Jul 17, 2011

My Top Ten Must-Have Running Items

Here is my list of my must-have running items.  I have only been running for a few years, so some of the items that are must-haves for me, may not be for you.  I guess I should say that I wish that some of my "must have items" were not necessary!

1. Comfortable Running Shoes

A good pair of comfortable running shoes is an absolute must have for all runners.  The best running shops can help you find the best pair of running shoes for you based on different factors such as how many miles you run a week and the type of surface that you run on. Most running stores will also allow you to "test run" the shoes to make sure that they work for you.  It is also a good idea to keep track of the miles that you put on your shoes and replace them every 300-400 to avoid injuries such as shin splints. I personally love the Nike Vomero because I can get them in wider widths to allow for the extra toe room needed to preserve the last few toenails that I have remaining!  It seems like the minute I find a pair of shoes that works out for me, the next model comes out, so it isn’t a bad idea to stock up on your favorite running shoes once you find them!  I am in the market for some new running shoes because I need a change and this left shin splint is killing me!!

2. Garmin GPS Watch

I own the Garmin Forerunner 305 and I absolutely love it and I cannot run without it!  It is the most accurate and useful tool that I have ever come across.  It is a bit bulky, but once you get used to it you won’t even realize that you are wearing it.  I love that I can transfer all of my data to my computer and keep track of my progress and see all of my splits. More sophisticated touch screen models have come out since I bought mine but I will stick with mine until it dies because we go way back!
 3. Vaseline/Body Glide/Trislide

On my shorter runs, I have not found that I need any type of anti-friction protection, but when it comes to running half marathons and beyond I don’t leave home without it.  Vaseline is probably the cheapest way to go and it has always done the job for me.  Body Glide is also effective and comes in a sun protection formula that will protect your body from the sun.  Trislide is an aerosol silicone spray, which aids in all sorts of things such as saddle sores, blisters, chafing, and easy exits from wet suits during triathlons.  Trislide is pretty pricey so I think I will stick to goopy hands full of Vaseline and contaminated gel sticks! 
Love that fancy Vaseline container!
4. Running Belt and Water

I must carry my water with me at all times.  I am big on keeping myself hydrated because I think it makes a difference in my performance.  I recently purchased the RunLite AirStretch belt with two 10.5-ounce water bottles.  I like it because my iPhone fits perfectly in the front pouch and the easy access divided pouch in the front allows me easy access to my ChapStick, which I cannot live without! Those who know me well are familiar with my addiction to ChapStick. Some people prefer the hand held hydration bottles but as long as you have water handy that’s what really matters, especially when the hot summer weather rolls around!
5. Compression Sleeves

Compression Sleeves are a must for me because I have problems with shin splints.  Compression sleeves saved my left shin and me!  I prefer the Zensah Compression Shin Sleeves because they fit me well and come in a variety of colors that allow you to match them with your running outfits. They cost about $20.00 each but are worth ever penny of it if you need that extra support or suffer from shin splints.
6. iPod (with good music) 
I can’t imagine going on a 15-20 mile run without my iPod/iPhone!  I keep my music current and always have upbeat and motivating music to listen to.  I have certain songs on my “Running Playlist” that motivate me to keep going when I feel like giving up and others that help me pick up the pace when I need to.  I am careful to keep the volume down when I am using earphones so that I do not completely block out the sounds around me.  I am paranoid of getting hit by a car or being snuck up on by a predator. I once read an article about a man who was struck by a plane while running on a beach.  Apparently he did not hear a plane about to crash due to the volume of his music and was struck and killed by the plane.  Very sad story, so I make sure that I am careful when using earphones.

7. Comfortable Running Clothing

My usual running attire consists of a pair of Nike Tempo Shorts and a Nike DriFit Sports Tank. I don’t have much to brag about up top, so the Sports Tanks provide me with all the protection that I need.  I recently purchased a pair of lululemon running shorts but I have not taken them on the road yet to break them in.  They are by far the most comfortable and best fitting shorts I have ever tried on.  Check out my blog post "Loco for Lulu" to see how I really feel about lululemon. Is it weird that I get so excited about running attire?

8. Goals, Support, and Motivation

Motivation increases my energy to run well and keeps me focused on the numerous Running Goals that I have set for myself. I find motivation through a lot of different sources such as other runners and my ultimate goal of running the Boston Marathon someday.  Having the support of those around you is also an important factor in goal achievement.  I know that when I am training for a race, I spend a lot of time running and my life is scheduled around my training plan. In other words, if I have a training run planned, I am not going anywhere until it's done!

9.  Sun Protection (Sunscreen, Hat, or Visor)

Runners spend a lot of time in the sun so it is important to protect ourselves from the sun, especially during the summer months. This can be done in a variety of ways from wearing thin, long sleeved clothing, hats, sun visors, and sunglasses.  Sunscreen is the best method along with any of the other methods mentioned.  If the sun is shining, I need my visor because it keeps the sun out of my eyes and makes my run a lot easier.  Coppertone Sport which is waterproof and sweat proof sunscreen with an SPF of 50 ,is a must for me. I usually apply it about 15-20 before I head out for a run so that my skin has time to absorb it. 
10. Training Plan 

Depending what I have on my Race Schedule, I usually have some type of training plan that I follow.  Developing a training plan allows me to obtain my goals and plan my weekly schedule around my running plans.  I also keep track of my running on http://www.dailymile.com/ so I know exactly where I stand at any given time.  I have also found that a training plan keeps me motivated, focused, and holds me accountable to get my runs in even when I get lazy.  

Retrieved from www.halhigdon.com
I can probably think of ten more things that I cannot live without, like GU and my foam roller, but I think I will stop here.  What is listed on your "Top Ten Must Have Running Items" ?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7/18/2011

    I totally agree on all of these although I need to get myself a waterbelt! and about the running tops and shorts... I used to be able to run in whatever, cotton t's, pants, but now I have to have running specific gear or it just doesn't feel right.