The New Year is a great time to evaluate your running goals for the year. Whether it be just getting started with your first 5k, or figuring out how many half or full marathons you’re going to tackle, picking races is an exciting way to set short and longer term fitness goals for yourself.
I have a few favorite items that I use regularly on my runs depending on distance, time of day, etc. By no means is any of this ‘mandatory’ to run, but when I am asked about what I use, these are the items I tend to get asked about the most:
Clockwise from Top Left:
Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes
Ultimate Night Light from Title Nine
Garmin Forerunner 235
Nathan Strobe Light
Nathan Hydration Vest
Plantonic Backbeat Fit
Long and short runs both require me being able to hold my goodies. For a short run, it’s just my phone, so I go to my Flip Belt. For a long run, especially anything over 6 miles, I like to keep hydrated. I always do my long runs with my Nathan hydration vest, similar to what’s pictured. I was worried about chafing and feeling like I was lugging a a heavy load on my back, but I honestly forget that it’s there. Regardless of the version you pick though, make sure the bladder is included. It may seem like a great price, but if there’s no bladder, that could be another $30-$50 to buy one separately. Some people don’t need water for their long runs, but if anything, having the bag to carry my fuel, keys, etc. has always been a better option than weighing down my running clothes. I also carry my phone for emergency purposes, but if I’m running alone in a populated area, I will listen to music or an audio book on low. I love my wireless headset for those instances, and it works great for taking phone calls, too.
When I became more serious about my running, I invested in a Garmin Forerunner 235. There are several great Garmin watch models, but I love how this one includes heart rate monitoring without a separate strap. The data uploads straight to my phone, and the Garmin app also syncs with other apps like My Fitness Pal to log my calories earned from working out.
Running in low light conditions definitely requires some safety gear, including lighting. I am guilty of running at night without a light, but I try to wear bright, reflective clothes in those cases. The better option are the two lights (or similar) listed above, in addition to reflective gear. I have a couple of strobe lights since I always seem to misplace them, but I just got the head lamp that I can’t wait to start using on my evening runs.
Finally, recovery! I received a copy of Hit Reset for Christmas and I can’t wait to put it into practice as part of my stretching and recovery routine. I’ve battled a few injuries this year from not taking enough time after my runs to stretch my tight muscles. I know this book is going to be a great resource in my library.
Note: None of the items above are affiliate links. These are all my personal favorites and my own opinion of what has worked for me.