“What should I pack for a long run?” is a question most new distance runners have. Actually, probably not most new distance runners because you don’t even realize you should be packing anything. It’s a question seasoned distanced runners who start taking things seriously ask themselves.
I used to do my long runs without water or extra fuel and it was really dumb. I was always dying of thirst, my legs were too tired to move and then I didn’t recover very well. Now I can typically run 12 miles without being sore by that evening because I’m doing things a little smarter.
I have the things that I put in a tote bag and leave in my car and I have things that I carry with me. I’ll explain what to take (clockwise, above) and why.
- Nuun: My new favorite way to get electrolytes, which I didn’t realize were important until recently. I’m not into Gatorade (too much junk and too many calories) and Nuun has electrolytes (good for recovery/not having inflamed muscles) and no sugar. You just stick a tab in a water bottle and shake, plus, they’re 7-15 calories a tab.
- Chapstick: In the winter, this is kind of essential. Oh, and tissues.
- Energy bites: If I’m running a race I use gels because I don’t carry water and they give more sugar than energy bites, but I whip up a batch a week to eat pre-workout and to take on runs. If you don’t want to make them, use a Lara bar. Or whatever it is you prefer. (Check out my recipes for chocolate chip cookie dough, salted peanut butter fudge, trail mix and coconut energy bites.
- Make-up wipes: Because sometimes you get muddy. Also usually sweaty and gross. Ew.
- Amiphod: This was the smartest running purchase I’ve ever made. I upgraded my 10 ounce for a 22 ounce, which can get me through a 15 mile run without refilling (but usually I do anyway).
- Flip-flops: If it’s raining or snowing, you need to get your wet shoes and socks off stat. Plus usually your feet swell and it just feels good to get off your running shoes.
- Dry clothes: See above – no matter what, if you’re running a bunch of miles, you’re going to get gross and there’s literally nothing worse to me than wet/dirty clothes.
- Picky Bar: My new favorite recovery bar. I used to be stupid and not eat soon enough after my long run. Now I try to eat carbs and protein pretty quickly after, at least a snack if not a meal. I’ve found it keeps inflammation down. Picky Bars were created by Lauren Fleshman (#runnergirlcrush) and have a carb to protein ratio of 4:1 (ideal). And they’re freaking delicious.
- Arm band + Yurbuds: Music, duh.
- Hat: My second best purchase. It keeps your hair/sweat out of your face, keeps your nose from getting sunburned and keeps your face dry if it’s raining.
Chat with me:
What do you take on your long runs/work-outs? Did I forget anything? Was this helpful?