There’s more that goes into my weekly runs than meets the eye. I’ve become rather adept at applying all of the accoutrement that ensure a smooth run. It’s merely a quick fastening of the watch, stuffing of the tissue (get your minds out of the gutter), popping of the ear buds, and adjusting of the hat and then I’m off.
Here are a few essentials I can’t live without, in case you were wondering. There’s still time to jump on Amazon and buy most of these things for your favorite runner (or just someone who likes fancy workout garb), so run, run, Rudolph (or Santa, as it were), and grab this gear!
1. Saucony Sneakers
I can’t say enough about this fabulous brand of shoes. I have tried on every type of shoe – Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, New Balance, and more, but every time (since my high school track days), I keep coming back to Saucony. They’re light, supportive, cushiony, and actually a bit less expensive than some of the aforementioned brands. If you don’t like running, try running in Sauconys and let me know how you feel after a few runs!
2. Running Tights
Each week, I save one pair of running pants in the laundry rotation for my Saturday long run. I have had this one pair of black Fila tights for years! I got them at Marshalls for $16.99 and they are the best because they wick sweat, taper tightly at the ankle for a wind-free, seal-tight fit, have 4-way stitching for a wedgie-free run, and are, actually, kind of flattering (as flattering as spandex can be!).
3. Lululemon Half-Zip Jacket
I’ve already proclaimed the glory all things Lulu, but in this case, I’ll have to say it again. Everything Lululemon is fabulous, and especially wonderful is this sleek top. It’s expensive, I know, but beyond being supremely functional, it’s super-cute and has a handy back pocket for housing disgusting Power Gel-y kind of mid-run snacks.
4. The iPod Shuffle
It’s light, it’s aerodynamic, and it’s full of super-awesome, mightily motivating tunes to run to (full list of said workout mix to come – stay tuned!). I have a Gen 1 shuffle and I almost think I’d like it better than the newer models, because it’s so easy to hold on a run.
5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Z-Bar
Speaking of mid-run snacks, this is the best one I’ve tried. It’s relatively easy to chew (who knew running, chewing, and TRYING TO BREATHE at the same time would be such a task 4 or 5 miles in?). I HATE Power Gel or any ooze-y, gel-like substance and running 10-plus miles at once is gagular in and of itself, so why torture yourself with disgusting snacks?
6. Viva Paper Towels
At about mile 7, my body starts to give off the “What-the-H-are-We-Doing-Here?” vibe. My ear buds start to fall out, my calves start to ache, and my nose starts to … well, there are a lot of boogers, people. So, I grab my paper towel (because in this situation, tissues will just. not. do.), and start wiping. Viva is very soft, too, which doesn’t hurt (ha!).
7. Polar Heart Rate Monitor
Really good to run with every once in a while, to see if you are, in fact, working at 75% exertion. Because sometimes you think you’re busting your hump, when your heart rate thinks you’re strolling in the park, and other times you think you couldn’t be plugging along any slower, when you’re actually OVERexerting yourself. You never know how much a hill affects you until you see your heart rate jump 20 beats per minute in the middle of Heartbreak Hill.
Okay – your turn – what can you not live without in the exercise realm?