Need running help


I want to be able to run 15 miles. I can go 10 miles with no problem. I tried to go further this week, and I made it somewhere close to 13 miles (guesstimate) and my legs gave out. I had to walk the rest of the way home. When I got to my front steps, I tried to walk up and my calf cramped up and my legs buckled. I could barely make it in the house.

I had a scoop of protein powder blended with water and a banana before my run. I took a bottle of Powerade Zero and a bottle of ZipFizz with me. But it was like I totally ran out of gas. I'm wondering if I need to eat something mid-way, but I really don't know anything about eating/drinking for running.

It takes me 2 hours to run 10 miles (so I'm doing 5 mph). I'm short--and my stride is short--but my pace is faster than others I seen running on the same trail. I gave out at 2 hours 35 minutes.

Do I just need to build up a little more gradually, or is it a lack of fuel?

Any help or suggestions?



I'm a fairly new runner - so one of the more seasoned ones can chime in after me.

I always thought the rule of thumb was to add 10% a week when adding mileage. 3 miles is triple that, and adding 5 miles is adding 50%!!! That's quite alot. I would suggest scaling back, and then working your way up. You may need the extra fuel as you go, but your body may just need time to adapt and learn how to adjust its energy output and reserves.

Good luck!


Spyrosmom is right on. Try adding just one mile at a time. I'm assuming that 10 miles is your long run and you are doing it once a week. If that's the case, try adding another mile every couple of weeks. So do 11 miles for a couple of weeks, then 12, then 13, and so on. Also, I find that a little snack half-way through helps if I'm running further than 8 miles or so. I like to eat half of a Kashi cereal bar (its like a fig newton) and drink some water. Its not enough to sit heavy on my stomach but gives me the little boost I need.



You have gotten great advice so far - I'll add that one of my friends runs marathons and she carbo loads days before hand. Even a well timed carb the night before can keep you from bonking. She also started to carry goo with her, it is a super-concentrated carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement substance.

Also you might want to try hydrating the day/night before in addition to the fluids you carry.



8 miles is currently my long run, but I've heard a lot about using gels for fuel when going longer. Runner's World has great training info and I'm sure you could find an answer there!
Way to go on 13!!!! That's a half marathon! :D


well i've been running for many years and ran many races, and i will just say one thing: all the goos, gels, carbs and sports drinks in the world will not take the place of adequate training. and you cannot expect your body to go from 10 to 15 miles in a week. at long distances (my personal specialty) you have to increase gradually. it takes stamina that your muscles, tendons, tissues and joints have to get used to and have to build up to. as spyro says, your body needs to adapt gradually. and you're risking injuries building up too fast! steady gradual increases is what will get you there. enjoy the ride and good luck!!


I echo all comments made above - you shouldn't increase by more than 10% or you run the risk of injury.

For long runs, you should not be overly concerned with speed - long runs build your endurance .... focus on increasing speed during speed work drills or pace/tempo runs.

I would not recommend eating during long runs - but for any run over an hour you definitely want to have water. About 90 minutes to 2 hours before you could have carbs - bagel with PB or banana ....

What is your baseline mileage weekly? What does your training schedule look like? I can probably offer additional tips if I know what you do and what your goals are (other than increasing long runs).


Thank you all for your excellent advice. I got a bit over-zealous--need someone to pull the reins. I will take "smaller bites" from now on and gradually work up. I agree that my over-enthusiasm is courting injury.

I'm doing CLX right now, so I am just doing a long run once a week (except for two different Saturdays when I was at a cabin and did some HIIT running).

Thanks again. I really do appreciate your help!

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