Part 1: My favorite running gear
Over the last few months, every one’s lives have changed in countless ways.
Schools cancelled. Vacation cancelled. Happy Hour cancelled. The list goes on and on (for good reason).
But for me, one thing remained constant (and not cancelled) … running.
It has been something I could lean on when everything felt like it was falling apart and/or unavailable.
My release, my therapy, my motivation, and my friend.
With gyms closed and people yearning to stay active, I’ve had multiple friends reach out to me about my running tips who may be just starting to run, or picking it back up again from spending some time off. I compiled my list of my favorite running “must haves.” But don’t worry, you can start running with just shoes and some athletic clothes. You don’t “need” any of these things. However, the items I list below have made running more enjoyable for me, which in turn, means I am more likely to say “yes!”
This is the first in a series of 3 blogs on my running tips. Next up…My go-to running motivation, and finally some running nutrition tips.
It took me until last year to splurge on good running shoes. Even when I trained for a full marathon I bought just “ok” running shoes because, frankly I am thrifty. But, now that I am in my mid-thirties (shhh!), I realized the value of investing in a good running shoe that fits YOUR foot helps more than just your feet. I visited Fleet Feet and got a foot scan (scan you arch, do a gait analysis, etc.) and they found me the shoe of my dreams (maybe exaggerating a tad). I prefer extremely light weight shoes and at only 8.29ounces, the On Cloudflow is perfection for my feet. I am on my second pair and running faster and smoother than I ever have. I highly recommend checking out the On Running brand, but also going to have your foot scanned to fit your individual needs. Socks are also very important, here are the ones I recommend: https://www.fleetfeet.com/products/drymax-lite-mesh-mini-crew
2. coach /community
I thrive on competition and motivation, so my Peloton subscription and Strava App gets me through even the days I don’t want to run. When I am off the Peloton bike, I use the app to do outdoor guided runs. They have interval training, tempo runs, fun runs, and even walk/runs. There is literally something for everyone and every level. My favorite coaches are Rebecca Kennedy, Chase Tucker, and Robin Arzon. I also religiously use the Strava app to track my routes, paces, and weekly miles. It allows users to cheer each other on and join competitions and challenges. It’s free too. I’d love to support you if you use it, follow me here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/46781781
3. run belt
I always wear a run belt to store my phone, keys, mace, and nutrition (I prefer Sports Beans). The one I use is tight to my body and doesn’t bounce, but there are so many options out there it is worth trying some out to see what fits your style of running. they are fairly inexpensive and you can even get the type that attached to a lease if you run with your dog.
Duh! While you might not think you are getting sun, just check out your watch and shoe line. I NEVER skip on face sunscreen, it is a must! I prefer Epionce Daily Shield Tinted SPF 50 Sunscreen. It stays put and provides a lot of protection. For my skin, I love Supergoop Play Everyday SPF 50; It provides 80 minutes of protection and is sweat/water proof, perfect for a hot long run!
5. eye protection
I recently added this to my must-have gear when I ran into a huge cloud of gnats and they covered my face, yuck! Yes, they are great for sun, but you really just never know when you are going to run into something you aren’t expecting that gets in your eyes. Goodr are amazing since they don’t bounce or move and are polarized!
6. ear buds / music
A non-negotiable for me, is music! It is my main motivator on a run (check out my Spotify Run Jams playlist!). For a while I used $25 ear buds from Amazon and love them! Recently though I made the switch to Apple air pods simply because my husband bought me some. Whether cheap or expensive, I definitely prefer the lightweight buds over corded or over-the-ear options.
7. tracker / watch
Running outside means you will want to know how far you are going or plan a route. That is the main reason I wear an athletic watch. I had the Apple Watch Series 1 for about five years, but recently upgraded to the Series 5 Nike Apple watch. Both work perfectly for what I use them for – linking to Strava to log my miles / pace / splits, connecting to other runners, and tracking my heart rate. Only reason I don’t have a running specific watch (like a FitBit or Garmin), is because I use my watch for things other than running and like its functionality.
repeat after me…cotton is not your friend when you run! Well, unless you like to chaff and sweat. Cotton retains moisture when wet and when you sweat it will become saturated and lose most of its breathability making it uncomfortable and heavy. I prefer moisture wicking fabrics and the lighter weight the better. Some of my favorite picks are new balance running gear (super lightweight), Outdoor Voices leggings (buttery soft but breathable), and Lululemon running shorts. You can tell they were made with athletes in mind. There is a great site I use called GearTrade, that allows you to buy new/barely used running apparel (and other sports), if you want to save a little money. Another great site is JackRabbit that has speedy delivery and great prices on gear!
I always turn on and share my GPS location via my iPhone with my husband when I go for a solo run so he knows where I am. It wasn’t until recently (thanks to my sweet mom) that I started running with mace and a personal alarm. I had a scary situation with a disgruntled driver and it scared me enough to realize it is better to be safe than sorry. No matter who you are, make sure you are prepared if you encounter a less than friendly person or dog!
While so many things have been cancelled due to COVID-19, lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road is still OPEN! Whether it be a light jog, full sprint, or marathon…running is customizable to you. That is what I love most about it! I’d love to hear your go-to running items, comment on this blog to share!