Welp, the ladies I ran the last marathon with have convinced me of another long run. I’ve signed up for a half marathon in September. My injury is completely better and I finally feel unleashed yet unwilling to do the training for a full yet! With misery loving company, what else can I do but beg more friends to join so I can torture them too (torture and misery debatable in a good way)! In the process, I’ve been asked about gear for long runs so here is what works for me.
I do not like to hold things when running. I will wear a vest with pockets or a running belt to hold phone, keys, etc. If I’m running over 6 miles (or an hour plus) I’ll plan to take the back pack with water. A 10k I can do without needing anything. Longer runs I like to be prepared for just in case. The longer the run, the more stuff I use.
What’s in my back pack? The picture is a dump of everything in there (plus some original containers).
- Backpack/Vest – I have a Nathan back pack with 2L water bladder and love it. It is really comfortable. Has lots of compartments. I like hiding the things I don’t expect to use in the back (inhaler, tampons, battery pack). Put other items in front compartments for easily grabbing.
- Water Bladder – I only use water in mine. I don’t like trying to clean out something else. I like my water to not have previous contaminants.
- Salt Stick – This stuff is great. I take one every 2 or 3 miles once I’ve been running a couple of hours. It is my top requirement.
- Chap Stick – I always need chap stick so running and sweating is no exception.
- Run Gum – This stuff is pretty good with caffeine and vitamins. I don’t love chewing gum in general (TMJ issues) but on really long runs it is something to do with some benefits.
- Keto energy – This is a small stick pack that melts in your mouth. Not required to go in a bottle of water making it very convenient to use on runs. It has vitamins and extracts like green tea and spirulina with some MCT.
- FBomb Nut Butter Packs – I don’t like to eat before running. I’ll have bulletproof coffee and pre-workout is all. If you aren’t keto or low carb lifestyle, there are tons of glucose pack options. I intermittent fast a lot so I don’t usually eat on long runs unless my stomach is annoying growling for a long period.
- Nicotine – This one is surprising, I know. I don’t smoke cigarettes but a little nicotine can be a really big performance boost. I don’t usually use these unless I’ve been running 3+ hours. They dry the mouth out a bit. They are easy to use. Just pop a lozenge and let it sit in your cheek. You can get these anywhere (walmart, the dollar general, etc.).
- Kleenex – I have gotten efficient at blowing snot rockets when I run alone, but still nice to have Kleenex so I don’t have to show the person running with me just how gross I am.
- Tampons – You never know as a woman when you are training and pushing your body, weird things can happen. Better safe then sorry.
- Inhaler – I have allergies and asthma. I’ve never had issues running that needed an inhaler but another just in case. Wood and coal burning furnaces really bother my lungs and occasionally I hit neighborhoods with them.
- Battery Pack – Maybe I over prepare lol, but I do like to have a fully charged battery pack to charge my phone when I’ll be running for many hours. I like to play music plus tracking app which take some juice. I will zip this in the back and run a charging cord with the water hose over the shoulder and just plug in my phone in the front pocket. Easy peasy.
What else do I deem necessary as prep and recovery?
- A training plan – There are tons of free plans out there for beginners on. I’ve used Hal Higdon a few times now from a friend referral and been very satisfied.
- Rest – Take your rest days. Sometimes you want to run more, but you gotta get your rest and recovery especially after the weekend longest runs.
- Pre-workout & BCAA – I really like Alani Nu. I like a pre-workout to get me started. I don’t usually do a BCAA unless long runs (10k+), but you really need them then for fast recovery.
- Elecrolytes – In general with keto and running, I take electrolytes. I use Ultima.
- Running socks – I am picky about the socks I run in. I want them tight with an arch band as well as up to my ankles so no blister rubbing on my heels and breathable. Sketchers makes some nice cheap ones.
- Compression socks/pants – Any and all brands will work. They are so nice after a long run to slip on and help speed recovery.
- Security/Protection – Not a big deal if running in groups, but sometimes I run alone and I feel better with my mace bracelet and cat knife rings.
- Sun block/Hat/Rash Guards – Easy to forget if you start the run early before the sun is out, but plan for sun protection.
- Anti Chafe Balm – I sweat a lot. After 13 miles, salt is layering up on my skin and rubbing against my clothes which causes rashes/chaffing mostly on my back where my pants start and where my sports bra band is. I’ve tried some from amazon that are okay. Body glide is pretty good. I want to try Squirrel’s Nut Butter next!
- Good shoes – I really like Brooks. Next on my list is Asics. I’ve recently bought some APL’s to try. I haven’t tried Hoka yet but hear good things and will try in future.
- Tracking app – I prefer RunKeeper. I’ve used it for years. It syncs with all the varying athletic devices I’ve had over the years (FitBit, Apple Watch, etc.). It tracks mileage, pace (avg and per mile), heart rate (if device has) for every run. Tracks when you did the fastest for any event (5k, 10k, etc.). You can add your friends and cheer each other on and view each other stats. It will also track the mileage on your running shoes.
Let me know what you do to master your runs!