Thursday, October 11, 2012

Essential Running Gear

I am no expert on running, but this is a list of items that I love and must have when running.  At first when I was running I would just lace up my tennis shoes and have at it, but as I started increasing my distance and running more often during the week is when I started purchasing more and more items.  I personally am always on a budget so if you are like me you want to know which equipment is best to purchase as you go along and increase distance, this is the list for you.

In order of importance (in my opinion):

1.        Running shoes-I had heard that everyone should purchase good running shoes when they first get into running, but I thought they were so expensive (average $125). I finally broke down and purchased them and they were worth it. First of all, when they fitted me for shoes they noticed that I walk on the outside of my feet (under pronate) and were able to find a shoe that helps fix that problem.  I didn’t really notice much of a difference until I wore my old tennis shoes (which were bought because they were pink) at the Beachpalooza 5K.  I put them on and they were heavy and made me feel like I walked funny.  Absolutely worth the $125 spent.
2.       Wicking socks-I HATE blisters and wicking socks help bring the moisture (sweat!) away from your feet to prevent blisters (you can still get blisters, but they are fewer).  I bought my first set at Kohl’s for $9 (pair of 6).  I have seen them at Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, Target, and sometimes even Ross.
3.       Wicking outfit-Wicking shirt (such as dri-fit) and pants are good to have.  I sweat a lot so the shirts help bring the moisture away and prevent chafing.  I also like to wear Capri pants and not shorts because of chafing between the thighs.  I am cheap when it comes to clothes in general, and workout clothes are not exception, I purchase most of my clothes on clearance or at discount stores like Ross or Marshall’s.  The same shirt at a running store or Academy for $30 costs $12 at Ross or Marshall’s (check Marshall’s first since they have a bigger selection).
4.       Sports bra-absolute must!  Even after my breast reduction I still am a member of the BTC so I am always looking for a good sports bra.  I have looked everywhere and found one I really like at Walmart.  I have heard that Lululemon has awesome ones, but I am still to big (working on getting smaller) to fit in theirs.  Again, don’t get cotton sports bras because of chafing.

5.       Spi-belt-Oh, how I love thee Spi-Belt!  The spi belt clips into place and fits in the small of my back perfectly (some people keep it in the front, but I like the back).  It looks really small, but the pocket expands to fit my phone (smart phone), DL, debit card, and keys perfectly.  Love, love, love it.  I only wear it on shorter runs though because I need water and my water belt has pockets.
6.       Anti Chafe Stick-Texas is hot and I sweat a whole lot!  I put that stuff everywhere and it works beautifully.  It goes on like a deodorant stick and is handy to keep in your gym bag.  When you sweat a lot you would be surprised all the places you chafe!

7.       Water belt-I personally hate carrying stuff in my hands when I run so I opted for a water belt.  Water/Hydration is important so it should always be carried with you.  The water belt is #7, but water is #0.  Always have water, just the water belt itself is secondary if you are on a budget.

8.       Nutrition-Gu, Sport Beans, Picky Bars, Gu Chomps, Clif Bars, Lara Bars, etc.  Tried them all.  You really (in my opinion) only need them if you are going to be running an hour or more.  I would say if you are going to do anything over a 10K is when you need a food supplement.  When training for something make sure you test out different forms of nutrition to see how your body reacts to them, don’t try something new on race day.

9.       Nuun-Like I said, I sweat a lot and I need a way to add the salt back into my body.  I used to like Gatorade but it has A LOT of calories so I went looking for a substitute.  Enter: Nuun.  It comes in little dissolvable tabs (with a ton of flavors) that you just pop into your water bottle, wait 2 minutes, and then drink.  Super good.

10.   Compression sleeves-I got these a few weeks ago and I love them!  I can absolutely tell a difference when I wear them after a run and when I do not.  My legs feel as though they heel faster and are not as sore the next day. I got mine in lime green from CEP Compression.  My running stores said they were the best brand to get.
Things that I have heard about, but have not tried:
1.        Foam roller
2.       Tiger tail

These are just my suggestions, but is there anything else that you would suggest to new runners?

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