Hungry Runner Girl did this last week, and it was fun to see all her faves. So here are the top ten pieces of gear that, as a runner, I can’t live without!!
1. Brooks PureCadence 2 – You need running shoes to run. I used to be a Saucony girl, exclusively. And then my husband switched to Brooks PureFlow. He raved about them. I need a small amount of guidance in my shoes, so I decided to give the PureCadence a try. And oh my gosh…I love them. I have now stockpiled the PureCadence 2s because I’m not 100% sold on the 3s.
2. Garmin 220 – I don’t know how I ran before I had a GPS watch. Outside of shoes and maybe a couple of dry fit outfits, I think it’s the best investment you can make for running. The Garmin 220 can do everything I want it to…tons of data, run/walk and pace alerts, programmed workouts, bluetooth connection, ridiculously long battery life. And it’s a pretty purple.
3. Trigger Point Foam Roller and The Stick – A device that I can use to give my legs, back, and hips a massage whenever I want…sign me up! The foam roller is awesome for my back and hips, but nothing beats The Stick for doing my quads and calves. And it’s portable! What? A Stick in my work bag is completely normal, right? It’s every librarian’s essential item, right?
4. Under Armour Authentic 7″ Shorts – I have LOTS of running tops that I love…far too many to count or include on here. But I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my bottoms. I used to switch between regular running shorts and running skirts, but nothing beats these bad boys. They are compression so they keep my quads happy. They are long enough that I don’t have to worry about thigh chaffing. And they make my butt look good! I wear them in all my warm weather races, as you can see below!
5. Sockguy Socks and Bondi Bands – I know it’s two things, but these go hand in hand. They keep me comfortable during runs. The Bondi Band keeps my hair out of my face and doesn’t budge. And my SockGuy socks keep my feet happy…no blisters, except those tiny weird one that I get on the ends of my toes in the middle of heavy training plans. No matter what socks or shoes I wear, I get them. Silly little toes. The watermelon Sock Guy socks will always be my favorite. If you want to see a Bondi Band in action, look at every single picture of me running.
6. CEP Compression Sleeves – I didn’t understand the idea of these things until I tried them. I actually thought people that wore them looked a little silly. But oh man…after a long run or a hard workout, I wear these puppies for 24 hours! And if I’m having calf, shin, or ankle soreness, wearing these during a run can keep injuries at bay. After my first 10+ miler, my neon orange CEP’s helped me combat my one and only bout of shin splits.
7. iPod Shuffle – I gotta have my tunes when I run. I don’t always listen to every word of every song, and sometimes it’s just background noise. I like the Shuffle because it’s little and clips to my shirt. Right now, I’m using Yurbud earbuds, and I like them a lot. But I’ll be asking for some wireless headphones for Christmas. I’m tired of fighting the cord during workouts.
8. Trek Madone 4.5 – I LOVE to run, but I LOVE my bike too. This summer, I’ve become a triathlete of sorts. And surprise…all the cross training has made my running even stronger! You have to change it up sometimes. And while an expensive bike isn’t necessary, it’s pretty nice. I have a Trek Madone 4.5 road bike. It has a carbon frame, which after riding once around the block at the bike store, I was sold! My poor old aluminum hybrid bike never gets ridden anymore.
9. Water Bottles – I drink A LOT of water. If I get less than 80oz in a day, I can feel it. We have lots of water bottles. My favorites are probably the big 32oz Rubbermaid ones. I’m also a big fan of my new hydration vest, a Nathan Firecatcher. I tried a handheld, but it threw off my gait. I have a belt that I like, but it pinches my hips. The vest is great. Lots of pockets for all my nutrition and a big pouch on the back for my phone, my car key, some cash, and an extra Vapur water bottle if I want to carry more water.
10. Peanut Butter, English Muffin Bread, and Coffee – This is essential for me. I eat it EVERY SINGLE MORNING for breakfast. No joke. It gives me enough energy for my runs and has the right amount of carbs, protein, and caffeine to wake up my brain.
What are your favorites??