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occ's avatar

Tips for preparing for my first 7-mile run?

Asked by occ (4051points) May 11th, 2008

I have been doing the same 3-mile run, once or twice a week, for a couple years. I just decided I’d like to run Bay to Breakers (a big fun run in San Francisco that is 7 miles long). The run is next week. Today I ran about 5 and a half miles just to see if I could do it, and it went well, although I ran very very slowly. I would run Bay to Breakers just to finish – not for speed. Any tips for how to prepare in the next week? Should I run a shorter course (say, 3 miles) a couple times, or not run at all and do yoga? what about the kinds of foods I should eat?

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8 Answers

Stormcrow's avatar

preparing for that in just a week… if you can do the 5 1/2 with no problems you can do the 7. go on your normal run to keep the lungs open and legs loose. do plenty of streching without over-stretching. as for food try some pasta the night before the run.

nikipedia's avatar

Sorry, I have no good advice for you but more questions instead—do you have a good 3-mile loop that’s not too hilly? My neighborhood is hopeless so I’ve tried to find a good one in the park without much success.

And why would you waste a perfectly good SF holiday running instead of drinking….? :) Seriously though, have a great run, and good luck!

Trance24's avatar

Wow thats awesome that your doing this, I have wanted to run a long race like that for a while. I am a cross country runner and I really enjoy it. To prepare for this run make sure you are drinking lots and lots of water its highly important. Also stretching is a key part of this, keep your muscles loose. Yes you should be running daily, make sure your getting in a some long runs, that may not be long in length but in time. The day before you can simply go on a nice 20 min jog. Its something not strenuous but keeps your muscles loose. You also want a lot of carbs like pasta, carbs are very good for runners, and also proteins. Before your race do not eat a lot, you wont want to run on a full stomach. But once again makes sure you have plenty of water in you. This should be a great experience for you, your very lucky. Just have fun with it, Good Luck!

atr408's avatar

only tip is dont die. Good luck

hsrsmith's avatar

Seven miles isn’t bad. Once you break that three mile marker, which it sounds like you already have, than anything longer than that is more mental than anything else. Early this week before the race, try the seven miles, but don’t get discouraged if you cannot finish it without a little walking – it’s actually a technique that many professional long distance runners use, it’s called interval training. Start to taper your training during the rest of the week so your body is rested for the race. Also, before you fall asleep at night, visualize yourself running the seven miles easily and relaxed. Visualization is an integral part of any kind of sports training that many professionals One classic study of visualization was done involving basketball free throw shooting with 3 groups of people. All three groups were asked to shoot free throws and their results were recorded. After that Group 1 only physically practiced shooting free throws. Group 2 did not practice any free throw shooting, and Group 3 only did visualization exercises involving visualizing themselves shooting baskets. The surprising result was that Group 1 and Group 3 improved equally between tests. This proves how powerful visualization is. Also eat lots of carbs and drink lots of water, and most important of all, during race day, have fun! There are so many people to support you there, and make some new friends that you can maybe train with! And don’t beat yourself up if for some reason you don’t finish or you have to walk during part of the race. Please message me to let me know how you do!

richard25's avatar

I think what is key is to be sure your are well stretched out to minimize injuries. You may want to check this site out, good tips on that stuff. link:http://www.fitnessequipmentguru.com

xilantro's avatar

About 15 years ago I did something very similar – trained specifically for the Bay to Breakers in a month after not running for years. I managed to finish in under an hour, and, according to the results, passed some 30,000 people in the process!!
That last statement should raise an eyebrow or two. The point is that the Bay to Breakers is less of a race and more of a melee the further back you get from the seeded runners. Although it is seven miles long, you end up running about 10 miles, most of it in a zig-zag pattern, to work your way around the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, naked extraterrestrials, rolling bondage platforms, prams carrying large hairy men, and what-not. What’s worse, I was exhausted crossing the finish line, but with 50,000 people behind me, I could not stop for another 100 yards or so!
All the above advice is good. What I would hasten to add is this: If you want to actually run it without running a challenging obstacle course, you need to be there really, really early. Only then will you be able to run about seven miles.

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