Long Run Essentials, and That Feeling…

Every time I lock the door behind me to go for a long run, I get this feeling of excitement and mild fear, the excitement of going to do something I love, the fear of the unknown. Will something hurt? Will I be able to run the paces I want to run?

And then just a few minutes later, when I’m running with the music turned all the way up, when my legs start warming up and moving faster, I realize there is nothing to worry about, because this is going to be a great run, like every other.

Tel Aviv Boarwalk

We are having a beautiful day, and this morning was my first run in a short sleeve shirt and shorts (except for races), I know it was the first of many to come. 14C/57F degrees at 6:30 in the morning.



I was going for a 23KM/14.3M run, but somehow miscalculated one of my turns and ended up with 22.5KM/14M. Yeah, OK, OCD because I care.  In miles it actually makes sense.


Long Run Essentials

Since I started running longer distances on a regular basis, I realized there are some things that I didn’t need on my shorter runs that I definitely need now. Running for 2 hours cannot be compared to running for 45 minutes. My must haves for long runs:

* Sun Protection: I don’t particularly like the feeling of sunscreen on my skin, but even as early as I run, the sun gets strong by the time I’m done with a long run.  I put the cream sunscreen on my face, and the spray one on my arms and legs.  I like these two because they aren’t sticky and they don’t melt on my skin when I sweat.


* Body Glide: Why risk it, right? I only put it on my thighs when I wear shorts, so far I haven’t needed it anywhere else.

Body Glide

* Music: I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without my music, but especially for long runs I must have my IPod with me.


* Sunglasses: I have sensitive eyes and if I’m running after 7:00 AM which on long runs I always am, I need eye protection.


* Compression Socks: Anything that helps my muscles during a long run is welcome in my book.

* Water: I don’t carry a bottle with me, and although I have some water fountains on my long run route I admit I don’t use them… however, I always have my water bottle with NUUN ready in my car so I can drink as soon as I finish running.

Water and NUUN

* Food: I’ve experimented with eating while running and mostly don’t need it for the runs I do (up to 25K/15.5M), but I keep an energy bar in my car and eat it within a few minutes of finishing my run.  I’m starving after a long run, and I need to eat something before I drive home, shower, etc. and get a chance to eat again.



What do you take with you on long runs?




49 thoughts on “Long Run Essentials, and That Feeling…”

  1. When I use to run long, I usually just took along some music and my trusty hand held water bottle. Medicated Body Powder in the right spots always helped me as well, still does, even for my short runs. Nice post – very informative.

  2. Great summary of things to do for a long run! Sunglasses are essential for me because I also have incredibly sensitive eyes, even on overcast days. I’m a super dork and do wear a waist pack with 1 or 2 water bottles, depending on the distance and whether I also need to hydrate my husband. 🙂 And definitely sunscreen. I wear it all the time regardless (family history of melanoma), but am especially vigilant in the summer months.

  3. I have those cliff biscuits and i think they are great as a pre-long run snack. Compression socks, I hate then while running but LOVE then after! I think they are my favourite running accessory and they do work wonders after a long run as a recovery aid.

    1. I used to wear compression for recovery mostly, but eventually found myself running in them more and more, and I hardly wear them for recover anymore, except after a race.

  4. I really want to wear my compression socks for my half tomorrow, but I’ve never worn them running before, and I know the rule when it comes to that. Have you ever had any blister problems with them? I have started carrying water on long runs and I actually found that I like having something in my hand, otherwise I am just focusing on what weird things my arms are doing. Plus I can eat a gel slowly and wash it down whenever I want, instead of having to stop for a water break.

    1. If a water bottle works for you then that’s great (and you are so lucky).
      I never had a problem with blisters or any other discomfort with compression socks, although the feeling of tightness could bother you, so I wouldn’t wear them for the first time to a race.. Do you have time for even a short run before that?

  5. I have the same thoughts before a long run 🙂

    I’m also the same in that I don’t like to wear sunscreen but it would be CRAZY not to in Arizona. I use the same two products you do!!

    That Body Glide is so cool in that foreign package!

    I have to have water in a long run. It gets so hot here I’d be afraid to pass out. That being said, I always wear my Road ID.

    1. I know what you mean because here in Israel it would be crazy not to wear sunscreen as well. I guess not drinking water would be crazy too, but then I do it. 🙂 Maybe in the summer I’ll have to revisit that decision, even though I run early enough that it’s not too hot yet.

  6. I haven’t had to use glide ever, but then my longest runs have been my halfs. I take water for anything over 7 miles, and start carrying Gu at 8 miles. Sunscreen – check! Music is definitely required. I’m trying to work out the water situation. I’ve been using a hand held bottle but got a big blister on the back of my hand yesterday. But I haven’t ever loved anything strapped around my waist either. Argh! Do the compression socks help with Achilles and calves?

    1. That’s my problem with water, I’d love to have it and drink during runs, but I can’t manage the inconvenience of carrying a bottle.. not in my hand and not on a belt, not sure which sounds worse. 🙂
      The compression socks definitely help my calves. You don’t feel the effort as much as if you weren’t wearing them. I always wear them for long runs and speed work. For Achilles and other foot issues I wear a foot support, not sure how much it’s helping but I wear it anyway.

    1. I don’t drink on long runs.. I’ve gone up to 2 hours. I know it’s not the smartest thing but I’m fine with it so far. There are water fountains on my route so I could always stop if needed.
      I drink a big glass of water and 2 cups of coffee when I wake up, about an hour before my run. I also drink a lot the day before.

  7. I pretty much bring everything you do, minus the body glide. I’ve never used it! I do carry my water with me, it’s a huge pain and I’m sure it slows me down but I’m always so thirsty. Sunscreen is an absolute essential as well, and I’ve recently starting wearing a hat on my runs to limit my sun exposure even more. Great list!

    1. Thanks. Good thing you don’t need the glide. I’ve kind of gotten used to not drinking during my runs… the inconvenience of carrying a water bottle kills me. I know I’ll need one when/if I ever train for a marathon.

    1. I will have to wear a visor I guess when the weather gets warmer, which will be soon. Yes, can’t wait to put all my winter clothes away and have only short sleeves and shorts around!

  8. Oh I know that long run feeling well!
    My essentials are: Garmin, iPod, phone (just in case), water with a High 5 Zero tablet dissolved in it, Road ID and, if I’m running more than 10 miles, energy gel.

    1. I’m not good at carrying things for just in case.. I know I should. I used to take my phone with me so I could call in case of an emergency, also some money for water/cab/whatever (again, in case of an emergency). Now I don’t take any of that.

  9. Wow, I love your pics. Your surroundings look beautiful.
    I try to be good about sunscreen, but I typically forget. Which is sad because I’m really pale….
    I do always take water, my phone, RoadID, and something to listen to – either music or an audio book (esp on long runs, I love zoning out to a good story).

    1. I’ll try running to audio books one day.. so many people told me it works for them. I’m not the best at sunscreen, but have gotten better over time. Now I have both sunscreens (face/body) in my bag, so no excuses.

  10. As I prep for Sunday’s LA Marathon, I’m thinking about what I need to carry. My Garmin 305 (absolutely). Fully charged iPod (working on the mix tomorrow). It’s supposed to be a bit warm, so I’m considering sunscreen and maybe sunglasses (although hardly ever wear them). I carry two 8oz water bottles on my fuel belt (so I don’t have to stop at every water stop). I’ll also carry 3 bags of Gu Chomps (peach tea)… at 200lbs, I need to food to get through 26.2. I’ll also carry several salt packets…I sweat a lot, so I take one of these packets around every 5-6 miles (nasty, but necessary). Sounds like a lot, but not really.

    1. You’ll need all of that for sure. I never tried salt packets…. is that similar to electrolyte tablets you put in water?
      Definitely put on sunglasses and sunscreen… they might bother you at some point but you’ll be running until something like noon? (I have no clue when the race starts) You’ll need them. And in case I don’t get to “talk” to you again before your race: GOOD LUCK!!

  11. I always feel the same way before a long run…the anticipation is killer! Sunscreen is a must for me. I get sunburned every time I neglect to apply it (particularly on my calves if it’s sunny out!)

  12. so interesting, I’m new to running and trying to figure out whether to take stuff or not, especially gels for after 10miles. I’ve been trying oatcakes in my pocket. I also just take a £1 coin so I can buy a bottle of water instead of carry one. After a long run I go home and have a coconut water when cooling down

  13. Great list!! I typically carry a water bottle with some Honey Stinger Chews. I also have my Road ID on for that “just in case” moment…so far I’ve never needed it and I hope I never do, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared 😉 I also always have my Garmin to keep track of the distance, time and pace of my run. During the warmer months, I must have a visor to keep the sun off my face and help absorb sweat so it doesn’t run into my eyes as much.

    1. I think a visor will go into my list as spring/summer progresses. It gets so hot here, and the sun is strong.
      Road ID should be a must… I’m surprised at myself that the convenience of not carrying it wins over the common sense of carrying it…

  14. Hey! Great post and I love all of your essentials (that you take on a long run). I really love using body glide and I always have to wear my gps watch…I take some water, lipgloss (hehe), and that’s about it. I always wish I would’ve brought something with me to eat after, but somehow I never do…haha!! I usually either stop and get something on the way home or am overly hungry when I get home! Silly me! 😉

    1. Oh I’ve so been there.. thinking I can just eat when I get home, and then I’m starving and in a bad mood. So I’ve gotten in the habit of putting a Clif bar in my bag, so I have the choice (I usually eat it too).

  15. You captured the essence of long runs. I feel the same way. I don’t usually need food, or even water. I mostly take them when I am trying to prep my body for fueling on the run for a marathon or something. I use the same glide. I don’t always wear sunscreen because I hate it too. And I’m vitamin D deficient. But I wear a hat.

    1. I agree with you about food and water. I tried eating on long runs and even though I’m fine with it, I don’t really need it, so I stopped. I do eat on races. Same with water, except that if I’m making a hard effort my sides start to hurt from dehydration, so I need to be more aware of what I’m doing in terms of drinking.

  16. My long run essentials: a pure bar every hour, a change of socks, Chapstick (I’ll go cray without Chapstick), and water!

    If I’m running outside, definitely add the sunscreen and sunglasses. Mine are so nerdy looking, but I can’t live without them and they are the only ones that don’t give me a headache!

      1. During – usually only for 20+ runs, but sometimes changing my socks is a huge mental boost. Seems weirder now that I think about it… 🙂

  17. Garmin, phone (for podcasts not music, I need something to actively engage my mind, and I struggle to do that with music), water and jelly babies!

    I’d love it if I needed sunscreen in the UK, but our weather is just plain miserable.

You read what I think, now let me read what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s