How To Prepare For A Long Run

For many runners, the long run is the highlight of their week! In this post, we take a look at how to prepare for a long run by following our 6 helpful tips.

How To Prepare For A Long Run

India Lewis
  • Post by India Lewis
  • Last updated: February 20, 2018

If there’s one session in my weekly training that I look forward to most it’s my Saturday morning long run.

For me, I love being able to put my headphones in, find a good podcast or playlist and let the miles drift by over the course of a few hour.

6 Tips To Help You Prepare For A Long Run

Over the years, I’ve developed a routine to make getting ready and out the door so much easier.

Read on to find out more and don’t forget to let us know your tips in the comments below.

Choose Your Route

Knowing exactly where you’re going to be running means that you don’t have the pain getting lost or even worse, coming up short with your mileage and having to run extra loops of the block to complete the distance.

As you run more, you’ll build up a library of different long run routes to pick from, each different lengths with a variety of profiles and terrain types.

Once I’ve picked my long run route, I’ll also plan a fallback route, just in case the weather turns or my legs don’t feel up to the distance.

If you’re trying out a new route, make sure you know the course and if possible, write major waypoints down on a piece of paper (particularly if you’re running off-road).

Finally, ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going and an approximation of how long you’re going to be, again, this is extremely important if you’re planning on a long trail run over tricky terrain.

Get Everything Ready In Good Time

Once you’ve got your route planned, it’s time to pack the right gear for the run.

For those of us who prefer to exercise early, preparation is key. Before I started getting my gear ready the night before, I’d often find myself crashing around the house looking for a bottle holder, beanie hat or for a pair of running socks.

So instead of leaving everything until the last minute, get everything out the night before and lay it out on the bed (much as you would the night before a race).

Get An Early Night (a couple of nights before)

A full night’s sleep is a wonderful thing, particularly if you’re a runner.

If you’re anything like me and really struggle to sleep the night before a long run or a race, aim to get a good night’s sleep a few days before.

While annoying, losing sleep the night before won’t affect your performance at all. Rather, your performance will be fueled by the sleep you managed earlier in the week as it takes more than one night for fatigue to build up.

A 2007 study found that leg strength wasn’t significantly affected by a poor night sleep the night before.

Rise Early

Now this one will vary depending on your personality but for me, I like to get up early and run.
For early risers like me, you should aim to wake 60 minutes before your run to give yourself time to eat, hydrate and complete your morning ablutions.

Eat And Drink

If you’ve ever been tempted to head out on a long run without eating anything first, I’ve got some advice for you…


Hitting the wall or bonking if probably one of the worst feelings that you’ll experience as a runner.

A good breakfast along with a cup of coffee will set you up perfectly for a long run.

Go To The Bathroom

One final thing to do before you head out is to visit the bathroom.

There’s nothing worse than being caught short while out running, particularly if there are no public conveniences around.

Trust us, this is one preparation step that you don’t want to skip.

So there you have it, you’ve read our six tips and you should now know exactly how to prepare for a long run.

Brooks Running