Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m sure quite a few of you guys are making new running goals, and registering for more races this year. This post is dedicated to all you new runners out there navigating the wonderful world of running. Long runs are a bit different than speedy 5Ks in how you train. Long run training is all about endurance, and mentally preparing yourself. Whereas shorter runs are all about being swift and quick. I usually prefer long slow runs, but everyone is different. Whether your goal is to run a 10K, 15K, or Half Marathon, I hope this list of essentials helps you on your long runs. I’ve never ran a Marathon before or trained for one, so this list would probably vary when training for a Marathon.
Top 5 Long Run Essentials for New Runners
- Make sure you have a little something to eat before your long runs. Could be some toast or banana, whatever you want. I personally can get away with not eating anything before my 3-4 mile runs, but if I’m going any longer of a distance, I feel sick. My body will desperately crave carbohydrates. Everyone’s metabolism is different, so know your body.
- Consider using KT Tape or Compression Socks/ Sleeves. If you have any problem areas like your knees or shin splints, KT Tape works wonders. To learn how to apply the KT Tape, YouTube has many videos for whatever injury you have. Also I love wearing my Compression Sleeves after longer runs. I have them on now after my 7 mile run this morning. It helps speed recovery of your legs. ProCompression is a great brand for compression.
- Take fuel with you on your runs. I hope most of you will invest in a fuel belt to make this easier but if not you can just hold your food. I like to have my fuel after 3 miles. Sometimes I don’t need it that early, so I wait. Listen to your body. Take a small water bottle with you if you can. Sip water only when you feel thirsty. Fuel for your runs is essential for longer distances. It keeps you energized, refreshed, and hopefully you don’t ever have to see the dreaded wall people talk about. I take with me Clif Bar Kids Fruit Sticks, On the Go Trader Joe’s Applesauce, or GU. I know other people enjoy pretzels, jelly beans, and more. You’ll figure out what works best for you. For example whenever I have the chocolate GU on my runs, it gets all over my face. Chocolate all over a runners faces I’m sure is an interesting sight for bystanders. I’m like a child, it’s ridiculous.
- Stuff a paper towel or tissue in your fuel belt if you can. You just never know when you’ll need it. Maybe you sneezed on your run; maybe your fuel made your hands sticky; or maybe the dreaded port-a-potty doesn’t have toilet paper anymore! I don’t know, I’ve only used it to wipe my sweat off my forehead or the GU all over my face, but it really could come in handy. It so light weight, so why not?
- Create new music playlists or listen to podcasts/audiobooks. If you find yourself bored on your long runs you probably need to update that playlist. New music really keeps me going. Changing up your playlists every few weeks will probably motivate you to keep running longer. No one likes the same old thing. Also audiobooks from your favorite book or mystery thrillers can keep you going for miles! It’s honestly whatever your preference is. I’m a big time reader, but I haven’t been able to get into audiobooks when I run. I love running to upbeat music (could be rock, pop, country, I don’t care) instead.
For you more experienced long distance runners, what are your essentials for a long run?