Making a (Long Run!) Checklist & Checking it Twice!

With my last long run coming up the weekend after Christmas, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the things I try to do to prepare for a long run the days leading up to it.

(And Kellie, if you’re thinking this post was written just for you, IT WAS!)

Haha, ok well I did joke to Kellie about giving her a “pre-long run checklist” before her last long run, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured, why not just write a post – I’m sure others could benefit from the list too!  (And if you’re wondering why/ how Kellie inspired this post, you can stop by her blog and read her post that should have been titled, “What NOT to do before a long run, but still some how miraculously survive it”.)

So, I present to you – my long run prep checklist!

Long Run Prep Checklist

Ok, so that’s really just a rough draft, so let’s get into a little more detail shall we?

The Week Before

The week before an 18 or 20 mile long run I really try to get in some extra foam rolling, legs up the wall and foot stretches.  I also really make an effort to hydrate A LOT.

Foam Rolling

Many people will also focus on their nutrition and fueling the week leading up to a long run, but I admittedly am not one of these people.  (I am seriously considering becoming one of these people though…)

The Day Before

Make sure you know what you’re wearing and lay it out so it’s ready to go! (Check the weather…then check it again!)  One of my favorite tools to help me decide what to wear for a long run is the Runner’s World “What to Wear” feature, you put in all the conditions and it’ll give you the exact outfit they suggest you wear!  (Find the Runner’s World “What to Wear” HERE!)

MCM Clothes

Prepare your long run clothes as if it’s a race day!

I also make sure all my running accessories are ready to go (and charged if they need to be!) – watch, iPod, hydration belt, body glide, tape, etc.

Now’s the time to also make sure all your fuel for the day is ready!  You’ll need breakfast, fuel for the run, plenty of water and/or electrolyte beverage and post run recovery fuel.

Can you carry everything you’ll need on the run?  If not, do you have a plan to replenish??  Last weekend Jason and I popped into our local Marathon Sports and refilled out water bottles there during our long run!  Just in case, maybe throw $5 in your pocket so you can buy a bottle of water somewhere if necessary (that is if you pass any place that you can buy water on your run!).

Now get to bed early, you’ll need to be well rested to have a good run!

Day of the Long Run


Considering you took the time to prepare everything in the days leading up to your long run, the morning of should be pretty stress free, all you need to do is get out there and run!

What else would you add to a “Long Run Prep Checklist”?

What’s your 1 must have for a long run?

(I’d say my Garmin, but man do I hate being without chapstick!)

17 thoughts on “Making a (Long Run!) Checklist & Checking it Twice!

  1. If you make a list, you might as well add the post-run rehydration?
    Decide what you’re gonna drink/eat when you come back. Might even help during the run to have something to look forward to (I love my soy chocolate milk :D)

  2. I can’t help myself, I just don’t plan for long runs like I should, especially Dopey one. I went out and did 18 mile nd that was just on a whim–I didn’t even drink any water.

  3. I like to make a Post Long Run List. It typically includes compression sleeves, Moose Tracks, belly rubs (not for me – Wonder Mutt insists on them), a nice salted margarita, and a fully stocked pantry ready for the hubby to make me whatever I’m whining for and the latest episode of Walking Dead, The Blacklist or Criminal Minds. I find it very motivational.

    • I always feel like I forget something too, it really does help me to lay out everything the night before, I just feel that much more relaxed and organized going in to the run that way!

  4. I agree! I learned a while back to treat a long run like a race – get everything ready for it the night before. So much better than scrambling around at 430am, or worse, forgetting something!

  5. I love that you wrote this for Kellie! It is a great list though. I need to go check out the what to wear feature. I can spend way too long and trying to see if I should dress warmer or not as warm, especially in the winter months.

  6. Great checklist and great input from you guys! I’m not always great at remembering what I need and as a pretty new-ish runner it’s really good to learn from those experienced guys among you. So thanks all!

  7. You forgot to mention the part where if someone (*cough*me*cough*) fails to comply with this you’ll drive down to NY and smack me. I find that particularly motivating! 🙂

    But seriously, thank you SO much for this list (and for watching out for me during my training). I PROMISE I will do better with training prep this time. PROMISE!

  8. That’s a lot of prep work. My running club has a series of long runs with water stops. I always bring $5 and some paper towels even on a supported run.
    Knowing where any water fountains are can be helpful also.
    Cheers – Andy

Leave a Thought!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s