I absolutely love posts like this so when a super nice gal who follows my blog (Hi Lauren!) asked if I would do my own write-up of my favorite gear I was so excited to oblige! Given the opportunity to share my opinion on absolutely any topic ever, I’m all over it like white on rice.
I’m still relatively new to the running world so obviously I’m no expert, but I do have an ever growing list of must-haves that I tout the amazingness of to anyone that will listen. Luckily I was wearing or using 100% of these items in my October half so this helpful picture could happen:
1. Garmin Forerunner 10
My Garmin was the first bigger ticket item I purchased back in June. I had been sticking mostly to the treadmill for a long time and when I finally made my move outside I had no way to track my speed or distance unless I strapped my giant phone to my scrawny arm and no thanks. I nearly drove myself insane researching fitness trackers and GPS watches. FINALLY after weeks of madness I decided on the Forerunner in purple which is my most favorite color. It is one of my most beloved things.
The Forerunner 10 doesn’t measure heart rate, but that wasn’t in my criteria anyway. It is extremely accurate (I map all my runs first and the distance always matches up), I’ve never had trouble getting a signal, the Garmin Connect site is totally boss, the price point is slightly lower than other Garmins making it a very affordable choice, and the color choices are amazing! If there is ever a sad day where this one doesn’t work anymore, I will have no hesitation about buying a second one.
2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS13
When I first started running it was in a random pair of Sauconys that I got for $25 at DSW. Sounds potentially terrible right? It surprisingly wasn’t. Saucony makes a good shoe, but after awhile I was having some nagging hip pain and knew that if I was going to continue with this I should probably get myself to a running store and have a professional check out my gait. I have an odd combo of high arches and over-pronation due to a birth defect that required a couple of pretty intense surgeries when I was a child. More about that on another day.
I tried on several pairs of shoes and the Brooks felt best…supportive while still feeling super light on my feet and not at all clunky. My first pair were the stealthy black ones I have on in the picture above and before I knew it they had like 400 miles on them. I just took pair #2 out for their first run yesterday.
Notice my recurring color theme? I’m pretty sure I’ll be a Brooks runner for life. Since the switch I have had no more pain in my hips and no more nasty blisters on the insides of my feet.
3. Under Armour Heat Gear
You really can’t go wrong with Under Armour aka the official gear of all Baltimore sports because they are a Baltimore company! My first piece of HeatGear was a tech tee from the Back to Football 5k I ran in early September and it was love at first wear. The material is super light microfiber and amazing at wicking away moisture. Since that first piece I have added a couple long sleeved HeatGear shirts that I layer as the weather has gotten cooler. Could I just go get some ColdGear? Yes and I probably will, but I love how the HeatGear keeps me warm enough without making me hot. The capris I have on in the photo above are HeatGear compression and they are the most comfortable pants to run in ever. Also in the right light, they are leopard print. What!? Giant bonus!
4. CEP Calf Sleeves
When I was in the market for some kind of calf compression gear, I opted for the sleeve instead of a full sock because I was afraid the full sock would make me feel too restricted. My reasoning might be a little weird, but I’m pleased with my choice. I swear every run is better when I have these things on. My legs get noticeably less fatigued. The first time I went out in them, I tackled a giant mountain of a hill near my house and made it up without too much trouble and I like to think they helped. I love how it feels like my calves are getting an awesome hug when I put them on. Plus now that it’s freaking freezing outside, I can wear them under my running tights and they keep me a little warmer. CEP is the company I had heard the most about so these are the only compression sleeves I have, at least for the next few days until my PRO Compression sleeves arrive (in…you guessed it…PURPLE). I’m excited to see if there is any difference between the two.
5. Bondi Band
Let’s discuss my hair for a minute. It’s flat, not that thick, straight, and I usually keep it long because every time I cut it I am completely miserable afterward. A few months ago it was giving me fits every time I would go for a run so I started looking for the perfect headband to keep my hair in place. I discovered Bondi Band by accident at the Baltimore Running Festival Expo and purchased my first one:
It’s funny because it’s true. Since then I’ve acquired a couple other headbands, but this one is still my favorite. The material is stretchy, super breathable and so light that I’ve actually forgotten that I was wearing it. It fits my little noggin perfectly and stays put no matter how many miles I run or how many inversions I do in hot yoga class, so I totally believe them when they say that they work on any size head.
Okay so accidents happen. The farther I was running away from home, the more I started to worry about something possibly happening to me out there. Not to be morbid, but what if I collapsed or got hit by a truck or got mugged and knocked out? I do live in Baltimore after all. Haven’t you ever seen The Wire?
A RoadID just makes good sense and I encourage everyone to have something like this on them when they go out for a run, walk, or a bike ride. You can personalize it however you want. I have my husband’s and my mom’s phone numbers, plus a line about my penicillin allergy in case I am too incapacitated to give someone that information myself. Then there is a little space where you can put a fun quote. I put “Run now. Wine later.” Notice my recurring wine theme? I swear I’m not a wino.
Also mine is purple. You probably already knew that.
I made the arrow pointing to my mouth because that’s where the Gu goes. I’ve interviewed all sorts of gels and bloks, but Gu is still my favorite. I believe it really does help with recovery and in a pinch I can have some about 10 minutes before a race if I procrastinated too much and missed out on a real breakfast. So like…before nearly every race I’ve ever run. Go-to flavors include the vanilla, the orange-vanilla Roctane and I am currently crushing all over this one:
Mmmm salted caramel. AND SEE THE YETI’S NAME?! It’s like we’re soul mates! Unfortunately it looks like this flavor isn’t going to be available forever, so I’m going to have to hoard it.
I also love how the package says “Salty trains hard. How about you?” Tee hee.
You can’t see it, but I promise it’s there. As I mentioned earlier, I have no desire to attach my phone to my arm. Even if I did, I haven’t been able to find an iPhone arm band that will fit. So I got the Amphipod based on the fact that the pocket was roomy enough to hold my phone, plus a Gu packet (or two), plus my enormous car key, plus a chapstick. Basically the Mary Poppins bag of running waistpacks.
It’s made of very breathable, light material and it stays put on my hips. It is very non-annoying, which means I love it. Currently I don’t run with water, but when I start getting into my marathon training I will. I’ll be buying one of their hydration belts to wear on my long runs.
Some extra things…
I am a big fan of the C9 stuff at Target. I have a couple pairs of shorts, breathable running jackets, sports bras, tanks, and a pair of running tights that are really comfortable and warm. Because I have a toddler, I keep myself on a pretty strict clothing budget and it’s nice that I have some good options there that won’t break the bank!
::points to the sidebar:: I’m also a new Brand Ambassador for Swirlgear; a line of stylish, moisture-wicking women’s running apparel, designed by a runner so she knows exactly what we need! I instantly fell in love with the brand as soon as I discovered it. I’ll be having a little fashion show and review on the blog as soon as my new gear arrives. I’m so excited to try it out and share it with everyone!
I would love to hear what you guys love too! What is your favorite gear? Help me add some more new things to my list!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my iBodyFit giveaway and if you are doing the Runner’s World Streak, you can still link up with the Blog Hop I’m hosting with Helly from Helly on the Run! This link will be open until next week when we open up a new one!
Happy Friday one and all and I hope you have wonderful weekends!