My fitness level isn't exactly where I'd like it to be and the recent stomach issues are causing a bit of a problem, but I'm determined to make it through this training cycle injury-free and having fun! I plan on posting a weekly recap each Monday (mainly for my own benefit) about how the previous week's training went.
But since Mondays are rest days, I'm hydrating, eating foods I can easily digest, and heading to bed super early to catch up on the hours I've been missing lately! But I couldn't let the first day of training go by without commemorating it somehow...
I present to you: my favorite running products!
Running started out as a relative cheap hobby. Sure, running shoes can be a little pricey, but otherwise, you can just grab your iPod and head out the door. But after my first half marathon, I realized I needed a little more than just running shoes and some pump-up jams. All these products below get frequent use and I highly recommend all of them. If you have any questions, just ask!
Garmin Forerunner 210
I bought this watch for myself as a present when I passed the CPA exam last fall. It was definitely a splurge, but I so wish I had it when I trained for my first half. The information it provides can be extremely helpful when analyzing your runs (too fast? too slow? how far?) I wear this watch every time I run outside and haven't had any trouble with it. Some people claim it takes awhile to find a signal, but I usually just stand outside and stretch while I'm waiting, so that doesn't bother me. The only complaint I have is that the battery dies pretty quickly. I sometimes think I can go several days without charging, and then find the battery beeping at me within the first quarter mile. It even has a lap function, handy for interval runs.
I used to always run and workout in the classic Tempo short, every sorority girl's uniform. I have at least 8 pairs, if not more. And then I discovered these babies. It's everything you love about the classic tempo short, with compression shorts underneath (and an extra zipper pocket)! When running in this summer's humidity (i.e. lots of sweat), I noticed that my shorts were clinging to me like trash bags. I headed online to see what I could find, knowing that spandex compression shorts were not an option. These shorts are the best of both worlds! I don't feel like I'm on display in tight spandex, while still having the look of a tempo short. Since they're pricey, I only have one pair, but they've quickly become I favorite! I even wash them in between runs so I can wear them as much as possible.
I just bought this water bottle a few weeks ago and am kicking myself for not buying it sooner. It's so handy (ha, yes, pun intended)! It holds just enough water for my shorter runs and I don't have to worry about finding a working water fountain in Cleveland Park. The little pouch is nice for holding extras, too!
I'm obsessed with these socks. When I was at a local running store picking out shoes, the salesperson suggested these to me. I was skeptical, thinking they probably wouldn't make more of a difference than the cheap ankle socks I usually wore. Boy, was I wrong. The cushioned seam at the heel keeps blisters away and they keep your feet dry. I scoop up as many pairs as I can when they go on sale.
I've tried running with and without music, and I'm still undecided about which I prefer. Sometimes, quiet runs allow you to think and have time alone. Other times, I just want to blast some tunes and zone out. Either way, this little guy gets the job done.
Foam rollers are great for muscle recovery. I know spending 5 minutes on my muscles after my long runs is going to make a big difference in soreness the next day.
One thing you'll notice is missing is running shoes. I still haven't found a pair that I'm in love with. My last two pairs have been Asics, but I'm not sure they were the best for me. I have a neutral foot strike so there a lot of options out there. I had a weird foot injury and hip injury with the first half, and I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't because of my shoes. I'm heading out this week to hopefully find a pair I'll love!
Are there any running products you swear by that I just have to try? I'd love to hear about them!
Happy running y'all!