1. over an extended length of time in the future
it will be worth it in the long run
The phrase 'in the long run' literally means 'eventually'. "If you start your essay now it will be beneficial in the long run." 'In the long run' refers to a time in the future. We usually use this phrase to say that something will be 'worthwhile in the long run' or 'beneficial in the long run', it may be inconvenient or difficult now but the benefits will be seen or achieved over time. Similar words and expressions include 'eventually', 'in the end' and 'when all is said and done'.