Must-Have Running Gear

posted by Brittney

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I have a lot of people ask me what my fave running items are, so I thought I would take the easy way out and do a blog post on them! So enjoy...

1. A good pair of running shoes.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to get good running shoes before you start training for a race. My favorites, are my Brooks Launch and my NB 1400. Love them! For a longer run shoe, I usually wear the Nike Pegasus. Go get fitted at a running speciality store, AKA Run On! ;), and have them pick out shoes that are great for your specific feet and activity. I promise, you won't regret it.

2. A running watch

I use the Garmin Forerunner 610. It's my favorite! It has a lot of special functions, which a lot of beginner runners don't really care about, so find one that fits your needs and fits for you.
I recommend doing a lot of research on them to find the perfect one. You may want to start with a basic watch, like the Nike sport band, and then work your way up to a Garmin watch or Polar watch. I love the heart rate function/band attachment that many watches come with, especially so I can keep an eye on my murmur.

3. GU
This is my go-to nutrition supplement during my longer runs. I don't run a race without it. It keeps me going during the parts of the race where my body is beginning to break down muscle instead of fat. There are many different varieties of gels, so find one that works for you!
My fave flavor is Island's about as yummy as these things can get ;)

4. Fuelbelt & Spibelt.
For my longer runs, I usually use my fuelbelt. For my shorter runs and races, I usually wear my Spibelt.
My fuelbelt is velcro, so it fits perfectly around my waist and it has 2 water bottles on it. Although, you can get them with 4. It also has a small pouch, perfect for a couple GU's and my keys.

The spibelt has a spandex material pocket that can fit SO much stuff. I can fit my phone, house key, GU's, and headphones in it and it doesn't usually bounce around. Only downside is it doesn't have water bottle attachments. But that's why I carry it for races and short runs.

5. Body Glide
This stuff is a lifesaver. This product prevents chafing! It looks like a deodorant stick and you just put it on your body in areas that are susceptible to chafe. I swear, it is a miracle worker. The only time I have ever had a problem with it coming off was when I did Boston last year and I was sweating so much that I couldn't keep it on. (sick, I know.)

6. KT Tape
When I have had tendonitis in the past, this product has helped me out so much! I use it all the time now during long runs and races when I know that my tendonitis may flare up again.
It is like a wrap that actually moves with you and stays on while you sweat. I can keep mine on for about 2 days, and even shower in it! Love this stuff.

7. Foam roller
Do yourself a favor and go buy a foam roller. It can be a cheap one or an expensive one. The firmer the foam roller, the more painful, but also the deeper it will get into your muscles. Once you get the foam roller, youtube exercises that you can do with it. I promise this will become your best friend after races.
I have a foam roller, but I also have what is called "the stick" and it fits in my suitcase, so I can travel with it to and from races.

8. Compression sleeves (or socks)
I use CEP compression calf sleeves for after I run marathons. I wear them immediately after I am showered from a race to aid in recovery. They increase blood flow in your legs (and arms if you get arm sleeves) which in turn promotes muscle recovery. I am obsessed with mine. They are also festive if you get them in different colors ;)
9. Yurbuds
I don't usually wear headphones, but if I am on the treadmill or just going for a shorter run, I always wear my Yurbuds. They are headphones that are used a lot with Ironman participants because of how well they stay in your ears. They go in your ears and then you turn them so they basically "lock" in your ears. I can literally tug on mine and they won't budge.
I love them!

10. Road ID
I highly recommend this to anyone, but especially if you have a health issue or something important you would want someone to know about if you were unresponsive during a run.

They come in many different sizes and colors and styles. I wear one on almost every run, especially during races, because of my heart murmur and arrhythmia. I know I have talked about them before on my blog, but I just know how important they are in times of danger. And they aren't that expensive either! Contact me if you want a $1.00 off coupon.

11. Running rainjacket
I know this is a random add-on to the list, but I keep my Brooks rainjacket in my car so that I can go for a run even when it starts to rain. It is waterproof and windproof and it has saved me multiple times!
Go find one you like, but I love this one...

12. Thera Pearl
This is basically a glorified ice pack. I use my ALL the time. Especially lately with my tendonitis. They are made of "pearls" that you just put in the freezer and keep for whenever you need it. They have all different sizes for different parts of your body.

13. Gatorade, gummi bears, & Special K protein drinks
I am clumping these all together because they are all food items.
I use gatorade and Special K protein drinks for recovery and I use gummi bears for during the latter part  of races and longer runs. I get a little bored eating GU for 20+ miles, so I throw gummi bears in there for fun because they are YUMMY and because they are sugars/simple carbs that give me a quick burst of energy. I can't believe I just gave away my secret weapon, but I did. Now you all know! ;) I buy the tiny packs of them that are used at bday parties and such, so I can fit them in my belt.
The grape low-cal gatorade is my absolute favorite. I drink it pretty much every weekend, all weekend long. That's when I do the most running (Friday-Sunday) so I usually am running more than an hour each day. I don't recommend it if you are running for less than 60 minutes or burn more calories than you are taking in, just because it's extra cals that you don't need. Stick to water if you are just going out for a quick 30 minute run, but drink some sort of sports drink if your workout is longer than an hour.
The Special K protein drinks are sometimes my breakfast if I am running out the door in a hurry, but they also make good recovery drinks for me! They are full of vitamins and the proteins I need to recover, and they taste amazing.

I hope this answers some questions and helps other people know what products are out there! If you have any questions, please let me know! I am happy to help and I love talking about running.

Have a great week :)

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