Long-distance running is a rewarding and transformative pastime to take up, whether you intend to train for an official event or simply stay active for the health benefits this brings. If you are new to the running scene, you might not know what essentials you need to take with you to make each outing as successful, comfortable and safe as possible. So here are a few must-haves to pack before you hit the road or the trail.
Runners need to have their wits about them in order to avoid hazards and stay warm or cool, depending on the weather on the day and the time of year itself. This is where the right hats for running can make a big difference. A peaked cap which is both capable of keeping the sun out of your eyes and also breathable to wick sweat away from your hair and scalp is a good investment for summertime jaunts. Meanwhile a warmer hat for winter which keeps out the chill while still being breathable should also be on your wish-list.
If you watch a marathon, you’ll see that the athletes are frequently supplied with sustenance throughout the course of the race. Even if you are not competing against anyone other than yourself, you should take food and liquid with you on a long distance run.
Opting for products which combine the two, such as glucose pouches and gels, is one option, although it is always best to carry water with you for that much-needed hydration. A camel pack-style container is a convenient way to store liquid, if you choose not to take a full bag with you on your excursion.
Modern mobile devices are advantageous to runners for a couple of key reasons. First and foremost, if you have your smartphone with you, getting in touch with a friend, family member or the emergency services when something goes wrong is a breeze. Even veteran runners take this precaution, so newcomers definitely should make space for a portable handset.
Secondly, the latest mobile hardware will likely be capable of tracking your location and also using integrated accelerometers to monitor your physical performance. So if you want to time your runs, plot out routes to take, and record your development over time to see how you have improved, this is the way to go about it.
Even if you are confident in your capabilities as a runner, you cannot afford to take unnecessary risks, and injuries are an unavoidable part of this particular pursuit. Because of this, it is wise to pack some first aid supplies so that you can treat minor scrapes, cuts, abrasions and other maladies you might suffer.
You don’t need to go overboard with what you bring, and there are first aid kits that are specifically designed to be compact enough for runners. So long as your kit has bandages, band aids and an insulating foil blanket, you should be set. And remember that you can also use these items to help anyone else you encounter while running who is in need of assistance, so it’s not just for you.
Again, even if you are not planning to run at night, a head torch is a sensible safety device to pack for a long-distance adventure. You never know what might happen out in the wide world, and if you take a battery-powered LED torch with you, especially one which is small and lightweight enough to be worn on your forehead, then you will be prepared for any eventuality.