As I begin to hit higher mileage with my marathon training I start to incorporate more “run essentials” into my routine. Those things that you don’t really need until you start to run more than 90 minutes straight and the things that just say “marathon training.” I have a few things that get me through long runs and I love hearing about other people’s routines so leave your long run essential in the comments!
I’ll try to give you an idea of the “essentials” I use on a long run day, in the order I need them!
- Pre-run fuel. I tried the bagel thing for a while, I tried the toast thing, but those are just want too much volume for my stomach before a long run so I have my absolute go-to breakfast pre-long run of a banana and a Clif bar. Any run between 10-14 miles I eat only a banana and any run longer than a half marathon I have the Clif bar as well. My favourite Clif bar is either the Chocolate Chip or the White Chocolate Macadamia.
- My Garmin. I map out my runs before I head out so I know which routes will give me the mileage I need, but I am a numbers girl so having a review on my run via Garmin is the best. Plus, I can see my HR, pace, and distance as I’m running so I can make sure I am taking my long run distance at a slow pace! In case you were wondering, I have the Garmin 220 and you can read my review HERE!
- Ugh, water. I only say “ugh” because it is a constant struggle for me to drink water on the run. I just don’t tolerate a lot in my stomach well and even a big sip from an aid station can send me into cramping and upset stomach. I have a fuel belt with two bottles on it and while I love the fuel belt, I legitimately have to time my water intake otherwise I will forget to drink and get dehydrated.
- During-run fuel. Another struggle for me because taking an entire gel at once has never really been my favourite. I only usually take fuel on runs longer than 14 or 15 miles. I just don’t get hungry or “hit a wall” at this mileage so why force myself to eat? Electrolytes, sure, but I don’t need my favourite Honey Stinger Chews until upwards of 14 miles.
- Scenery, a friend to run with, podcasts, or some great music. While I love having time to just be in my head and think about important things like the meaning of life and peanut butter and how they decaffeinate coffee, I like a little distraction. The Jay & Dan Podcast is my ultimate favourite to listen to so I will wait to listen to the weekly episode on my long run!
- Glutamine. This is a double workout day or long run day necessity for me now. I notice significant improvements in my recovery when supplementing with glutamine. At the end of my long run this week I mixed one scoop of glutamine, a berry Nuun tablet, and 20oz of water and it was the most refreshing recovery drink ever.
- Golf balls, tennis balls, bouncy balls, foam rollers, and my Tiger tail. They are all KILLER on my sore muscles and the last thing I want to do after a long run is spend 30 minutes working on my muscles but it really does help. Once I have foam rolled and tiger-tailed my legs I put ice packs on the most sensitive muscles of the week (this week: calves). You could also have an ice bath but I’m a wimp.
I’ll talk about this week’s long run in tomorrow’s Marathon Monday post!
Spoiler: It was a good one and the person I was running with hit a PDR (personal distance record). I’m headed to teach a sub spin express class this morning! It’s going to be weird teaching 45 minutes instead of 60 but it’ll give me practice for the express class I was just informed I’ll be teaching in the fall!! I just can’t get enough indoor AND outdoor cycling apparently. 🙂
What is YOUR long run essential?
What is your distance PDR?! What about on the treadmill?