Since half marathon and marathon training are probably ramping up for many runners now, I thought it would be fun to do a post on long run essentials. I am going to share some of the things I bring on long runs, but I’d love to know what your must-haves are too!
Long Run Essentials
Something to Eat
Depending on how long your long run is, you may need to consider bringing along some fuel. There are a number of options for what to eat on a long run, including items like GU packets or other easily portable sports nutrition. If you prefer to eat “real food,” you can try to bring along small packets or raisins, dates, or other bite-sized, easily digestible foods.
Depending on the temperature outside and the length of my run, I bring along a small handheld water bottle or my Nathan Firecatcher hydration vest. If you sweat a lot, and your fueling option doesn’t contain electrolytes (many do, so read the label!), you can opt for a sports drink like Gatorade or nuun (my favorite!).
If you don’t like to carry items with you when you run, and it’s an option, you can stash water bottles along your route. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are practicing proper hydration when temperatures rise or you are running for a few hours.
Layers (if Necessary)
You want to be comfortable on a long run, so sometimes it’s necessary to wear layers. If you run really early in the morning it can be really chilly, but temps rise as the sun does, and you might be much warmer towards the end of the run! I will often wear a light jacket and pair of gloves early on in my run.
When I get warm, I’ll stash the gloves in the jacket pocket and tie the jacket around my waist. If you carry a hydration pack, you can sometimes stash extra clothing there too.
Long runs can get a little lonely and occasionally a little boring too. Having a good playlist or podcast to listen to can help pass the time. Try making some different play lists that are 1-2 hours long, so you can tune in if you need some extra motivation or the time is starting to drag. I am currently listening to season 2 of Serial and Undisclosed on long runs!
I know I’ve written about this many times before, but running with proper identification is SO IMPORTANT! If you don’t carry a phone with your emergency information immediately and easily accessible, make sure you have a Road ID or similar form of running identification.
Nathan Firecatcher Hydration Vest, Nathan Blue, One SizeNew Nuun Active Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets, Citrus Berry Mix, 4 CountGU Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel, Assorted Flavors, 24-CountNathan Quick Shot Plus Handheld Hydration Pack, BlackSPIbelt Sports / Running Belt: Original – No-Bounce Running Belt for Runners, Athletes and Adventurers – Fits iPhone 6 and Other Large Phones, Black
If you suffered from a medical emergency or accident on the run, proper ID can be crucial to getting you help quickly and getting your loved ones notified. Identification is especially important if you have a medical condition. I have friends who also list any relevant medication they need on their identification bracelets.
Phone and Money (in case of emergency)
I always run with my phone. I use it to listen to music, but I also want to have it in case I need to contact someone in an emergency. There are a number of apps you can use to stay safe on the run too! In addition to bringing a phone, it’s also a good idea to stash a $5 of $10 bill in your pocket in case you need it in a pinch.
Music or Podcasts
If you find yourself getting bored on long runs (if you run long enough, trust me it will happen!), there are a number of different things to listen to on a long run. My favorites are the Serial podcast and Undisclosed, since I’m a true crime junkie! If you look on iTunes you will find a podcast on pretty much any subject under the sun. I’d highlly recommend them to help pass the time on your next long run!
What are your long run essentials?