What Should I Pack for a Long Run?

what should i pack for a long run | almost getting it together

“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?

22 comments on “What Should I Pack for a Long Run?

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on June 24, 2014 10:19 am

Great list (except for nuun, wish I liked it but I’ll go with Propel). I would add bandaids, body glide, and sunscreen + sunglasses to the list. You never know!
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Take a Self Love Selfie. Treat Yourself TuesdayMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:54 pm

I need to buy sunglasses… and good call on sunscreen. Taking this photo actually caused me to get funny tan lines.

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. on June 24, 2014 10:47 am

I would probably pack a second set of lungs, because I think I’d be dying if I tried to go anything over 4 miles :lol: Great list, lady! It sucks to be caught in a situation where you don’t have everything you need, so this was super helpful!
Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. banana oat greek yogurt muffins .My Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:53 pm

Thanks for sharing this girlie!!

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GiGi Eats on June 24, 2014 1:27 pm

I never bring anything! I tell myself to just SUCK IT UP! ha ha! Probably the wrong approach, but ohhhh well – I am still alive ;)
GiGi Eats recently posted…Have Some Balls on Your Birthday!My Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:52 pm

Definitely much more pleasant with at least some water and an energy bite!!

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven on June 24, 2014 2:07 pm

I’d pack you because you would need to pick me up and carry me most of the way.
Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…{Weekend Recap} Minnesota + Fit Foodie Finds EditionMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:52 pm

Let’s just do marathon drinking instead, deal?

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Matt @ Runner Savvy on June 24, 2014 8:03 pm

For long runs, I take clif shots and water with the essentials like my Garmin and iPod. I like to travel light!
Matt @ Runner Savvy recently posted…Back At ItMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:50 pm

Garmin… I should really get one!

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Jo @ Living Mint Green on June 25, 2014 3:51 pm

Huge fan of NUUN. I use them for hangovers too! Hahaha

Even on a hot day, or anything strenuous like cycling or hiking, I use them and they definitely prevent/reduce fatigue.
Jo @ Living Mint Green recently posted…It just hit me!My Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:49 pm

THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA (hangovers). I read about an ultra-marathoner who adds them to coconut water!

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Anon on June 25, 2014 9:21 pm

Any suggestions on rashes/chafing? I recently upped my long runs to 15 miles and under my sports bra or where my shorts touch my skin gets really irritated by the end of the run…

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Arman @ thebigmansworld on June 26, 2014 5:55 am

I’d pack a slave……to carry me the entire way. I suck at running and the last fun run I did was fuelled by 2 red bulls. Oops.
Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Gelato Messina- The Great Gelato Challenge RecapMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:50 pm

How did your heart not explode haha?

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Kelsie on June 27, 2014 12:24 am

Oh how I miss long runs! I did a full marathon a few months back and haven’t gotten back into the swing of running quite yet but when I do I want to try something new! The picky bars sound really good!
Kelsie recently posted…California Bucket ListMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:44 pm

Picky bars are the best, please try them!

[…] What Should I Pack For A Long Run? via Almost Getting It Together. Super helpful list for anyone running lots of miles! I’d add “a second set of lungs” to my list […]

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lotje on June 30, 2014 2:10 am

nice post! i never really take anything with me apart from my iPhone, oops.. ohwell might have to make a change now!
lotje recently posted…make it sweatMy Profile

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Cassie on July 9, 2014 4:38 pm

It makes a huge difference!

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April at RunTheGreatWideSomewhere on July 18, 2014 7:08 pm

I don’t tend to bring dry clothes, but I always pack a towel to put over the car seat for the drive home. It drives my husband nuts if I forget and then he gets in the seat soon after I get it all sweaty! Those Picky Bars sound delicious, I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for linking up with us!

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Cassie on July 29, 2014 8:14 pm

THANK YOU FOR THAT TIP. It was POURING THE RAIN two Saturdays ago and I remembered your comment and packed a towel :)

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