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Post Run or Workout Gym Bag Essentials – Coaches Corner

What are your gym bag essentials that you rely on to refresh right after a long run or workout? Join in for Coaches’ Corner!

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle®. All opinions and thoughts are, as ever, my own. 

Welcome to another round of Coaches’ Corner, hosted by myself, Rachel, Debbie, and Lora. Today, I want to talk about your non-negotiable car and gym bag essentials. Some of us are super lucky and can just step outside and be on a path for our long run instantly. Others, however, have to commute to a starting point, as was the case for many of the participants of marathon training last summer. How do you stock your gym bag (without bringing the kitchen sink) so that you will be refreshed and ready for the commute back, or (hopefully) brunch with your friends?

What are your gym bag essentials that you rely on to refresh right after a long run or workout? Join in for Running Coaches Corner Link Up! @suzlyfe #ad

Post Run or Workout Gym Bag Essentials

1) Long Run Recovery Nutrition

Even if you think you are going to be going to brunch right after, come prepared with some back up recovery nutrition and hydration. If you have a car, throw a small cooler in there with an ice block and a bottle of water and a nutrition bar or banana and nut butter. You start recovery as soon as you are finished with your run, and you need to replenish that body ASAP. Keeping some with you will negate any question as to whether or not you will be able to take care of your body (brunch might be farther away than you think!).

2) Change of Clothes and Shoes

While perhaps the idea of putting fresh clothes on a sweaty body might not appeal to your senses much, your body will thank you for not keeping it sitting around in sweaty and salty clothes. Sitting in damp clothing is a big time no-no; regardless of how hot it might seem outside, the minute you step inside (for brunch), you are going to get chilled. Besides, though we might think of our sweaty clothes as a badge of honor that others in the vicinity get to suffer through as we just so suffered, throw everyone a bone and change. 

Throw your feet a bone as well, and put them in some fresh, cushiony shoes that let them dry out but also give them some great after run support. Speaking of support? Now is the time to throw on some compression socks to help with circulation until you can take care of yourself for optimal muscle recovery.

What are your gym bag essentials that you rely on to refresh right after a long run or workout? Join in for Running Coaches Corner Link Up! @suzlyfe

3) Clean Towel

Going along with #2, a towel is super helpful to have with you for several reasons. If you know you will be in a place with private changing rooms or bathrooms, just bring a small towel; going to be changing out of your car? Bring a big towel both to clean yourself off as well to to conceal your bits while you are changing clothes! Use the towel as a seat cover to protect against muddy or sweaty clothes as well.

4) Hairbrush and Deodorant

I don’t care who you are, reapplying deodorant after sweaty workout is a must. Just don’t even go there. The hairbrush is just as much a part of my gym bag essentials, particularly when I sweat through my hair or if there was wind (and I live in Chicago, so you know that there is!). Don’t let those knots languish and solidify–deal with them NOW! Also, how good does it feel to brush out your hair after a long run and get that scalp massage?

5) Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes

Critical to my list of gym bag essentials are Cottonelle® Flushable Wipe.  You have the rest of your body feeling a bit more peppy, now it is time to use Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes to actually get fresh in what is likely the most unfresh area post run! Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture is patented and perfect for post-long-run-bum, even if you chafed miserably. And, as we are (mostly) all runner here, you know that the “don’t trust the fart” signs may very likely have applied to you. Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture is a proprietary innovation on all Cottonelle® toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths that is designed to remove more (than the leading value brand) to get you clean. Only Cottonelle® has CleanRipple Texture designed to clean better, so you’re clean enough to go commando. Clean up, change clothes, start anew. And then get brunch.

What are your gym bag essentials that you rely on to refresh right after a long run or workout? Join in for Running Coaches Corner Link Up! @suzlyfe

Ensure you are ready for anything after a run with this packing list! @cottonelle #gocottonelle #ad Click To Tweet

Something else that would be the perfect follow up to your long run? How about some yoga and meditation? Wanderlust 108 gives you the chance to do just that by creating a Mindful Triathlon of 5k run, yoga, and meditation in a beautiful setting. This weekend Wanderlust 108 is coming to Chicago, and I will be there thanks to Cottonelle®! Come and join me and Jeana from A Sweat Life as we get loose, get sweaty, get centered, and then get cleaned up! Sign up here!

What are your car or gym bag essentials for after a long run?

Do you #GoCommando on your runs?

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Also linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus. Also linking up with Jill for Fitness, Health, and Happiness.

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  • Reply Carla

    I am woman enough to shout loud and proud I love those wipes 😂
    Stand. Hundred degrees. Working out. Long walks. Living. Love!!

    May 11, 2016 at 5:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will stand with you!!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    So I didn’t start going commando until recently and it has been life changing. I do always pack these essentials during races- change of clothes and wipes are a must have since I tend to tinkle myself a bit when I cross the finish line 😛

    May 11, 2016 at 5:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The finish line isn’t the only time that happens to me!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I much prefer to just start my run from home, but there are some nice trails that are driving distance away. If I have to drive home from a run or a race its so important to have extra clothes and food packed!

    May 11, 2016 at 6:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I bet a trail run (in the shade) will be nice this summer!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I’ve always gone commando! No shame and it’s so much more comfortable!

    May 11, 2016 at 6:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would never shame that!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    I need to get my wet sports bra off as soon as possible! I am hoping the Wanderlust comes back to DC this year I really want to go

    May 11, 2016 at 6:41 am
    • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

      Thank you! I so agree with you.
      I want to yank that sweaty thing off–but as you know, it’s very hard to yank off a sweaty sports bra. They don’t yank–they become one with you! Peel might be a better verb!

      May 11, 2016 at 8:59 am
      • Reply suzlyfe

        Extricate, more like

        May 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I don’t know their schedule but I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Kimberly G

    We pretty much pack the same gym bag! 🙂 I also include extra hair ties, just in case!

    Sometimes I go commando, depending on the pants I am wearing!

    May 11, 2016 at 6:46 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oo, extra hair ties, good addition!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Emily @ My Healthyish Life

    If I’m not running and coming straight home, I always bring a hairbrush (I actually just keep one in my car). My ponytail gets so tangled that I end up with a big rat’s nest! And deodorant, because I try to be nice to the people around me (they have to put up with my sweaty, red face ha).

    May 11, 2016 at 6:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think it would be quite becoming on you 😀

      May 12, 2016 at 2:40 pm
  • Reply Pam

    No commando on my runs, but I wear that wicking material underwear. Since I rarely shower at the gym, I really don’t keep a gym bag full of necessities. However, I always have food ready since I can become rather difficult if I am hungry! 🙂

    May 11, 2016 at 6:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love that underwear. I would say that food is a necessity ;D

      May 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I have to get my wet clothes off as soon as possible! I learned that the hard way :-)) Great tips! I don’t usually have to pack a bag because I can get back home pretty quickly after running, but when I do I’ll use these!

    May 11, 2016 at 6:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, they are as good at home as in your bag!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Kat

    I prety much go home straight after the gym, but I ALWAYS pack a towel with me because holy smokes I am a sweat-beast! Not one of my finer qualities, but I take after my Daddy who breaks into a sweat walking to his car. Kidding, sort of. We are a sweaty family 😉

    May 11, 2016 at 7:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      hahahahahaha hey, sweaty hugs are the best

      May 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Michele @ paleorunningmomma

    I am a fan of the wipes, lol! And I agree, always bring food because rungry can hit at anytime 🙂

    May 11, 2016 at 7:19 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, and it WILL hit.

      May 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    The Cottonelle wipes look really good! I definitely need those after the gym since we don’t have showers at work! I also need to leave a cooler in my car – I am always in need of my post-run/workout nutrition!

    May 11, 2016 at 7:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Goodness yes! Can you say runger!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:36 pm
  • Reply Ellie

    I usually step out the door for running, but when I go to the gym I make sure to have extra headphones and a book for bike riding 🙂

    May 11, 2016 at 7:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely have to have my kindle!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Lesley

    I always put flip flops in my race check bag so I can give my feet a break. The flops may not have the support my sneakers do, but after a longer race, my feet are dying to get out of my shoes and socks. It’s wonderful when my feet feel the fresh air.

    May 11, 2016 at 7:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That is so true. That is part of why I love my old as f Crocs lol

      May 12, 2016 at 2:34 pm
  • Reply Rae

    Commando is the only way to go for me. I’ll have to pick up some of these wipes, I’m always looking for something that’s appropriate to use on my lady bits after a sweaty runch.

    May 11, 2016 at 8:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      These will be your go tos 😀

      May 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Gretchen | Gretchruns

    Great essentials! The best feeling ever is changing out of your sweaty clothes into fresh new ones. I don’t get why anyone would want to sit around in that! Not for me 🙂

    May 11, 2016 at 8:20 am
  • Reply Rachel

    Yes to being freezing cold after a run. Yes to chafing if you sit in your wet clothes. And yes to packing at least a banana to hold you over until brunch. And super huge big YES to post run brunch. Isn’t that why we run anyway?

    May 11, 2016 at 8:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      May 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    After runs I always have an extra water bottle and a towel in the car. I also bring a sweatshirt. Bc like you said it doesn’t matter how hot you are afterwards, you will get cold soon enough.

    May 11, 2016 at 8:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      yes, a jacket or sweatshirt of some sort is totally necessary

      May 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm
  • Reply lindsay Cotter

    OMG that triathlon. I need to do it!! love the mindful meditation. SO needed. Right?

    p.s I ADORE those wipes.

    May 11, 2016 at 8:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I feel like you need the Ironman equivalent

      May 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    I’ve got one addition to that list that I keep in my car, and in my barn bag—some more sunscreen. If I’m wiping off my face, I need to reapply sunscreen. Usually, one of those sprays that works on wet skin or a roll on one for my nose and lips.
    In the south, I need to reapply sunscreen every time I wipe off my “glow” from the barn.

    May 11, 2016 at 9:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely something to add!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    OMG yes. I don’t go anywhere to run, really as I either run on my treadmill or run from home so I am always able to change out of my sweaty clothes straight away. Although, funny that you mention it, I scored myself a yeast infection after sitting in my sweaty lycra short shorts for Andrew’s marathon that day. VAGINA FAIL.

    May 11, 2016 at 9:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      May 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Lindsey @livinglovingrunner

    I love this post! I have had a similar one in the queue for a while now…probably should just finish it 🙂 I also keep compression socks, a change of clothes, and wipes (of some sort) in my gym/workout bag!

    May 11, 2016 at 9:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We all have those types of posts, lol. I’d love to see what you come up with!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    Haha – those wipes are a MUST! I always keep a towel in the car to sit on. I hate my sweaty legs all over the leather seats!

    May 11, 2016 at 10:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Or if you are a cheapo like me–absorbing into your fabric seats

      May 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Ange // Cowgirl Runs

    Me + commando is not a thing I can do. Can you say chafing?! Pass.
    But I do pack wipes, deodorant and a hair brush in my bag for after, especially when there’s a post workout meal involved!

    May 11, 2016 at 10:54 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      The best workouts are those with post workout meals

      May 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    Something to eat, compression socks and comfy shoes are key for me after a long run. ProBar Bites are my go-to for immediate fuel. Those wipes sound cool and refreshing!

    May 11, 2016 at 11:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I still haven’t tried the probar bites yet! But they sound tasty

      May 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers

    If I know I’m not going to have time for a shower after a gym sesh, I really like those body wipes that you can buy at different stores or online. I feel like it’s the best shower substitute on the go, haha! The cottonelle wipes sound like a good item to add to my gym bag too.

    May 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely! Body wipes can only go so far, and you want a dedicated use wipe for down there.

      May 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    I’ve always got baby wipes and dry shampoo in my bag in case I can’t shower, that stuff is a lifesaver.

    May 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    Yes to snacks! If I’m not headed straight home after a run, I bring a snack. And a change of clothes is a must, especially on summer runs OR rainy days – so pretty much all of the time out here in Seattle.

    May 11, 2016 at 1:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well, it will either be raining, or it will be humid enough to look like you have haha

      May 12, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Carmy

    If there’s a built in liner, I do haha

    May 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha yeah otherwise…

      May 12, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Farrah

    Great picks for your gym bag! I always have an extra change of clothes, a towel, deodorant, flip flops, shampoo + conditioner. :] (Just in case the gym has a shower and I have time to take one before running off! 😛 )

    May 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would have expected that you would have figured out a way around that by now lol you traveler you

      May 12, 2016 at 2:24 pm
      • Reply Farrah

        It’s because I forgot to bring my dry shampoo with me whilst traveling! :[!

        May 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Christina

    Great post! Most people only think of their gym/running bag for the actual workout, but it’s so important to be prepared for afterward. I keep a makeup bag in mine with comb, hair ties, deodorant, and body spray. Honestly never thought to keep wipes with me, though! I’ll change that 🙂

    May 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Definitely add the wipes! They are completely worth it.

      May 12, 2016 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply dixya @food, pleasure, and health

    those wipes and a deodorant is a MUST!

    May 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    I have similar items in my go to gym bag! I have a body Norwex cloth that I take with me all the time!

    May 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oooo that sounds pretty legit!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Christine @ Run Plant Based

    Love fresh wipes, so important! I rarely pack a change of clothes since I’m usually running home after, but will pack clothes and fresh essentials if we’re planning to go out after a race. Sunblock, energy nutrition, and a loot bag are important race essentials for me.

    May 11, 2016 at 5:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ooooo a loot bag, good point!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Kathryn @ Dancing to Running

    A change of clothes always feels great after a long run or race, especially if I won’t be able to shower for awhile.

    May 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously. No one wants to be in gross clothes for that long!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Tricia Vaughn

    Not for after a run but before, I seem to always forget my socks!! The wipes would be great I’ve got to get me some of those! Papertowels just don’t do the trick!

    May 11, 2016 at 6:19 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      No, they certainly do not!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Change of clothes, socks, toiletries. The normal stuff, LOL!

    May 11, 2016 at 7:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know you have something scandalous in there 😀

      May 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Kate @KateMovingForward

    Great idea bringing the flushable wipes and fresh clothes! I hate feeling sweaty and nasty when I’m out running errands post-run.

    May 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    Oh, you know me…I don’t go commando because…TMI. And I love those wipes…

    May 11, 2016 at 7:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Commando or not, they are pretty fab

      May 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    Commando is the way to go! I love Cottonelle!

    May 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You would go commando, you scandalous lady 😀

      May 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Jenn

    If I run from home, which I usually do, I am all set. Sometimes, I drive up to 30 minutes away for a new route, and I will bring wipes, deodorant, a hat, a fresh shirt, flip flops, wipes and deodorant. Oh, and a cooler with water, gatorade, and a snack.

    May 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Um, sounds like we are right together with our packing lists!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Caroline @lifeofendurance

    I’ll go commando if I’m wearing spandex, crops, or leggings. But if I’m wearing those looser shorts I like to feel a little more covered and not so breezy. Also this is totally random but dorm life (aka my life) is notorious for their lack of lovely toilet paper…nothing like Cottonelle! And yes x1000 to deodorant. Think you have enough? Think again, put more on.

    May 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And YES I remember the dorm life struggle! We were pretty lucky with the custodians during the weekdays, but the weekends were long, lol

      May 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Kimberly Hatting

    Most of my races are a substantial drive away (usually at least an hour), so I almost always take a change of clothes. Somehow, it’s only recently that I’ve remembered (d’uh)to also bring a change of underwear as well.

    May 11, 2016 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Um yes you definitely need those!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply jill conyers

    You’ve got the essential covered. Wipes are a must.

    May 12, 2016 at 1:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Gotta stay so fresh and so clean!

      May 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Kristy @ Southern In Law

    Nope, I just can’t do commando, haha! I don’t know what it is but it’s just a big nope for me!

    May 12, 2016 at 5:54 am
  • Reply Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    I don’t shower at the gym usually anymore but best believe there is a towel and hand sanitizer in my bag. I should probably invest in the wipes…my poor Crohnsy bum would probably appreciate the TLC 😉
    For shorts with the built in undies totally commando but am just not able to in tights. I feel like it just hikes up into a front wedgie no matter what lol

    May 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oooo and no one likes camel toe. And yes, from one Crohnsy bum to another–yes.

      May 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply nicole

    definitely a change of clothes for me too!

    May 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm
  • Reply Sandra Laflamme

    I always try to have a portein packed snack in my gym bag, definitely a towel and those wipes would be helpful. A dry sports bra is always key too!

    May 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      If you can get the wet one off!

      May 13, 2016 at 9:19 am
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