I’ve been running for less than a year (it’ll be a year in March), so I still consider myself VERY new to the sport. I mean, I never ever thought I would consider myself a runner. If you had asked me at any other point in my life, I would have just laughed at you. Why are you running? Is something chasing you?
Well, once I did Couch to 5k and got hooked on it, I look back and wish I had started sooner. Running isn’t always fun, but I always feel great when I’ve finished a run, even if it wasn’t my best one yet. And from a fitness perspective, I feel like running still gives me the best overall workout. Even better, I get some ‘me’ time. If I’m running by myself, I’m listening to music. If I’m with a friend, it gives us time to catch up on life, share anecdotes from the week, ask for parenting advice, etc. It’s such a great stress reliever.
So, since a lot of my friends know that I am now really into running, I get asked a lot about starting it up and what you need. Aside from shoes (and some would argue there), I guess you really don’t need much. However, here are some of my favorite running accessories.
- Running shoes: I love my Saucony’s but it took me a few different shoes and various discomforts before I found the right shoes for my feet. Make sure you get properly fitted at a good running store.
- Sports Bra: Ladies, a good sports bra is a must, especially for us big-chested ladies. I love anything by Moving Comfort, but especially the Fiona bra.
- The right bottoms: Short shorts and no thigh gap? Well get ready for chafing! Capris are an easy fix (unless it’s the dead of summer in North Carolina, but even then I’ll get longer shorts). Old Navy’s compression capris are awesome and affordable.
- Headphones: Listen to music on your run? The wires that come with my phone’s free headset always become a tangled mess or I end up worrying that they’ll catch on something. The BackBeat Fit headphones from Plantronics fit great, to the point where I forget they’re there! They also come with a phone carrying case so you can carry your phone in the included armband if you need to.
- Run tracking: I used to track my runs with Runkeeper, but it would drain my phone battery (especially on my really long runs) and the GPS wasn’t super reliable. I switched over to the Garmin Forerunner 235 and I love it. It has a built in heart rate monitor so I can track ALL of my workouts, not just my runs. And it syncs to my phone and various apps, including My Fitness Pal. It’s made finding out how many additional calories I’ve earned from working out so darn easy.
- Hydration: I love water. Like 20 glasses + a day love. And when I run, I get dehydrated pretty fast. Anything over 5 miles, I wear my hydration pack (if it’s a really hot day, I’ll wear it for even shorter distances). My Nathan Moxy pack has a 2 liter bladder and tons of pockets for gu’s, my phone, Honey Stinger waffles, headbands and gloves I might shed on a cold day, etc. I’m so used to running with it that I barely notice it’s there and I love not having to stop at the hydration stations on race days.
Again, I’m not saying you need all of these things to run. These are just some of my favorites that I used for almost every long run and a lot of my workouts. What are some tools in your running toolkit?