One great aspect of running is that, as hobbies go, you virtually need nothing other than a good pair of shoes and a little bit of will power to get started. On the other hand, the accessories that I have found useful, I am more than dedicated to, and would never hit the pavement without them. Here are mine- what are yours? –Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra: Boobs don’t move. Not at all. Not even on a super steep downhill. ‘Nough said.
–Cool Mesh Wrightsock: I have a lot, a lot, a lot of wicking socks in my drawer- blisters are very hard to ignore when running, trust me- but these are my favorite, very comfy and aren’t even wet post-run!
–Body Glide for Women: (Worst name for a sports product, ever.) Before I put on those socks, I slather on this anti-chafing balm to prevent blisters and it actually works!
–Asics Gel-Trabuco 12 Trail Running Shoe: I have run is Asics for 5 years now, and for trail running, these shoes are comfortable, light, and sturdy with lots of support. They dry fast and do not get weighed down when completely drenched in mud.
–Mizuno’s Wave Alchemy Running Shoe: Since my IT band injury earlier this year, I have switched to these to correct my over-pronation. They change my gait and so far that is a good thing- been running pain free ever since I got these suckers!
–Nathan Shoe Pocket: Perfect for one key and one bill, stays snug on your shoe, never falls off. The reflective strip actually fell off a few months into use but it still does the job- best $5 I ever spent.
–Luna Bar or Lara Bar or Cliff Bar Minis: I usually struggle to eat a full size bar in the wee hours of the morning and have found that 100 calories is all I need before a short training run and for that, these minis are perfect. I’ve picked up boxes of minis at Target and I also order them online at REI.com (more flavors) and pick-up in-store.
–Bondi Bands: I sweat a lot when I run (like a lot, a lot, a LOT) and the combination of sweat and last night’s moisturizer stinging your eyes as you pummel the road sucks, and this really helps. Plus, they are pretty darn cute!
–Amphipod Run Lite Air Stretch Hydration Belt: When I first started running, I would get killer side stitches, even on a mere 5K. On races, I noticed that I also have a definite run-and-grab-tiny-water-cup-and-drink coordination problem so I decided to up my nerd quotient and wear a water belt to keep those painful side stitches at bay. I think I look like a geek but it definitely solves my hydration issues, plus the little zipper pocket in front is pretty handy! I’ve fit my camera & cell phone & chomps & car key in that sucker!. (Okay, yeah, so mastering the run-and-grab-water-bottle-off-belt-and-drink skill is still a work in progress but I wear wicking shirts when I run so being drenched is all good.)
–Nuun: Best. Product. Ever. Like I said, side stitches plagued me for quite sometime and once I started wearing my water, adding nuun tablets, side stitches became a thing of the past. On days leading up to races, I make sure to have a few nuun U tablets a day to up my hydration- zero sugar, they are just electrolytes and vitamins and sodium, the perfect balance of what a running body needs. And I just love all the flavors!
–Garmin Forerunner 405: Hubby gave me this for Christmas last year, I call it Space Watch. It does so many different things that it will probably take me years to master, the owner’s manual is about 200 pages long. I have successfully figured out how to track my distance & speed and upload it all to the computer, I really enjoy tracking my runs as well as simply looking at my wrist to check my pace on a run or race. Oh and I think it tells time too, I guess that’s kinda handy.