The long run takes a lot of energy, both mentally and physically. I feel like it requires more attention before the run more so than anything, because if you aren’t prepared… it won’t go well. 

So, what is a long run? I feel like a long run is all relative, but it’s generally the longest run of the week that usually falls on Saturday or Sunday. For half marathoners, it might be 7 or 8 miles. For a marathon runner, it might be as much as 14 miles all the way up to 20 miles. 

Here are my tested secrets to planning for a great long run. 



1. Plan your route early. 

If you are running a new route that you aren’t used to, make sure you plan it out early… at least three or four days before your long run. That way, if there are issues (not as long as you assumed), you have time to recalibrate and pick another way to go. It also helps you get geared up for the run that’s to come, which is just as important as planning it out. 

2. Know your fueling strategy.

What you eat prior to your long run can make a big difference in the success of your long run. A lot of people like to treat their long runs as “dress rehearsals” for the big day so they can see how their body reacts to different foods. I do this a few times, but I also look for foods that I know will provide me good energy. One of my favorites? Homemade nachos (a staple in our household). 

crazyrunninggirl.homeslice{pizza = good choice (lots of carbs!)}


3. Also know how you are going to hydrate.

Hydrating is essential to a successful long run. This should start well before the day of the long run. Make sure you are taking in enough fluids a few days before, and especially on Friday. My worst long runs have been because of dehydration (especially in the hot Texas sun). 


4. Rest up the day before. 

Spend the day before resting up as much as you can. In real life = this might not be possible. But even if you have to work a 9 hour day and make dinner, along with the other fun things that life brings, try and rest up as much as you can. It will help your legs feel fresh and ready to go! 

crazyrunninggirl.procompression{if I have a busy day ahead of me, I’ll whip out my PRO Compression socks — they help keep my muscles happy!}


5. Prepare your on-the-run fuel. 

The day before my run, I always like to have my on-the-run fuel ready to go. It makes for less thinking in the early morning hours before a run. And, it prepares me for what I need to eat… pour your water in your water bottles, have your gels/energy supplies ready to go… and even pack it up into your Fuel Belt if you need one. It makes it less likely that you’ll forget something (yes, I’ve totally forgotten to grab my gels before leaving for a long run!). 

crazyrunninggirl.bottleband{I attach my BottleBand and fill up my water bottle the night before, one less thing to think about}


6. Plan – and lay out – your outfit the night before. 

I recently started laying out my outfit the night before and it has been life changing. There is nothing worse than getting up at 6 a.m. and having to figure out what you want to wear. I know, it sounds super dumb, because how much brain power does that really take? It takes some, and that’s enough. No matter the length of my run, I always lay out my outfit the night before… try it, you’ll see. 


7. Charge your electronics!

A few weeks ago, I set out on my long run, thinking that my Garmin was charged and ready to go. Nope. 


It ended up dying around mile 12, so I had to run Garmin-less for the last few miles of the run. Not a terrible thing by any means, but just a little annoying. So now I always make sure to charge it the night before my long run. If you listen to music, make sure you have all those supplies charged and ready too! 


8. On the day of… think positive! 

When it comes to the day of your long run, you will be prepared enough to spend time thinking about the next few hours. When it comes to this, think positive! I’ve learned that my most terrible runs come when I’m not thinking good thoughts… it really does make a difference. 




What are your secrets to long run success? 

What’s the longest you’ve ever ran? 

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