I love running. But I know that a lot of people don’t love running. So that’s why I thought I’d share my top 5 running essentials with all you running-haters—with the hopes of making running a little bit more pleasant for you and possibly motivating you to get out and get your run on (because new/exciting gear always seems to motivate me).
- Garmin GPS Running Watch. My Garmin is my baby. I’m not kidding when I say I have an unusual attachment to my watch. I currently use the Garmin Forerunner 910, which is a triathlon watch (records my swim, bike, and run), but if you’re not into the whole triathlon thing you could probably settle for the wonderful (and much cheaper) Garmin 110. This was my first GPS watch when I started running and it changed my life. It tracks your distance, time, and pace and if you buy the heartrate monitor, it will give you a read on your heartrate and how many calories you’ve burned. I’m all about running based on feel, but for someone who loves numbers, it’s cool to see your distance/pace/mile splits/max heart rate/etc. Once I started running with a GPS watch, I was so much more motivated to get out and hit the road. Garmins are wonderful and super easy to set up and work (trust me, I am technologically challenged). And you can transfer the data right from your watch onto your computer so the numbers nerd in you can really geek out!
- Yurbud Inspire for Women. Finding a pair of headphones that stay in my ears AND don’t hurt my ears is a huge feat. I went through more headphones than you can imagine and then one day I found Yurbuds. They are sport-specific headphones that are water/sweat resistant and “twist-lock” into place. I’m not kidding when I say no other headphone I’ve used has managed to stay in my ear when running. They come in different sizes too, so you can get the women-specific ones if you want a smaller size (although I used the original inspire for a year and never had a problem). Did I mention they last forever? I’ve been using them for 3 years and have only had to replace them once and that was because I lost them…Yeah they’re hardcore.
- Lululemon Run: Speed Shorts. These are my absolute favorite running shorts. They’re super comfortable and sweat-wicking (keep sweat away from your skin) and most importantly don’t restrict your movement. The waistband does not dig into my skin…aka NO MUFFIN TOP. And, they are chafe-resistant. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than chafing. Most importantly, they have a zipper pocket on the back of the waistband where you can store keys, money, fuel, etc. The shorts are a little bit on the pricey side but so worth it!
- Nike Pro Women’s Sports Bra. Sorry, guys, but I have to include this because finding a good sports bra is so important for women. Keep in mind that this is what works for me. However, I know a lot of my friends also LOVE this bra. It is technically a “medium impact” sports bra, but it works great for me for running. It’s moisture wicking and is designed to prevent chafing (because who wants to chafe on their boobs…not cute). And, perhaps most importantly, it comes in a huge variety of fun, amazing colors. I probably own close to 20 of these sports bras, all in different colors. I know, I have a problem.
- Saucony Kinvaras. I’ve been through a lot of shoes since I started running. Like a lot a lot. And I know that running shoes are not a “one size fits all” kind of deal, but let me tell you why I like the Kinvaras. I started off running in stability shoes, because I over-pronated when I ran. Unfortunately, while the stability shoes were good for my feet, they gave me really bad knee problems. Running in a neutral shoe encourages more natural, correct running form. I transitioned into the Saucony Kinvaras over a year ago and love them. They are lightweight and flexible but still have some support (so they are not an entirely minimalist shoe). I have noticed my form as well as my injuries improve since I began training in them. However, I highly recommend going into a local running store and having your gait analyzed so that you can be fit with a good shoe for your form. It will help prevent injuries and make your running experience so much more enjoyable.