I thought I would share some of my favorite (running-related) things that I use pretty much on a daily basis. I wish I was Oprah so I could give all of them to you, but I’m not, so if you want something on this list – you’ll have to buy it! 🙂
I absolutely love my Brooks Ghost Running shoes! I currently have the Ghost 5 and Ghost 6, and both of them are simply wonderful. I was introduced to these shoes while I was at the expo for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon St. Louis this past October. Brooks (being one of the main sponsors) had a display set up in the middle of the expo filled with various stations, and one of the stations was to meet with a Brooks expert and see which Brooks shoe was the best for your particular stride. You found this out by running on a treadmill for a minute or so while the professional took a videotape of it, and then he showed you the video analysis and explained which shoe would be best for your stride. I ended up with the Ghost and I purchased the Ghost 5 about a week later. Then, I got the Ghost 6 for my birthday, and now I switch them up when I am running so they don’t wear down as quickly. I felt like I didn’t even have to break in the shoes as they were immediately comfortable and felt great while I was running. I had never met with an expert before when I purchased my running shoes, but I’m really glad I met with one this time and ended up with these shoes.
I know there are various apps on the market that will track your running, but the first and only app I have ever used is the Nike+ app. I love how it logs all my runs, shows me my pace for each mile, and the friends feature on it where you are able to compete against your friends that you add that also have the app. And another great part, is that whenever I have ever had any issues with it, I tweet my problem to the NikeSupport twitter and they always get back to me immediately and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
This Christmas, I got the Nike+ SportWatch from my parents. I had asked for this one in particular because I thought it was cool how it syncs with your Nike+ account and, frankly, it looked a lot cooler than the other ones out there. I have found that it comes in handy especially during my speed runs, and it is much easier to keep track of my time by looking down at my watch than craning my neck to look at my phone strapped to my arm with the app on it.
Out of all the different running pants I use, Adidas is my absolute favorite brand. I like them the most because they never slip down unlike some of the other pants I have that I constantly have to pull up when I’m running. Which obviously gets very frustrating! The Adidas capris I have don’t have a drawstring waist band and they still stay up, while my pants do have a drawstring so they always stay in place.
I love pretty much everything from Under Armour, and I am especially a fan of their tops. They always keep me nice and cool in the summer, and the long sleeve tops and pullovers keep me warm all throughout my winter runs. Under Armour also comes at a great price (compared to many of the other popular brands) and I really love their eBay outlet store where I do a lot of my shopping!
Some people are a fan of GUs, but I am not! I tried and tried to like GUs, but I just could not get over the consistency and I didn’t really like any of the flavors I tried. So to get my extra-energy during a long run, I love Clif Shot Gels. Clif Shot Gels remind me of a big fruit snack, and they are easy to slip inside your pocket and eat during the runs. I like them so much that sometimes during the day I will eat them for a little energy (not sure if that works, but they taste delicious :)).
I just bought this a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. I have used it for practically every outside run since it has been so frigid out, and it has been a life saver! This past weekend I used it for my 6K race, and I really appreciated having it before hand while we were waiting to start. As I started running, I slipped it off my face so it would just cover my neck because I was getting pretty heated, but it was great to have it just for that. If you are running outside in the cold, I would definitely suggest that you buy one of these!
I have been through (at least it seems like) countless arm bands for my iPhone, but this one feels like my glass slipper because it fits so perfectly! I bought the Nathan Sonic Boom Arm Band about a month ago because I lost mine during our move to a new apartment, and it is definitely the best armband I have ever had. Like many women, I have smaller arms, so I was having SO many problems with my arm band slipping down my arm during my run. In my first half marathon, my iPhone even flew out of my armband because it was so bad! I have had no problems whatsoever with this armband, and it is adjustable to any arm width, so it stays on my arm nice and tight.
I think pretty much everyone I know has these Yurbuds now, and there is a reason for this – they are amazing! We all have different shaped ears, and it is always hard to find a pair that will stay in your ears even when you are running. But these really do! I never have to worry about them falling out, and the sound quality is great too. These are simply a must-have for any runner.
During my long runs I like to have my water on me so I can have it whenever I’m thirsty. I have never worn a fuel belt because it just looks so darn uncomfortable and I feel like awkward ole me would have the water bottles flying out of the belt, then I would trip on them, resulting in a twisted ankle. (Those who know me know that this is a definite possibility.) So, I much prefer one that I can just hold in my hand. I really don’t mind carrying it during the duration of my run, and now I feel like I’m missing something on the shorter runs that I don’t use it for!
Last but not least, my favorite running buddy….
Nothing helps me more with my running than this 70-pound girl who likes to pull me when she thinks I’m not going fast enough! (Or she also pulls when she sees a squirrel, a leaf, or anything distracting which can get just a bit annoying!)
This list is just some of my essentials when it comes to running gear. (And I thought this sport was supposed to be cheap. Yeah, right!) Be sure to leave a comment below on your favorite running gear that you think I should try!