If you’re beginning to increase your miles towards a goal of running a marathon or an ultra, you’re going to need to stay smart about where you invest your energy (and where you get your energy from). There are a lot of factors that can make or break a long-distance run. What you take as long run equipment is one of them.
How to support yourself on a long distance run
People new to longer distance runs can be spotted a mile away. They’re the folks wearing a fuel belt, a water backpack and possibly even a front harness as well (along with another water bottle in hand). It really doesn’t have to be that difficult. Get smart about your long run equipment on training runs and you can make your runs a lot easier.
Use loops instead of linear training runs
If you run A to B, you will need to carry everything with you (unless you can stash a cache somewhere ahead of time). If you mark out a 6-8 mile loop track, you can park your car at the starting point. Each time you circle past the car, stop to rehydrate and refuel. It’s a simple hack but it helps reduce fatigue. Here are some ideas about what to keep in your car.
- Hydration options – water and electrolytes,
- Refuelling options – energy gels and food for after the run,
- Car-fridge – keep drinks cool, along with water for freshening up mid-run
- Change of clothes – reduce chafing with a strategic sock swap, and clean clothes for the ride home,
- First-aid kit and towels – prepare running-specific first aid items and a clean towel.
Don’t fall into the trap of standing around while you rehydrate. Checking in at the car is not a rest stop – grab the sustenance and start walking while you’re refuelling.
Going the distance means reducing the load you need to carry. You will need some long run equipment, but you can be clever about what you pack and how you plan. Try these ideas.
- Preview the route for water sources. Take only as much water as you need,
- Pack electrolyte tablets. They’re lightweight and can be added to fresh water,
- Pack energy gels or protein bars. They’re energy dense but light to carry.
Have fun – longer distance training can be demanding, but the results are always worth it.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.