My Favorite Running Gear
A good pair of running shoes and comfortable clothes are necessary to succeed at running. I have found seven other “nice to have” items to make your runs even better.
In the last year of training, I have ramped up my running slowly and steadily. At first, I was running a mile 3-4 times a week and huffing and puffing. Now, I am averaging 50 miles+ week, and feeling confident and proud of my progress. I spent the first 5-6 months training for my first half marathon, and the last 5-6 months were devoted to training for my first marathon. (My Columbus marathon is coming up very soon, on October 15!)
The 7 running gadgets and tools below have been very helpful and valuable. These are the ones I use daily and truly love! I have sequenced these from least complicated/least expensive to those products that are more pricey, but (in my humble opinion) worth the higher price tag.
- Body Glide
- Running Vest
- Buddy Pouch
- Milestone Pod
- Road ID
- Run Angel
1 Body Glide
A must for long runs, particularly if you have areas that chafe and rub. Go for a long run on a hot day, and you will know which areas apply to you. Body Glide is pretty affordable and worth the investment- I buy mine on Amazon for about $10-$15.
2 Running Vest
This is a must to stay visible if you run in early AM or late evening, when the lighting is not ideal and you are less visible to drivers. They come in various designs and colors. My running vest cost me about $15 on Amazon.
3 Buddy Pouch
I have tried the arm bands and the fashionable “fanny packs.” I don’t like how the arm bands rub on my arms and when I am wearing wired headphones, it can be awkward. The fanny packs also rub and slide, and bounce when I run. This Buddy Pouch, however, is really sleek and attaches to the waist of your pants with magnets. If you have contraindications to a magnet (e.g. pacer/defibrillator) this is not an option. Otherwise, though, if this does not exclude you, I think this is a well designed and reasonably priced product. It comes in several sizes. I got an extra large sized Buddy Pouch (big enough to hold my phone, snacks and keys) for about $25 on Amazon.
4 Milestone Pod
This is a really neat device to analyze your running metrics. It attaches to the laces of your shoes, and tracks your gait and the miles you have run. There are other products out there that do similar work, but I like this one for its low cost and usable app interface. I have not tried the other products out there, but I think this product, is worth the cost to give a go. The Milestone Pod costs approximately $30 (on Amazon). (You may see running theme here with my recommendations. I admit – I am an Amazon Prime addict).
I have definitely seen an improvement in my stamina and comfort levels with running as I have used this product. By analyzing things such as my cadence, stride length, and ground contact, I have steadily altered my running style for the better. I run more upright, with quicker, shorter steps. This is not only more efficient, but more comfortable and more sustainable, allowing me for longer, happier runs.
5 ROAD iD
I bought this later on in my training after worrying more and more about my safety and “what if” I had an accident or became unable to speak for myself. I decided to a buy a product that fits right on my FitBit band. It lists my name, birth year, and contact info for my husband. Not only does it give me some confidence running, it also gives my husband some peace of mind. There is also an option for an extra subscription for a tracking app . This extra tracking feature allows me to send an alert to my husband about where I am running and how long I will be out. It also will send an alert to my husband if I am stationary for longer than 5 minutes. My RoadiD was about $30, and arrived in about 2 weeks.
6 Run Angel
I bought this product after reading online accounts of others who have been taunted or assaulted while running alone. I prefer to run alone, mainly for convenience of my schedule and I like to be alone with my thoughts while I run. The Run Angel is a wrist band with a loud 120dB alarm that is triggered by me pushing a button. Once I trigger this alarm, it will also alert my “angel” (my husband, in my case) that I am in danger. It was a bit pricey, shipping from the company which is based in Ireland. There is an offer for 15% off of your first order if you provide your email. It cost me about $100. I think this is a worthy investment for some peace of mind.
My husband bought my Charge 2 for me about a year and half ago, and I wear it daily. I had a FitBit Flex a few years ago, but I prefer the Charge 2 due to a bigger display and more tracking options. I like how it tracks not only my steps and miles, but also the elevation I have climbed per day, measured in flights of steps. The app is user friendly and offers options to follow and compete with your friends. This is one more way to keep you disciplined and motivated in your exercise and training. My Charge 2 currently retails for about $150.
A Few of My Favorite Things
These are a few of my favorite running things. Now, of course, you should invest in a pair of comfortable, reliable shoes and comfortable breathing running clothes to start with. But these additional “nice to have” accessories are my personal favorites that have made my runs more comfortable and fun.