*Obviously the title Thirsty Thursday isn’t really appropriate for this post, but it’s catchy and I’m going with it.
Last week, I introduced you to some of my favorite running fuel products. This week, I’m going to introduce you to my favorite running gear. This list is definitely an ever-growing one so you can expect a sequel to this post in the future. I’ll also do a separate one for running/workout clothes.
This is my 2011 version of that awful neon fanny pack I used to wear in the 90s. I’m all about safety when I run so I always carry my iPhone, ID and a little cash on me. On longer runs, I also bring a pack of Shot Bloks. I can fit all of that in this pouch and I promise you it doesn’t ride up. I have a big butt and a smaller waist so everything rides up on me. I can literally jump up and down in this thing and it says in place. I bought it at the RnR San Diego expo last year and it was definitely worth the $25.
2. The Grid
First of all, if you’re a runner, or any type of athlete, and you don’t own a foam roller, you are missing out. Foam rolling is SO good for your muscles and can get you through those muscle aches/tension when you can’t afford regular massages. Foam rolling is also good for building core strength. I try to foam roll after every long run and also on days when my muscles are feeling tired and/or tight. The Grid is so amazing because it’s designed to mimic massage and the different surfaces apply varying amounts of pressure. The first time I used it, I kept yelling out in pain, but immediately after, my legs felt so much better. I’m addicted to it now.
3. The Stick
I wish I could carry this thing around and use it all day long. It looks so weird, especially when you’re actually using it, but it’s so great. According to the company, the Stick is like “a toothbrush for your muscles.” While foam rolling targets large muscle groups, the Stick can hit those little tight knots that you just can’t get rid of. I use the Grid first and then I spend extra time rolling each part of my calves, hamstrings, quads, IT band, etc with the Stick. I have perpetually tight calf muscles and this is the only thing that really helps. Beware: your arms will get tired if you have a weak upper body like me.
So this item is obviously not necessary to run well, but I still recommend it. I love what it says (“I run because I can…but really I jog”) because that’s definitely how I feel these days. I also love the color and the size. It stays cold and the water doesn’t end up tasting more like the bottle than water (you know that happens sometimes). But mostly, it’s cute. So buy it.
I know this looks more like a computer than a watch, but it seems a lot bigger than it actually feels. This GPS watch tracks your time, distance, pace, heart rate (optional), and running route. You can also set intervals (for example: if you are doing a walk/run program, you can set it so that it beeps when it’s time to start and stop running) or pace parameters (it beeps if you run too fast or too slow). It also comes with a USB cord so that you can upload your run data to Garmin Connect, an online running log, or sync to another website like Daily Mile. There are debates about whether or not this type of running technology makes runners focus too much on the numbers, but I think it’s the best piece of running gear I’ve purchased. It’s really motivating to see how many miles I’ve done and how my pace continues to improve every time. For beginners, I would also recommend the Garmin Forerunner 110. It’s a little less expensive and is a lot simpler. I used that to train for my first half and I still wear it on easy runs when I don’t care about all of the extra numbers. It’s also smaller and wears more like a regular watch.
This is just a starting list of my running essentials and I encourage you to start your own. Read different reviews and take the time to decide what’s best for you. Some people can run with just a pair of running shoes and a tech shirt. I’m one of those people who wants all of the latest gear and the hottest running clothes. You may fall somewhere in the middle. Whatever works for you is what you should go with. And as always, if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know! I specifically want to know what people think of the Nike+ Sportwatch. Ever since I watched that Ellie Goulding video, I’ve been dying to get it. Is 3 GPS watches too excessive? You can never have too many back-ups right?