’s likely to get dark and I let someone know when I leaving and roughly when I will be back.

Just because I am small and female doesn’t mean I am destined to a timid life indoors, bring on all the mud and adventures please!

Where do you find the motivation?

If I’m struggling for motivation I go back to my why and get my arse out the door.

I want to be able to enjoy my big race experiences and not spend the whole time cursing for not having trained properly.

Yes, sometimes it’s pissing it down with rain and I can’t be arsed heading out for a run, however I am strong believer in putting in the hard work during your training so you can enjoy the race as much as possible!

Don’t you get bored of running?

Sitting still is boring. Running is not. Especially if you keep things varied and run with friends.

My first ever Hellfit experience with the team in 2016!

Do you think you’ll finish your race?

Well Negative Nancy, I wouldn’t waste a shit tonne of money on entry fees if I didn’t think I could finish it.

I remember telling someone I was going to run my first marathon, their response was “well, it’s okay if you don’t finish it”.

This isn’t meant in an arrogant way at all, it’s more about positive thinking. Enter with a negative mind set, and you’ll get a negative outcome.

If I sign up to a race, I commit to the training. If something comes up which means that I haven’t been able to train properly, nowadays I would simply pull out of the race.

Worst running experience? 

Running the Scottish Half-Marathon in 2015 after little training and a week of cheese and wine in France.

I no longer drink, but still eat all the cheese. I promised myself during that race, if I finished i’d never run again…ha!

Don’t let the smile fool you, I could hardly walk after!

Best running experience?

TOO MANY TO CHOOSE. Short-list, Speyside Way Marathon with my fav, finishing Dirty Weekend after injuries and surgery and the Edinburgh Marathon in 2016.

Well, that’s enough self indulgence for one day! Happy running folks. Ps. Vaseline EVERYWHERE is the best way to avoid chafe.

Currently: Excited for dinner
Training today: Rest after PBs at the Kilomathon yesterday.

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