Today is “Global Running Day”! How are you planning on celebrating? Will you hit the road or the dreaded treadmill AKA deadmill? Which do you prefer? Me? The road! Hands down.
I’m not sure yet what I will do today. Today is leg day with, Jeff, my trainer. I usually warm up by walking on the treadmill at the gym. Maybe I will get there early and get a mile in outside (if it isn’t raining again) before we start. He will yell about that though. He says I shouldn’t do cardio before a strength work out…..It will be 8pm though when we finish and after leg day. Run? Who? Only if he runs with me, lol!!!
Since its Global Running Day, I thought I would share some of my running “must haves”; besides (what I think is) the obvious, running shoes!
Disclaimer: All items pictured below are my own personal items, purchased by me. I have not been compensated in any way for them. My opinions are my own, based on my own use.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Phone–This is a necessity, for a couple of reasons. 1-I use it for music and the MapMyRun app which tracks distance, time, and is my interval timer. 2. For emergencies! You just never know.
2. RoadID–This should speak for itself. You never know when something could happen and you are not be to contact someone or tell emergency personnel who to contact. I ordered my RoadID after falling during training for my last marathon and have worn it for every run since, no matter how short. This one I wear on my wrist, but they have a variety of selections from wrist to shoe tags or you can even just get a “plate” that will fit on your running watch, etc. When I ordered mine and it came, I found that I had entered a phone number incorrectly. I knew that I had entered a number wrong, but thought I “fixed” it before submitting my order. Apparently not. When I called to have it remade, they did it at no charge and didn’t charge for shipping either. I highly recommend them.
3. Headphones–It’s kind of hard to listen to music without them, lol, unless you want to share with those around you. I actually only use one so that I can hear what is going on around me. I put it in my left ear only. I run towards traffic so my right ear is facing the road and I can hear what’s coming up behind me. For years I could not wear “headphones/earbuds” they all hurt my ears on the inside. When Apple came out with their “EarPods” they were better, but not great. “The Man” talked me into trying Bose (for sound). I resisted. Who needs to spend that kind of money on something that wouldn’t make a difference (this was before Bose had a wireless option). The comfort level, because of the design was like night and day!!!! So I left with my Bose “wired headphones”. After a while though running with wires became annoying. At that time Bose didn’t have a wireless option, so the quest began to find a pair that would work. I found Plantronics BackBeat Fit. They “hook” over your ear and are somewhat soft. They worked but I didn’t love them. Then I found the Samsung Gear Circle. They were ok, but I didn’t love them either. During this time I kept checking with Bose because I knew they were working on a wireless design. Finally, they were released last year, just a few days before my birthday! Happy Birthday to ME!!!!! They fit my ears just like the wired version, and they are easy to use and make and receive calls. They say they should last for 6 hours of continual use. I haven’t tested that yet, but we will see come October when it’s marathon time. That will definitely put them to the test.
- Running Pants/Shorts with pockets–I put my phone and fuel in the pockets. I tried using an arm band for my phone, but I didn’t like it. I like being able to just grab it from my pocket as I’m running if I need to. My favorite workout clothes are from Lululemon. I find they fit me better, and the compression is bar none. They are pricey, but no more so than some other brands, and if you hit it just right you can often find them marked down almost 50%. And lets face it, I don’t care if they are last years print!!! They will also hem long tights to whatever length you want free of charge. I even had a pair that I had cut off “re-hemmed” after my fall because they got a hole in the knee.
- FitBit Surge–although I also use MapMyRun to track my runs and distance, I like to be able to glance down and see where I’m at. There are many “running” watches you can get, but since I already had a FitBit and liked participating in challenges, this was what I picked.
6. Water–I always take water with me, if I plan to run more than four miles or the weather is hot and humid. If I’m going for a short run I just use a hand-held water bottle. If it isn’t too hot or humid I can usually make it through a five-mile run ok. This one is great because you just slip it on your hand. You don’t have to “hang on to it” and worry about dropping it. It also has a little pouch for your, ID, money, and a key.
But I use a hydration pack for longer runs and races. This one is a CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. and holds 1.5 liters. I have a larger one that hold 2.0 liters that I will use on marathon day.
Although the races have water stops I make sure to have my own. There’s worse than needing to hydrate and the next water stop is a mile away! I learned that two years ago when I didn’t take water for a 5K. I had been running without it at home, and knew they would have two water stops; so I thought I would be ok. I was, all in all, but I found because of the heat and humidity I wanted water when it wasn’t available. I tend to take a sip of water on odd intervals and practice that in training. If I need it more often I will drink more. I use the water stops, on the course, to grab a sip of Gatorade at those that offer it.
The next items are things I use, but not every time I run.
- Lighting Source–I only use this if I’m going to be running in low light. But since I run on the road vs sidewalks I make sure to have it when I know I will need it! This is another item “The Man” talked me into. It’s the Tracer 360 by Noxgear. You can order it directly from them or Amazon. This is very lightweight, and has a variety of color options for the light. That’s good because it you make sure it doesn’t blend in with your clothing. It will flash or stay static. I use it on static. I know flashing lights can bother some drivers and I want to be safe…..They even make them for your pets! I will use this even though it’s summer. As I ramp up training miles, and the heat and humidity kick up, I will have to leave earlier in the morning and it will still be dark or too dark to run without making sure you are visible.
- Running Buddy Pouch–This is a great pouch, again thanks to “The Man”. It has strong magnets and can hook to the waist band of your pants to hold your phone and other necessities. He thought it would be good for pants without pockets. I will use it during the marathon to hold extra fuel for the run. I will hook over the strap of my hydration pack and put the fuel that won’t fit in my pockets in it. They have a variety of sizes and products. There are plenty of pockets in the hydration pack, and I will make sure to have extra supplies there in case (I’m a woman after all), but they can be hard to get to and since I run mainly alone there’s usually no one to help get it out while continuing to run. When you’re slow already, you don’t want to waste precious seconds playing around.
Fuel–There are many types of gels, goos, etc available to add carbohydrates to your body for fuel. These are the ones I use. I have tried the gels and they are just straight up nasty IMO!!! These Honey Stinger Chews have worked well for me since the beginning. They come in a variety of flavors and you can get them at many of your local running stores, health food stores, and of course Amazon. I don’t use them until I get up to around 6-8 miles. When I get to that point I eat 2-3 every 5-6 intervals or 20-30 minutes on average.
What are your running must haves? Are there things you absolutely do not leave home with out, or do just go out the door and hit the ground running! Take a minute and let me know. Do you use something not on my list? Let me know what it is and why!
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Until the next time