Tomorrow marks the start of Half Marathon training for me. Hopefully the next 3 months will fly by so I can be running on the country music streets of Nashville, but maybe more importantly enjoying my trip! Hopefully seeing a few famous country singers in the process. With the start of training on the horizon I thought no better time to share my running gear MUSTS! If you are training for a half marathon or a shorter distance race like a 5K these are my recommended running necessities.
1. Running Shoes
I have running shoes as #1 because they are that important. If you plan on putting a lot of miles in spend the extra time and money by going to a running store to get fitted. I highly recommend a store that actually analyses your feet while you run and can assess what kind of feet you have and tell you exactly what shoes you should buy. My favorite place is Universal Sole in the city, they have a location in Lakeview and are opening another location downtown this spring-right across from my work-I can’t wait! They actually have you run on a treadmill without shoes first while video taping you and suggest a few different pair of shoes, then they bring out the shoes and have you run in each of them on the treadmill while video taping again and explain to you with the video playing why a particular shoe may be better than another because of support, cushioning, etc. Trust me I have had the black toe nails, blisters, calists, it’s not fun, and you are probably going to come across some blisters when running a high number of miles even with the best shoes, but they will be minimal compared to what they would look like with the $40 pair of tennis shoes you grabbed on clearance. Running shoes aren’t cheap (usually $100+), but they really can save your feet from pain. You should try to keep track of your mileage and replace every 500 miles.
2. Balega Socks
Who knew that having cotton in your socks can increase the amount of blisters you get on your feet? Well I have learned my lesson. I refuse to run in any other sock than the Balega Hidden Comfort socks. Supposedly they are the “#1 in running socks” and I back them on that 100%. I tried various sock types out there including top brands and these were the best. Again, these aren’t cheap at $12 a pair, but I’ve learned my lesson. Just try not to lose any in the wash at that price :).
I am soooo not a hat person, I just don’t look flattering in them. However, when it comes to running I put glam aside and run in a hat on most days. The main reason I run in a hat is to hold my hair back. I have tried many headbands over the years, but they don’t keep my thin hair out of my face. Plus running in a hat is great on those sunny days outside.
4. Squeeze Water Bottle
If you are hitting the treadmill like I do for a lot of my running most likely you are going to want a water bottle near by. The only water bottle I ever run with is a squeeze water bottle, it’s easy to grab and gulp! I am just not talented enough to unscrew a top and pour into my mouth while running without getting more water on myself than in my mouth.
Music is a must to keep you pumped while running and to maybe even take your mind of the running part. I’ve had this Ipod forever and enjoy it because I hook up my Nike+ pod to it so I am able to count my miles as well. Whatever your music player choice music is key for running!
I just ordered some new running gear today, I will fill you in on it later, but really these are the items that are a MUST for running. Don’t feel like you have to take my advice, but this is what I have found works for me! Happy Half Marathon Training!