Whoever said running was an inexpensive sport, lied. Or maybe for some of you, it is.
I could probably actually be competitive if I didn’t load myself down with one of everything from the running store.
I kid, I kid. Sort of.
But in all reality, over the past 1.5 years or so, I have accumulated quite a bit of running crap and thought I’d share with you my favorite stuff.
Let’s start at the top and work our way down, shall we?
I snagged a couple of Bondi Bands at the Women’s Half Marathon expo last September, and really like them. Sometimes I do feel a bit like Bret Michaels, because they are wider than some headbands…
…but for the most part, they really work. They don’t move around a lot and do a fab job of keeping the sweat out of my eyes, which is a full-time job for any of my headbands. Plus, they say cutesy things like “I Run like a Girl,” or “Run” in rhinestones. I like my flair.
Me in my Bondi Band…eating yogurt. Everything in moderation. Even moderation.
If it’s super sunny out, I’ll wear my Nike Daybreak hat that I scored at Fleet Feet. It keeps the sun directly out of my eyeballs (since I don’t wear sunglasses to run) and also keeps the sweat from pouring in my eyes. AND, it is so light and doesn’t get all heavy on my head when I fill it with sweat.
Wear it, at least on your face, when you run. Summer or winter. Period.
My absolute favorite top is this Champion Seamless Babydoll tank. It has great boob support – a must – and is long. I like the longer tops that don’t hug my muffin top. You can fetch these at Target (if they aren’t sold out, because they go quick) for $19.99 – or online for sale, right now!
Here is me in the girliest running digs ever. Here’s the babydoll tank, the hat I wrote about above, some Nike Tempos, the CEP sleeves (I write about these below), my Brooks Ravennas and the trusty knee brace. Wow. GEAR UP. Party down. At least if someone runs over me, they couldn’t claim they never saw me coming.
I recently wrote about my new favorite long-sleeved top that I practically stole from Costco. What a deal. I seriously should go get another one.
But I also really love shopping for these long sleeve tops at TJMaxx and Marshalls. For real. I have several Asics and New Balance zip up, moisture wicking tops that I got for like $16 there. I prefer the zip-up ones usually, so I can strip them off as I run since I’m as hot-natured as they come. I sweat in 18 degree weather if I’m running.
Alright, let’s get personal blog buddies. If I am wearing a top that has some extra built-in support, I usually go with any ol’ sports bra that’s comfy. The double-coverage works fine. However, if my top is a loose, shell-top of some kind that doesn’t support, then I want a supa good bra.
Just within the past couple of months I went to Fleet Feet here in Nashville and they fitted me for the best sports bra for me. It was awesome. And so is this baby. I present to you, the Moving Comfort Grace Sports Bra.
Photo credit (since this is not me…well, they clearly cropped her head onto my body, since those are my abs. Rude.)
This thing gets the job done and keeps everyone right where they are supposed to be. And it zips in the front – so no more upside down, arms pinned up by your ears, SOMEONE GET ME THE EFF OUT OF THIS THING wrestling matches with your bra.
In the summer, it’s always, without a doubt, my Nike Tempos. They are moisture-wicking, comfy and don’t give the ever-popular frontal wedgie when you run. I wear smalls in these, but also have a pair of mediums that I roll down and they work fine, also. I have a drawer full by now and look for them on sale every chance I get. These things are pricey (particularly at Dick’s Sporting Goods or the like), so if you can find them on sale at your fave running store or the Nike outlet, GET ‘EM.
In the winter it’s Champion tights that I found at Target. I can’t find the dang things online – but just peruse your local Target. Their Champion C9 gear is fabulous, and a great deal.
Capris – they even have a little zipper pocket there on the hip, big enough to fit a GU packet. Convenient. Sweet stance, by the way.
The pants. Quite warm on a wintry run.
Good socks are a must for running. They prevent blisters, wick sweat off your pups. They are REQUIRED. These Balgas are my favorite. Although they are pricey, they last a long-time. Just buy a couple pairs and wash them regularly. You can even just rinse them in the sink if you’re running the very next day – they dry out super fast.
I’ll tell you what shoes I wear, but if you take one thing away from this – it’s GO GET FITTED FOR SHOES! If you’re even training for a 5k and plan to run leisurely on a regular basis, shoes are an investment that can help prevent injuries and just keep you comfortable in general. Everybody runs differently – pronating, supinating, running flat footed, hitting on your heels, hitting on the balls of your feet, etc. There are lots of options. For every option, there is a shoe that works better than another. So while those pink and purple Nikes at the Academy Sports may be cute, they may be detrimental to your training. I got fitted at Fleet Feet, the mother ship. But there are lots of places that will fit you – ask around for what’s close by. I got fitted for Brooks Ravennas. Once you know what you wear, you can buy them anywhere. Like online for a deep discount. (Sorry FF).
Mmmmm….new shoe smell.
Other Misc. Accessories:
Are you bored yet? Hope not. There’s still tons of fun.
I would never run without my trusty Garmin. One time on a 5 mile training run I did forget it and almost went back home. Ha. It’s one of those things that you wonder how you ever lived without, once you have it. I love to know how fast I’m going and how far I’ve gone/got to go. I luuuuuurve it!
You can read my post here about Compression Sleeves. They have been a God-send since May when I considered hating running full-time. They cured me! I run in them (some people just use them to recover) and wear them for about 20 minutes or so after a run to cool-down. People say “but what do they do?” Well heck, I don’t know – but I know I can run without hating my life if I’m wearing them. I don’t care if there are a billion tiny fairies in there massaging my shins as I run – it works!
During training for my first half marathon in Spring of 2010 I became BFFs with a physical therapist and changed my running style to fix a foot injury. This caused a knee injury – fun! Wearing a cheapo knee brace (pictured above) from Dick’s Sporting Goods seems to help. I notice if I run without it, my knee gets all watery feeling and it’s just not worth it. I should do regular strengthening exercises that could hopefully strengthen and cure my knee, but I am not diligent about them.
Lastly – nutrition! These are my favorite things to snack on before or during a run.
(Pictured below). Clif blocks, GU Chomps and those Luna Moons (my favorite) are good before a run – like 15 minutes before. They are chock full of carbs and sugar to get your energy up. I know people who love them (Josh Wade) DURING a run, but I can’t seem to get them down when I’m gasping for breath. Let’s just say during a half marathon I had to eat some Chomps twice….fun.
The Clif bars I love about 45 minutes before a run – for breakfast before an early run, especially. Again, full of carbs and energy. The GU gels are my go-to during runs. If I’m running more than six miles, I take one of these. During a half marathon I will do one at mile 6ish and at mile 10ish when I’m having a sugar crash. (Side note – during the Women’s Half my blood sugar bottomed out, and I don’t have a blood sugar problem, so badly my teeth were chattering. GU and a sip of Gatorade fixed me right up.)
That’s all folks. Well – all I’m willing to reveal to you without sounding like a total running nutbag who has entirely too much crap in her arsenal to be running a measly two miles a day, as of late.
I hope you find one or ten things here that you too, can love!