THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS
There are those who will cringe when they read this post. You know who you are, the minimalist. I am not one of you. All the gear and the toys that you can play around with while running is part of the experience for me. I enjoy learning about them, I enjoy experimenting with them and I value using them to reach goals. Obviously, I enjoy documenting too so here are some of the practical things I enjoy running with that make my experience a little better (not in any particular order):
1. Music Player
Simple, but I don’t leave home without my iPhone. I have a lot of songs and they are divided into several playlists to suit my mood and I make sure there is plenty of variety to listen to when I am out there: RUN, CHRISTMAS, LATIN. . .you get the picture. Choose some good music and off you go!
This is also on my phone but it is also on my Nano. I prefer the phone version because it accurately tracks my distance and time. Plus, I can add pictures to each run and I love photography. It logs runs in a clear format and has different colour levels you can reach the more you run and its settings are adjustable. It’s also free and has online support.
After much bad advice I was finally fitted properly for shoes. This is so important. These are light and soft and let my feet and legs move more naturally as I have an almost perfect, neutral foot and don’t need much support in a shoe. I like them so much that I will be purchasing the same shoe for the 3rd time. This shoe won’t be for everyone but make sure you find the right shoe for you. Check out The Perfect Fit.
4. Gu Gels
There are all kinds of energy gels on the market and be sure to try out different ones or not at all. These are not for everyone and some people have sensitive stomachs but for me these are great. They don’t bother me and I find I fatigue less. I will use these on runs over 45 minutes (or for 5k races) and I prefer the ones with no caffeine or very little caffeine as I typically enjoy a coffee during the day. Guu Chomps are my favourite because I like gummies!
When I started running I was fitted for the wrong shoe which resulted in a calf injury. Running, in general, is hard on the calves so I like to run with a little bit of calf support. The last thing you want is to worry about injury. I like the CEP brand. Why sleeves and not socks? The sock part blisters my feet so I use separate socks.
Because I have started running longer distances, am on my feet more, and my shoes are pretty minimalist, I have to deal with blisters. I have tried everything and FINALLY found thin, double, layered socks. With these and my body glide, blisters are rarely an issue. I find Wrightsock to be the most effective paired with a good lathering of body glide on my heels, toes and the balls of my feet.
I use these on days when I am feeling the good burn after weight training. With all the shaking that happens while running, these pants keep my leg muscles more stable and make for an overall, more pleasant run. I can’t use the excuse that I’m too sore to run and CW-X makes a very sturdy pant.
I don’t like to run with too much but I do need to take a few things so this belt is perfect. It holds keys, my phone and a gel or 2. Best of all it is discrete and I always have it with me on runs. The best part is that it is stretchy and can hold quite a bit. It also doesn’t weigh you down on runs.
9. Sparkly Soul
Nothing, and I mean nothing stays on my hair. Any hair band I use inches off my head within minutes. Then I discovered these. They have velvet underneath and surprisingly, are pretty sticky. The nice thing about these is the material goes all around the head. I have seen others that are attached by an elastic which stretches with time. If these stretch, you can sew them a bit smaller. If you are like me and prefer less bling, they have non-sparkly options too.
10. My Plate
Because I like to track my progress, I have tried many apps on my phone. My Plate is, not only free, but it is a very complete organizer by Livestrong.com. It tracks calorie intake, exercise and weight like most but it has many other features like water intake too. It is nicely displayed and easy to use in list format with chart options. It also has online support.
What are some of your favourite things?