Losing form on long runs

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I’m so tired at the end of long runs that I end up shuffling. What can I do?

Running shorter distances may be a good idea if you’re struggling. It’s possible you’re trying to tackle a distance that you’re not yet conditioned to deal with. Gradually build the distance back up by adding a little more each week to help you to adapt to the longer run.

Make sure you have an easy day before your long run. I find I have to give my long run high priority and not start off tired if I want it to go well. Otherwise, my legs often feel heavy after a while and this can sometimes knock my confidence a bit.

Also, don’t start off too quickly. Focus at first on lasting the distance, rather than risking misjudging your pace at the start. If things go well you can go a bit quicker as the run progresses. Ensure you are fuelling up well the night before and having an adequate breakfast, and that you are well hydrated. It could well be that your energy levels are flagging during the long runs. If you’re not doing so already, take in some sports drink every 20-30 minutes during the run. Use a drinks belt or hide a bottle somewhere. I find it irritating to carry a bottle so I sometimes hide one in a hedge and run out and back to it. I also carry an energy gel in my pocket to have at the halfway point; I can really feel this giving me an energy boost.

Finally, work on your core stability a couple of times a week. Good core strength will help you to run with more efficient biomechanics, meaning you’ll tire less quickly.