Sunday, August 16, 2015

How to Prep for a Long Run

I have three goals for the early mornings before my long run:
  1. Sleep as late as possible.
  2. Don't wake up my family.
  3. Don't forget anything important.
For me, the best way to accomplish these goals is to lay everything out the night before. This is how I do it...


I have two things in the morning before my long run: 
  1. Chocolate chip Clif bar 
  2. Iced coffee with chocolate almond milk. 
I make the coffee the night before and pop it in the fridge and put the Clif bar on the kitchen counter. While I'm doing that, I put ice cubes into two tall plastic cups and put them in the freezer. I'll put the ice cubes in my hydration vest in the morning, and pouring them out of the cups is quieter (and quicker) than getting them out of the ice maker.


Got Ice?

Post-Run Goodness

I bring clothes to change into after my run. It's important to get out of those sweaty clothes as soon as you can! I usually bring a loose dress and OOFOS recovery shoes. They go into a large plastic bag that also has a small towel to dry off the sweat and a small plastic bag containing chocolate milk and a protein bar. I put this bag in the passenger seat of my car the night before my run so it's ready to go.

Post-run towel, clothes, & nutrition go into the bag

My sweaty clothes go into the plastic bag after the run, along with my sweaty hydration vest. I put my Garmin watch and heart rate strap into the small plastic bag so they don't accidentally get thrown into the laundry when I get home.

After changing, I drink the chocolate milk that was in the small plastic bag. Sometimes I eat the protein bar; sometimes I put it in my drawstring bag (see below) to save for next week. It depends how many miles I ran and how long it will be until I can get to real food.

Things I Plan to Wear

I lay out my clothes and shoes on the top of my dresser. I put Body Glide next to them so I don't forget to apply it. I also put my heart rate strap, Garmin watch, and Road ID there so I can put them on when I'm getting dressed. I check to make sure the Garmin is fully charged. 

Ready to wear!

My Gear

I put my essentials into my Nathan Intensity hydration vest. GUs go in the front pocket, and I take one more than I plan on consuming during my run. Lip balm with sunscreen and a mini Body Glide go in that pocket, too. I keep a small ziploc in my pack that has KT Tape, bandaids, Nuun, sunblock, and SaltStick capsules. I clip my bluetooth speaker onto the vest. I also pull out my sunglasses, hat, and a buff. I use the buff as a sweat or snot rag. Classy, huh?

Gear to go

I put the sunglasses, hat, and buff in a drawstring bag that goes into the passenger seat of my car with my post-run clothes. Also in that bag is anything I have for my running buddies; I often pass along goodies such as interesting things from a StrideBox or RunnerBox that weren't quite on the mark for me but might be just right for someone else, or maybe I have a personalized pink tiara to deliver!

The hydration vest gets laid out on the kitchen table, ready to be filled up with ice and water just before I head out the door (and when I leave I am carrying three things - hydration vest, phone, and car key).

Hydration vest, ready for hydration

Personal Care

I put a few more things on my bathroom counter so I don't forget them in the morning. Vitamins and medicine for the day go into a small container so I don't have to open bottles and shake out pills in the morning. I put my brush & ponytail holder next to them. I also put my sunscreen there so I don't forget to apply it. Sunscreen isn't top of mind when it's pitch black outside!

Last-minute necessities

With everything in place, I confidently set my alarm for as late as possible, knowing that I can quickly zip through my routine in the morning and get on the road to meet my running buddies for the long run ahead of us.


  1. This was a fun post. You are very organized!! I love it!

    1. Thank you Gina! I know that you are a super organized gal, too ;)

  2. Great write up. It is amazing what you are able to get into your hydration vest. My camelback I am able to squeeze in a couple of gels, a health card and keys. That's about it.
    And I do LOVE Clif bars! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Carl! I appreciate it. Sometimes I think about how light my vest could be if I didn't insist on being prepared like a boy scout...but I know that isn't going to happen ;)

    2. You are very welcome Kim. I have you as one my runners on a "list" on Twitter, and like to drop by from time to time. And it IS really good to be prepared. My last race was a trail run, and no 1st aid at all.
      Certainly glad I did not have any injury :)

    3. Wow, no first aid on a trail race is tough! I'm glad you didn't have a need for it.

  3. This is great, Kim! Thank you! I'm SO impressed with your organization! I eat a Clif bar before my long runs too; I love them!

    1. Thanks Amy! See you tomorrow for a long one :)