It’s official! Running season is officially underway, and that means the weekend long-run for many trainees. The long run is a distance runner’s technique for increasing endurance by adding additional miles once a week to their running regimen. This method of mile-building is the way runners train to cover the seemingly impossible half and full marathon distances. Runners take their long route at a steady pace with the ultimate goal in mind of bridging the gap between their speed runs, and their distance, to finish the race with a fast time.

Here are Tips to Prepare for a Successful Long Run

1. Have a Plan

Map your route and have an exact plan as to what you will be doing on the long run. By having a specific plan a runner is more likely to follow it, instead of giving up half way through out of boredom or simply not having anywhere else to run.

2. Bring Food and Water

Take some energy gel, grapes or other hydrating food along for the run. This will keep energy levels up and the body burning its fuel efficiently. There are plenty of running backpacks and belts to store water bottles and small food items comfortably.

3. Layer and Dress for the Weather

The dedicated runner will head out rain or shine, wind or cold. Dressing for the weather will ensure that the trainee does not get sick, or uncomfortable while they’re out for long stretches of time. Layering is especially important going out early in the morning. You don’t want to start out freezing and then become too hot within an hour. Wear something that can be tied around the waist or folded and placed into a runner’s pack.

And of course, wear proper footwear, practice proper form and have fun!