If you’re a long distance runner, you know running gear is important. Since I started running races last year, I’ve spent a ton of money on running gear – some of it works and some of it doesn’t. I haven’t figured everything out yet, but here is what I have found that works for me.
If I could pick one thing I couldn’t live without during long runs, it would be my CamelBak.
It looks nasty for a reason. I use it a LOT. I’ve run a few races without it but I’ve run most of my races with it. Florida is hot and water stations during a race every 1.5 or 2 miles doesn’t cut it. The races that I’ve run without my Camelbak have been miserable. I need constant hydration. Also, I need water when I fuel during a race, so without my CamelBak, I can only fuel at water stations which is never convenient.
My CamelBak doesn’t flop around when I’m running and it’s comfortable. Other pluses, there are pockets to keep extra fuel, my cell phone, and my keys.
Beth over at SwimBikeRunDC has a great hydration pack too, where the pockets are in front.
I’ve considered getting this one to try it out because every now and then I need to take my CamelBak off while running to get to my extra fuel. I wouldn’t have to do that with the pockets in front. Hmm, my birthday is coming up…
SPI Belt / iFitness Belt
I used my SPI Belt for most of my races. It was good for my camera and some fuel but I always had a problem with it flopping around if I had more than one thing in it. So, I would have to arrange the stuff inside just so, so it wouldn’t move.
Enter iFitness belt.
I bought this one at the Iron Girl Half Marathon and like it much better. It stays in place and has 2 pockets – one for fuel and one for my camera. I don’t have to worry about my Sports beans falling out if I just want to take a picture and I don’t have to take my camera out if I just want some sports beans. I have a bigger camera now and the iFitness belt still doesn’t move while I’m running unlike the SPI Belt which is a big ole floppy mess. If you want one and are trying to decide between the two, go for the iFitness belt.
Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS Watch
My Garmin is a must. My Garmin tracks my speed, distance, calories, route, and more. You can see my review of it here if you’re interested. It keeps me working toward my goal pace or lets me know if I’m starting off too fast. Any runner who wants to track progress should have one of these.
My Garmin also stresses me the eff out. But that’s another story.
Normally during my nighttime runs, I carry a flashlight for those areas that aren’t well lit. The last thing I need to do is trip (typoed that as “strip” by the way) on some huge crack in the sidewalk and take a dive. I’ve never been a fan of running with anything in my hands. So, I was happy to run across a Knuckle Lights coupon in my Myrtle Beach Mini-Marathon swag bag.
Knuckle Lights are great because I don’t have to hold them and they are easy to turn on and off. You can see my review of Knuckle Lights here.
Because I run at night, I always run with pepper spray in my hand. The area around my house is fairly dark and you never know what’s lurking around the corner. If you run at night and don’t run with some type of protection like this, get it now. Better safe than sorry.
Sorry potential stalkers, no personal information for you.
Road ID is another safety precaution. The bracelet contains all my personal information and is readily available for a studly EMT when I pass out and need mouth-to-mouth. It’s also helpful because I don’t have to carry my driver’s license, so I have less of a chance of losing it.
My ID contains pertinent information on all lines.
- My name/Year of birth
- Town where I live
- Home Phone
- Husband’s cell
- Mom’s cell
- That I have no known allergies (NKA) and my blood type
Sure, I could have just my husband’s cell phone on there but if he’s not available, my mom can get a hold of anyone else I know.
When you order a RoadID, the Web site gives suggestions of what to put on the ID. One of the suggestions is an “inspirational phrase.” Well, I’m sure the EMT doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your inspirational phrase and I’m sure as hell not reading my RoadID every time I put it on. If I can suggest anything when ordering one of these, it’s to use EVERY LINE for emergency information. Having your blood type or your known allergies on your ID is going to save your life a lot faster than a phrase that says, “I love running! Weee!”
Florida is hot as balls, so I like my running clothes to be as light as possible. A moisture wicking material is best, and cotton is the worst. A lot of people swear by Nike Tempo Shorts, but they look and feel awful on me. Not only do they make my ass look huge because I’m curvy and don’t weigh 90lbs, but unless I want to make a fire with my thighs, I cannot wear them.
Here are a few of my favorite running clothes.
Champion Running Shorts
These shorts aren’t so short that my thighs rub together and the material is really thin which keeps all my lady bits nice and cool.
Champion Running Tops
My favorite top ever. I have 6 of those and I’d buy more if they were still on the Champion Web site. The top is a sports bra and fitted and the bottom is loose. Most long running tops don’t work on me. I have big hips and an ultra small waist, so everything rides up and ends up looking like the world’s worst half shirt. And no one wants that.
I just bought this top while I was in California (but mine is in light girly pink.) This will cost you your first born child, but holy shiz is it the most comfortable running top I have EVER felt. It’s light and moisture wicking, but it FEELS like cotton. It has a drawstring at the bottom if you want to tighten it. I would have gotten more than one, but paying rent seemed to win over that decision.
Old Navy Sports Bras
I haven’t found anything more comfortable. I have 4 of these and I keep buying more when they go on sale. Old Navy seriously needs to get this in more colors and stop making them in retarded patterns, because I would buy them all.
I’ve been through a lot of running shoes and even did a post on it here. If you’re going to run – at all – you need a good, supportive pair of shoes. I don’t care if they cost $2.00 or $200.00. If they work for you, you will be so much happier. I ran in the wrong pair of shoes for so long and I had no idea the difference the right pair makes until I found them.
Here they are. I love you Mizuno.
What are your favorite pieces of running gear that you can’t live without?