I ran 22 miles a couple of days ago in training for the Texas Trails Endurance 50K that takes place in less than 2 weeks. I tried a few things that might be helpful.
Preventing Side Aches During a Run
I've been getting stomach cramps or side aches during some of my runs so before this 22 miler, I ate 3 hours beforehand in order to give my body time to digest my food. On my shorter morning runs, I skipped eating all together. I haven't had any cramps since trying this out. The only drawback is being hungry before I run.
Eat (or not) & run links: Hammer: Nutrition and Active.com.
Like this post by ultrarunner Ian Torrence advises, I sipped my water and gels slowly (each gel eaten over 1 to 1 1/2 miles) rather than gulping them down at mile markers during my 22 miler. This might help, too.
I wore my heart rate monitor this week. Watching the numbers was interesting, but I need to learn more about it. Kristen's post with her HR numbers and this Runner's World post is helpful. Part of the fun of running is that there are always new things to learn.
Nutrition for the 22 Mile Run
Pre-run (3 hours) - pancakes
During - 4 Hammer gels (apple cinnamon tastes like apple pie!)
Post-run - I brought a breakfast cookie (I added cinnamon - yum!) on the run, but I ended up eating it after the run.
Now all of my future runs leading up to the 50K will be shorter than 18 miles. It's taper time!