I have a confession to make. I haven’t been running lately like I should be. It’s not that I have fallen out of love with running…because I still love it when I get out there. But I fear all of the work we’ve been doing lately to set up our hybrid marketing company here in Naples, get a few side ventures off the ground and the usual flow of life has just made it less than attractive to get up at 6:30am and hit the road. The onset of summer has also made it a bit more brutal outside each morning, especially when the humidity is so high that you feel you need gills! But I know that others are keeping up the good fight. And Lord knows that if I keep eating and drinking like I want to, without limitations, I’m definitely going to have to hit the pavement again in the very near future. So I’m hoping that writing a bit more about running might get me motivated again. What do you think?

Must Haves for Long Runs

If you’re new to running or don’t have a half-marathon or marathon goal in mind (or something much longer), you may never have run more than a few miles at a time. We have several friends that run but seem to find that it’s hard to get over the distance hurdles of more than 5 miles at once. So while I won’t go too deeply into building up your distances in this post, I do want to mention a few things that I find are essential when we head out on a 10k (6mi) or longer run. Anyone crazy enough to do a long run with no nutrition or even water with them is asking for trouble!

  1. Protein shake – I don’t like to drink these right before I go out because you might feel them trying to come back up later. But I do drink them reguarlly as part of my morning routine before we take Mackenzie to school. We’ve found that the most delicious protein powder so far is Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein. Now I know the words “delicious” and “protein powder” rarely fit together, but this stuff is so good that even 5 year olds wants to drink it! So far we’ve tried the Creamy Vanilla and Chocolate Supreme and both were awesome. Optimum-Nutrition-Gold-Standard-Natural-100-Casein-French-Vanilla
  2. Vitamins, especially magnesium — One day I will have to write about just how important magnesium is for your body, but trust me — if you feel sluggish, have headaches, muscle pains and cramps or trouble sleeping, it’s entirely possible that you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet. Find yourself some high quality vitamins and take them religiously. Powdered forms are supposed to be best for absorption, but I have yet to find anything that blows me away.
  3. Hammer Heed Lemon Lime Sport Drink — When you run a lot and far, you may start to hate regular sports drinks like Gatorade because the taste is way too overpowering. And that’s one f the great things about HEED, because it has very little flavor. And it’s packed with all kinds of good stuff too, is a complex carb and totally natural.
  4. Homemade running gel — Again, things that are too sweet or gooey are not going to stick with us long when running…especially those gels in the little pouches you get commercially. We have been making our own gel for over a year now and I have never gotten around to writing about it, but I can tell you that it only requires cooking together carb powder, a bottle of fruit juice and a bit of gelatin to thicken it up.
  5. Dextro Energy Tabs or Dex4 Glucose Tablets — Our bodies can only take so much gel at one time, especially when running 10 0r 15 miles in one go. So when we found these little sugar tabs, we discovered they are perfect to keep you going without making thing monotonous. So every 20 minutes we alternate between a mouthful of gel and an energy tablet which quickly dissolves in the mouth. It gives you a little energy boost and keeps your carb intake up without weighing you down. In Germany, you can find Dextro tabs everywhere which is where we got hooked on them.
  6. Bodyglide or Hirschtalg creme — BodyGlide orhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00288L2N6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00288L2N6&linkCode=as2&tag=noordinaryhomestead-20&linkId=YRQE4HNCRBQUJE4X some form of anti-chafing creme is a must have when you run or bike for a while. The last thing you want is blisters or bleeding body parts. Put it anywhere that clothing or your gear rubs against you. If you’re in Germany or have friends there, definitely get yourself some Xenofit Hirschtalg creme; it’s the absolute best stuff out there to keep your clothes from rubbing and things from chafing.
  7. Garmin Forerunner 310XT running watch or a running app on your phone — Whenever I go running, I like to know how far I’ve been, how fast I’m running and how long I been out there. If I don’t have my own device to track this, I just get grumpy and unmotivated which is the last thing you want when you’re out running for an hour or two (or more!)
  8. Nathan hydration backpack — There’s a lot of stuff in my backpack but the major thing is WATER. Two liters of it! When it’s hot out, I usually throw some ice cubes in there too just to make it nice and cool for a while. I also keep Chapstick, a few band-aids, a blister band-aid, ibuprofen and a few tissues in there — cause you never know what will happen out there on the road. nathan-backpack-hl-20
  9. Chocolate milk — My favorite treat for after run refueling. There are tons of expensive drinks out there to purchase — but plain old chocolate milk is awesome for replenishing your body after a strenuous workout. Plus there is something amazingly refreshing about a big cold glass of chocolate milk after you’ve showered..and it curbs those hunger pangs until you can get real food in your mouth too.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links at Amazon. If you purchase products via these links, I earn a small commission. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and have in no way been influenced by any companies.