I cannot lie and say that I did not enjoy buying all this new running gear. One would think that running would be a fairly inexpensive hobby as all you really need is a good pair of shoes and a place to run (no gym membership required). However if you are like me you want all the gitgets, gadgets, and gizmos that in some way or another promise to enhance the running experience.
Workout Clothes – I prefer yoga pants/running capris to running shorts. Not because I think they accentuate my butt but because they keep my thighs from chaffing due to rubbing together. Luckily I already had a drawer full of yoga pants so I did not have to spend any money here. During the brutal Texas summer I like to wear the least amount of clothing possible and I feel that tank tops are a great compromise by letting me feel free from the restriction of clothing while saving others from having to see me naked. Unlike my convenient stash of yoga pants I was in dire need of new workout tanks. I found 5 never worn Nike Dry Fit tank tops at Plato’s Closet for a steal ($50 including taxes). The sweet cashier at Plato’s let me know that they constantly have great items filtering through their store making them a great place to check out. I am not a huge sock fan so I grudgingly wear them. Axis make a pair of athletic socks I prefer to others however I was unable to find them when I was out buying gear so I am going to tryout these Puma socks since they had some of the same features which I liked. I found this 6 pair pack of socks at T.J.Maxx for $5. T.J. Maxx is also a great place to buy reasonably priced yoga pants if you need some. Not imaged above but definitely important are good sports bras. Like running shoes sports bras are another item I recommend splurging for quality especially if you are large chested like myself.
Running Shoes – Like most die hard runners I will highly recommend splurging on a quality pair of running shoes. Years ago when I was running regularly I went to Luke’s Locker to be professionally fitted for a pair of running shoes. Being a bit stubborn this go around I decided to stick with the same brand as I use to run in instead of being professionally fitted again (I may or may not regret this decision). My preferred brand of running shoes is Mizuno. You can find a quick survey on Mizuno’s website that will help you pick out the best running shoe for you. I took this survey and it recommend that I wear their Wave Creation 18. In effort to save a couple bucks I ordered a pair of Mizuno Wave Creation 17 from Nordstrom. Understanding that running shoes are only good for about 450ish miles and then need to be replaced I like to have a second pair of tennis shoes that I can wear when I cross train. Right now I am loving my pair of Nike Free RN as they are light weight, flexible, and very stylish looking.
Sunscreen – My pale skin does not stand a chance against the sun especially in the summer time so I make sure that if I am going to be out in the sun longer than 15 minutes I put on sunscreen. My favorite sunscreen right now is Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion Sunscreen in SPF 30. It moisturizes my skin while also protecting it. Plus it has a pleasant smell to it.
Foam Roller – Due to my past ankle injury I am adamant about stretching in effort to prevent future injuries. Foam rolling was recommended to me years ago by one of my favorite personal trainers. While I should be foam rolling 30+ minutes every night I have only been doing maybe 10 minutes here and there. However I know that as I start running more I will up my foam rolling game. This was another thing that I did not have to spend money on since I received my foam roller as one of my birthday gifts last year.
Water Bottle – I use to do all my running on a treadmill so I never had to worry about having water with me. However after a few 2-3 mile run/walk sessions outside in the blistering heat I realized the importance of having water with me. I bought one of those water bottle hip belts from T.J.Maxx for $9 when I bought that pack of socks. I’ll have to use it a couple times before I say whether or not I like it.
Sweat Headbands – Without my sweat headbands I would get sweat in my eyes giving me yet another excuse to quit and I really don’t need any more of those right now. I already had these two sweat headbands in my workout gear stash because of yoga so it was another item that I did not have to buy. Plus in addition to keeping sweat from going straight into my eyes they help keep my hair from touching my face (I have these lil fly aways that like to touch my face annoyingly while I workout).
Fitness Tracker – If I am being honest you don’t have to spend $250+ on a fancy fitness watch but it is nice to have one. I currently have the Fitbit Blaze, which not only tracks the number of steps I take throughout the day but also has a heart rate monitor. I originally got it to track the calories I burn during my yoga and cycling workouts. Also, the Fitbit Blaze uses my phone for GPS tracking so as long as I have my phone with me I can see a map of my workout afterwards. This fitness tracker will come in handy when I am working on pacing myself during my long runs (but lets not get ahead of ourselves I am still working on running a mile without stopping).
Music – Music gets me pumped up for a workout and it also keeps me going when I start to get tired. I am one of those people who will skip a workout because I forgot to pack my ipod in my gym bag.
Recovery Supplement – As I amplify my workouts I am going to need to help my body recovery quickly as I am not going to be able to take a week off from training due to sore muscles. Since I am not an expert on workout supplements I decided to try BSN Amino X out because of its good reviews on Amazon.
I guess now that I have all this great running gear it is time for me to actually use it. May my training commence!