As much as I would want to, I do not get the opportunity to run very high mileage on the regular. I simply do not have the time to do that, so when I get the chance I make sure I am prepared. This past summer, I naively believed that I did not need to bring much with me on a 20 mile run. I thought my five or six 20+ milers (don’t in good, cooler weather conditions) were proof that I did not need to be prepared with sustenance on a long run.
Well, I was wrong.
After one bad experience (that I am glad I had), I now take more interest in giving my body what it needs while I am running, even if it’s not 30 miles or more (I actually never run that in training).
During my first 50K, I took things with my in my pack, but I also utilized the aid stations to the max. I found that I enjoyed drinking calories more than eating them, so I took in a lot of Tailwind and also ate a Clif Bar and some dried mango. This was counter intuitive (I am someone who would rather EAT than drink food) but it worked.
When I go out by myself when I am home, I not only bring food, but also other things that make the experience more enjoyable. I think that adding extras like tissues or a couple dollars do not add much weight (ounces!) and they make a world of difference.
After I bonked a few weeks back, I realized the importance of water. Nutrition is a key component to being able to hit the roads for a long time. Some of what I bring for my long runs are:
Almond/Peanut Butter Packets…like Barney Butter
Pizza Sauce Packets
I also usually drink water, but have also used Tailwind and Gatorade
You never know what you might need/crave during your run. If you’re running by a coffee shop and the thought of caffeine just sounds like an elixir, I’d say go for it. You also might fall/bonk and need a cab ride home. No shame, be prepared and do it!
Whether you’re on the trail or running the streets alone, you need to protect yourself. There was recently a shooting and death in my city. Small, hippie Ithaca, NY had a shooting! If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere. Be smart and bring some pepper spray. Honestly, I’d use it on a human before an animal, but untrained dogs can get the best of you too. Don’t go insane with that, just be mindful.
4.) Cell Phone
Again, need a ride home or directions, a cell phone is useful. I turn off all my notifications because I don’t want to be distracted, but I bring my phone just in case an emergency were to happen. If I’d had my phone when I bonked, I wouldn’t have had to run the final three miles home and maybe saved my ankle some soreness. You never know.
5.) Tissues/Toilet Paper
There will come a time when you will have to poop in the woods. Embrace it and be ready. It’s a rite of passage and other runners understand. Bring something to clean up your parts and get on with your run. Just try to hide from the main road.What do you carry during your long run? I bring @barneybutter @tailwindnutrition and TISSUES! #runchat #longrun #ultrarunning Click To Tweet
Get out there and be safe!