How To Successfully Run 16 Miles:

October 8, 2013

This past weekend I ran 16 miles. Of course you probably already know that because I posted it every where. Today I'm going to let you in on a few things that helped me this past weekend during my longest run yet. Here are 11 tips for successfully running 16 miles:

1. Your 16 mile run starts the moment the alarm goes off. If you are thinking negatively from the beginning, your run will reflect it. Think of positive things. Remind yourself that you are ready and that you are strong enough to run that far. Find a mantra and repeat it to yourself during your run. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • "You've freaking got this"- RunEMZ
  • "To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best"
  • "Never give up"
  • "To do anything less than your best is to sacrifice a gift"

2. Fuel right when you wake up. During sleep the body goes into anabolic process, drink a protein shake and eat some fruit- maybe a banana or apple slices right when you wake to stop this process. Some people eat a small breakfast, it is whatever works for you. I set out protein powder and an apple the night before so I could remember to eat a little before I left.. and because my family didn't want me to wake them up as I got up before the sun.

3. Map it out. Rather than run for however long and hopefully get in 16 miles, plan out your run the night before to get an idea of your route. You can also let people know where you are going and how long it will take you. I plan out the time I will be gone depending on my pace to let my family know that if I don't return in a certain amount of time, they need to come pick me up. I will get to this later but take your cell phone!

4. Don't forget your totally awesome fuel belt. For this 16 miler I filled the bottles with gatorade and left a water bottle on my driveway. There is also a pouch on the right side where I keep my cell phone and gu chomps. I think everyone needs to take a cell phone with them while running. Whether something is wrong or you need to let someone know you are behind schedule, a cell phone can be used in a quick emergency.

And who knows when I need to call my family and let them know I am still good and on mile 7 of 16. Just kidding, I don't do that. I focus on my mantra. 

5. This one is a personal opinion: Run with music. I love having Bruno Mars sing to me that I'm his treasure and Lady Gaga reminding me that I live for the applause. And I can't forget Beyonce telling me that I am schoolin' life. When you run for two and a half hours (or more) music helps get your mind off of things.

6. Enjoy it. Think of all the things you are thankful for -your body and legs are taking you crazy far, you have people supporting you from the beginning, you get to watch the sun come up, you are following your dreams, you get to eat whatever you want when you get back, etc.

7. Take it slow and easy. You are running for a very long time. Run slowly and maintain your pace or have negative splits. My splits:

Miles 1-10 //  9:45 pace
Miles 11- 14 // 9.15 pace
Mile 15-16 // 9.11 pace

8. After you are finished running 16 miles have a photoshoot. Why else would you run 16 miles if you weren't going to tell everyone? I think Instagram, Facebook, a blog, and any other social media is the perfect place to shine. Yes, friends, family, your neighbors, and strangers need to know how far you ran too. 

9. Also take plenty of pictures of your Garmin. When you get ready for your next run the Garmin will clear out your previous run. If you have a picture of your Garmin from every angle you will be sure to remember your awesome run.

10. Bring out the pain relievers. Most likely your body and legs will be either confused at what you just did or mad at you or both. Taking pain relievers right when you get home helps you still feel the wonderful feeling of running 16 miles but without the pain. Don't take pain relievers the morning of your run! This is a big one. Pain relievers can thin out your blood. It also makes you not feel pain which can be very bad if you hurt yourself or have an injury and run through it.

11. Lastly, recover like a boss. Ice baths, 64 bread bites from Dominos, lying in bed until you feel like moving again, stretching, and foam rolling are all great ideas for recovery. 

Running your 16 miler soon? I hope this post helps. And remember, in the words of RunEMZ: you've freaking got this.

P.S. Thanks RunEMZ for coming up with the perfect quote.


  1. Nice suggestions! I have to eat more than that before a long run, or I'll tire too quickly. If I do more than 8 miles I eat a bagel with cream cheese and I have coffee at least 2 hours before I leave.

    1. Glad you liked them! Yeah, I eat more race mornings but I would have to be up at 4 on training mornings in order to eat two hours before, haha.

  2. I have my longest run so far of just 6 miles this weekend, but in a couple of months I'll be at 16 and I'll definitely be needing these tips, thanks!

  3. love it! especially step 11. the best part of long run days are the dinners post long run... and you can never go wrong with 64 bread bites. ;)


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