I originally took up running when I was thirteen. That was nearly half my lifetime ago. When I originally began running, I used the most basic of gear: running shoes, shorts, old cotton tees, and comfy sports bras.
Over the years, as my running habit has grown, I’ve become more enthralled by some of the still-basic, but more advanced running gear. I’ve acquired gait-specific shoes (I pronate), tech tees, cold-weather pullovers, running tights, shorts, capris, and pants, and even running-specific apps for my iPhone.
With that in mind, I’ve definitely discovered that there are a few articles of my running gear that I reach for more often than others – whether it’s an article of clothing or accessories. Here is a list of my most-recommended running must-haves.
1. My SPIbelt. I wear this every time I am running outdoors, and love it. I use it to carry my inhaler, energy gels, change for water, even my keys. It took me a little while to figure out how to wear it so that it wouldn’t shift, but once I got the hang of it (low, with the pack on one of my hips), I completely forgot I had the SPIbelt on. If you need to carry things with you while running, I definitely recommend this pack!
2. Tech tees. I have a small collection of tech tees and don’t know how I ran without them. They are incredible at wicking away sweat to keep me dry and comfortable on a long, hot run. I’m far more comfortable running in a tech tee and shorts than I ever was running in cotton.
3. Running tights. Ever since the weather got colder, I’ve discovered a great affinity for cold-weather running tights. Mine are from Reebok, and I can tell a difference in how warm I am when I wear the tights, versus when I wear pants. If you run outdoors in cold weather, I definitely recommending picking up a pair.
4. My RoadID. I bought this a few weeks before my my first 5k. I was running outdoors more and more frequently, and carrying ID in my SPIbelt, while doable, didn’t seem to be the most practical option. I love that my ID is right on my wrist while I’m out running, easily accessible to first responders should I ever need help. I feel safer knowing that all my information is right there on my wrist, and I encourage anyone who enjoys outdoor activity to invest in a RoadID.
5. The Nike + GPS App. I don’t have a Garmin, so instead, I use the Nike+ GPS app on my phone to track my pace, mileage, and routes while out running. I put my phone into an armband holder, press play, and get to running. It definitely helps me to push myself and get out there, and I love watching my cumulative mileage total continue to increase. I even use the app while on a treadmill at the gym! For $1.99, it was a great investment and I get excited every time I set out for a new run – to see where I go, where I’m fastest, and where I need to improve.
6. A reflective vest. I do a lot of running really early in the morning, when the light is dim and visibility is low. To increase my visibility, I wear a reflective mesh vest. I also work hard to ensure I have awareness of where I am, looking around and scanning my surroundings often, and not running with headphones. While I do take my phone with me, when I’m running outside, I don’t run with tunes.
7. A pullover. I love pullovers for layering in the cold weather. They help keep me warm, and if I get too hot, well, I have them layered over a tech tee, so I can pull them off or roll the sleeves up! My pullovers are from UnderArmour and Reebok, and both are designed to wick moisture away from my skin, helping to keep me warm when temperatures drop below thirty.
Well, there you have it, seven favorite items of running gear. As you can see, it includes things for comfort and safety, as well as fun. As much as it is important for me to get my mileage in (especially while half marathon training), it’s equally important for me to be safe.
What is some of your favorite athletic gear?