I have run for fitness for a long time, but when I started participating in races last year, the running gear I required changed dramatically. Half marathon training requires a lot of gear! I have also added items to my gear list as I’ve lived and learned (and blistered, and chafed). Here are 5 of my running necessities for anyone participating in a half marathon training program, or interested in beginning running.
I cannot run without music, and it has to be upbeat. Right now I use my Samsung Galaxy as an Mp3 player. My current tactic is to buy a couple of songs before my long run as motivation. I mean, $2-$3 on music a week is a great morale boost, and while it seems expensive, is in actuality the price of a coffee.
#2 Expensive socks
I cannot tell you how much better your feet will feel during and after a long run if you wear a quality pair of socks. I like Thorlos brand socks, mostly because they’re easy to find at most sports stores. A lot of runners also prefer knee high compression socks, which I will be trying out soon.
Here is the 84NRCW 84N Runner for Women:
#3 Multiple pairs of sneakers
Running is hard on the sneakers. The brand and type of sneaker I’m into changes, but I like to have a very light weight shoe for shorter runs, and something more stable for longer runs. Alternating sneakers seems to help my feet recover, and extends the life of my shoes.
I currently like these pretty inexpensive Reeboks, especially their ZigTech and other lightweight shoes, for my short runs.
I like Asics gels for my longer runs, especially the Gel Forte, Gel Kayano, and Gel Nimbus.
I’m due for a new pair of shoes, and might go back to my old standby, the Mizuno Wave Rider.
#4 Water source
I cannot run without water, but most water carriers are uncomfortable. I’ve tried carrying a water bottle, used a water belt, and currently use a Camelbak hydration pack. I have on shorter runs stashed a bottle at my house and made stops, but in the Florida heat I find myself needing water too often to rely on stashed sources.
#5 Sport Shield
I use the Sport Shield liquid-roll. I might try something else when I run out, but the point is I need something for blisters and chafing. I like to use it on my feet and thighs, but it can be used anywhere that might rub when running. One caveat – it is incredibly slick. After a treadmill run at the gym this stuff literally caused me to go sliding across the room when I dropped a little too vigorously on a mat to stretch. It gets the job done!