I love running gear. Anything that makes running even a tiny bit more comfortable, more enjoyable, or more convenient is a good investment in my book.
(Favorite running apparel will be another post, so this one will cover all of the other fun stuff. )
- Garmin Forerunner 405 - I love my Garmin. I feel like it gave me so much freedom! I'm able to run wherever I want and know the mileage without mapping the route out first. I know how fast I'm running without being on a treadmill. And I can keep track of and store all of my mile splits easily since it wirelessly connects to the computer. Now I just need to learn how to use the heart rate monitor...
- iPod Shuffle - When I first got my iPhone, I thought it would be perfect for running. I would have my phone with me, in case of emergencies, and all of my music would be loaded on the same device. However, I found it to be too big and bulky. And it made me nervous to run with something so valuable. Purchasing a tiny iPod Shuffle before my first half marathon was a wonderful idea. It clips to my clothes, weighs practically nothing, and holds all of the music I could possibly want to listen to on my long runs. And the battery seems to last forever!
- Spibelt - I actually just got this a couple of weeks ago, but it immediately became one of my favorite items. It stays put, doesn't bounce, and holds a lot. I didn't even notice it while I was running! Seriously, the inventor of the Spibelt is a genius. I'm so happy that I don't have to keep looking for shorts with pockets big enough to hold of my stuff!!
- Foam Roller - Oh foam roller, I love you so. You hurt so good! And even though you make me utter loud groans and bring tears to my eyes, I always feel fantastic in the morning. <3
- Seat Cover - I used to keep a bath towel in my car to sit on on my way home from running club. I'll admit that I'm a bit obsessed with keeping my car clean, but if you saw how thoroughly covered in sunscreen, bug spray, sweat, and salt I am after a long run, you wouldn't want me near your car's interior, either! This seat cover is just like a big towel with a hole cut out for the headrest. I actually keep it hanging on the back of my seat until I need it, then it's just a quick flip around. And if it gets stinky, you can just toss it in the washer!
- Toe Protectors - The 3 middle toes on my right foot really get beat up when I run. I used to cut strips of moleskin to tape over them until my running coach turned me onto these toe protectors. They're a little pricy ($6 each), but you can wash and them and reuse them for months. I just give them a good rinse (inside & out) and let them air dry. I replace them when they're worn through or if the gel on the inside wears off.
- Sportslick - Everybody chafes, right? If not, you're lucky! At least there is Sportslick for the rest of us. I smear it on anywhere that my clothes rub my skin. Better safe than sorry.
- Running Journal - I have been using running journals for the past 3 years. I know I have the Garmin data and there are all sorts of online logs, but nothing beats good ol' pen and paper for me. I love being able to compare my training from one race to another. And when I feel guilty for missing a workout, it's a big help to be able to flip back and see all of the work that I've done.
- Road ID - I knew I should get one of these for a long time, but I never got around to actually doing it. Lucky for me, my friend Laura got me a gift certificate for one for Christmas! Along with my full name, mine has Kate's phone number, my parents' home number, and my mom's name and cell number on it. You never know what could happen out there.
- Sunscreen - I had to put it on the list. (Probably should include bug spray, too...) I'm adament about wearing it, and I've successfully made it through 3 summers of running outside without getting a sunburn. I wouldn't say I like to put it on (in fact, I've been known to skip a run because I'm just so sick of having sunscreen on my skin), but I know it's really important. Especially when you are as fair-skinned as I am. I use 2 different Neutrogena products (both sold at Costco for those of us that need it in bulk.) I use the SPF 70 cream on my face, ears, neck, shoulders, and back. Then I use the SPF 45 spray on my arms and legs.
- Paper Towels - Weird, maybe. Useful, definitely. I carry 2 paper towels with me on my long runs. I use one for blowing my nose and one for wiping my face. Tissues would just disintegrate, but paper towels hold up til the end. And although I've never had to (knock on wood), it's comforting to know I have something with me in case I have to go when there is no restroom nearby.
What's your favorite running gear? Anything I don't have that I should check out??