Fun story: I forgot two of these important things before I headed out for my long run this morning. At least I got it half right.
Luckily, before you head out for your long run, you can learn from my mistakes. Be sure you don’t forget these 4 things!
4 Things You Should Never Forget Before a Long Run
1. Headphones and Music Playing Device
OK so there are benefits to both running with and without music. If I’m running solo for more than 3 miles though, I have to have my headphones and my favorite songs, especially when it comes down to the last few miles. Today’s run was especially awesome because I just updated my Winter 2013 Running playlist on Spotify with all of my current favorite running songs. You can check it out here. I’ll be updating it with new songs all through the season so make sure you subscribe too!
My absolute favorite song right now: Timber by Pitbull ft. Ke$ha
2. Check the Weather and Dress Accordingly
Dressing perfectly for the weather is not an easy thing to do, especially during Fall when the temperature varies from day to day. It’s a skill that’s acquired through lots of trial and error. Rule of thumb says runners should dress for a temperature 10 degrees warmer than what it’s really like outside. Here in New York it was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny during my run today, but I also needed to account for the fact that it was extra windy. In terms of running 40 degrees is pretty moderate, so I opted for compression capris, an Under Armour tank, my new “Built with Chocolate Milk” long-sleeve tech tee, ear warmers, and convertible mittens.
If you miss the mark getting dressed for a shorter run it’s not that big of a deal because it’s easier to suck it up and deal with it when you know you’ve only got a short distance to go. During a long run it’s essential, though, because when you’re out there for 40 minutes or longer, apparel that doesn’t work can ruin the entire run. Comfort is key.
For more winter running tips, check out Mammoth Track Club elite runner Lauren Jimison’s “5 Tips for Winter Running”
During a long run, it’s ideal to replenish fluids about every 30 minutes. So, either plan to bring a water bottle along with you or be sure there will be strategically placed water fountains along your route. Also, be sure that those water fountains are in service. Today I decided to rely on the water fountains in Central Park rather than carry a water bottle. Too bad I didn’t take into account that the parks department shuts the water down during the winter months. I lucked out though. Today The Flying Kites organization was hosting their Dash for Dreams 10K Walk/Run Race and their volunteers were handing out water not just to the race participants, but to anyone who was running in the park. So, thanks Flying Kites for re-hydrating me right around my sixth mile!
4. Credit/Debit Card or a Butt-Load of Cash
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit when I say a “butt-load of cash,” but it’s a good idea to at least carry some. $20 is probably a good safety net, or in my case today, even just $2.50 would’ve been great. And if you have a credit card, why not just bring it with you as as a safety net, because you really never know what’s going to happen or what you might need to pay for. Today I planned my route to end near a subway stop and brought my metro card along with me so that I could ride home when I was finished running. The only problem: my metro card was expired and I had no way of paying for a new one. Luckily, I was only about a mile away from my apartment so I just ended up tacking an extra mile onto my run. But seriously, kids, plan ahead, be smart, and pay more attention to the little things, like the date that your metro card expires. In theory, running is pretty simple, but still, so many things can go wrong.
Funny thing is, I usually always bring my debit card with me when I run, but for some reason I was absolutely positive that I wouldn’t need it when I went into my wallet to get my ID before I headed out the door today. Oh yeah, you should always bring some form of ID with you when you run, too. Like I just said, you just never know what’s going to happen. Hopefully you’ll never need it for any other reason than to buy a beer, though. 😉
What’s the one thing you have to have with you during a long run? Would you add anything to this list?