When it comes to gear, running is definitely a simple sport. Quite honestly, you don’t need much stuff. You can simply throw on some shoes and hit the road. However, there are all kinds of sweet running toys out there that can simplify both your training and racing. While I could pick out no less than 8485837 things that I would loooove to have, I only own a few items that I use time and time again and deem truly essential.
A Good Pair of Running Shoes
I know this isn’t a new discovery or anything but I think it is an important item to discuss. When I first started on my running journey 7+ years ago, I ran in Nike Shocks. I had no idea what I was doing and I didn’t realize that Nike Shocks apparently equal the death of your feet when you run long distances in them. At least for me anyway. Maybe they work for others but dang, not for me. My feet and knees took a beating and I quickly realized I needed some legit running shoes and stat. I headed to my local running store and told them how my feet and knees were feeling. They watched me run, checked my balance and all that other good stuff and determined I needed a shoes with a little more support in the arches. That day I picked up my first pair of Brooks (the Adrenaline series) and haven’t looked back since. Those babies are perfect for my feet and I have not yet experienced a true running injury. Knock on wood for me.
A Fuel Belt
If you are running long distances and need fuel, well, you need a fuel belt. When I trained for NYC, I did a couple long runs sans fuel belt. I planned ahead of time and marked spots to leave a small cooler full of Gatorade, gels, pretzels, etc. One time this plan worked. I had everything I needed and went and picked up the cooler after the run. Well, another time this did not work. Someone STOLE my stash. What someone would want with lemon lime Gatorade and GU I do not know but they took it and I was mad. And dehydrated. From that point on I deemed a fuel belt necessary for all long runs. With it strapped to my body, nobody could steal it. I’ve always used a Nathan Speed 2 belt and have been really happy with it.
This little guy gave me freedom. With the Garmin Forerunner 205, I have the ability to literally step out my front door and run, with no pre planned route in mind. It keeps track of how far I’ve gone with its nifty GPS. I used to be a big user of Map My Run in my first year of running, which I loved. This is a great tool but it requires you to plan ahead and then remember the exact course you mapped out. If you are in a new area or are like me and do a few thousand things a day, you might end up forgetting the exact route you mapped. Then you get lost or you end up running too much or to little. With the Garmin, if I want to complete a 10 mile run I simply run until I see 5 miles on the watch and then turn back. 10 miles done. Not only does it track your distance but also your pace, time, calories, and much more. Also, it stores all your runs which I like because it allows me to compare workouts. While it is a little bulky, I don’t mind so much. I heard they have just come out with a much sleeker design and I hope to one day try it out.
The ICEdot Band
This item gives me something that no other product can. What is it? Peace of mind. I don’t leave the house for a run without my ICEdot band. Never. You just never know what can happen. No matter how careful you may be, something can happen and it is vital that you do everything in your power to be prepared. This band can literally save your life. All your medical information and emergency contacts are right at the fingertips of first responders. There is no searching for IDs, phone numbers, etc. It is right there. In an emergency, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to waste a single moment. For me, the ICEdot band is not an option. It is mandatory.
If you are an experienced runner, what are your go to items? If you are just starting out, do you think you would give these products a try?
The ICEdot Crash Sensor attaches to a helmet and notifies emergency contacts of a crash and your location. Be the first to own one. Sign up for our Crash Sensor newsletter and we'll email you when it's ready to purchase.