Marathon training has seriously been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. When the idea first popped into my head a year ago I thought, “Oh sure! I’ve done plenty of halves, this will be easy! I just need a little time.” Today, I could slap myself for even thinking such a thing. I expected some of the challenges I have faced such as time constraints, aches and pains, even figuring out my nutrition. The reality of it was, I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. I feel like I’m training for my fist half marathon all over again! I find myself asking new runner questions like, “What is this pain I’m feeling?” (I didn’t even know that body part could hurt), “Do I need new shoes?”, “Why can’t I run faster?!” IT’S SO FRUSTRATING! At least I’ve developed some experience over the last four years I’ve been running. One thing is for sure, I know when I’m headed out for a run (long or short) there are just some things I never question. Today, I thought I would share my go-to running gear. Most of these I would consider tried and true. There are a few items that are new to the list but I feel like they were instant favorites.
The newest item in my collection is the Flip Belt. I just purchased this bad boy a few weeks ago. Previously I had been running with a standard race belt with one small zip pocket that was just barely large enough to hold my phone. I’m a pretty petite person and those bulky arm bands make me feel silly, so belts just work better for me. After purchasing a new phone (Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha) I couldn’t fit my phone into the old race belt! I heard the buzz about the Flip Belt circulating with my #SweatPink sisters and thought I’d try it out. This thing is awesome! It’s basically one huge sleeve wrapped around your waist. There are three or four little openings for you to slip things into which is great because I don’t have to slide my belt all around when I’m running to get to an opening. Not to mention, there is so much storage space in here! My last long run was over 19 miles and I didn’t have any pockets. I was able to fit a few ziplock bags with pretzels and nuun, my car key, my phone, and a small bag of energy gummies in this thing. Normally I would look bloated with all that but the Flip Belt fits so snuggly around my waist that you couldn’t even tell I was carrying anything. It’s doesn’t jump around like some of my other belts either. My only complaint, I only purchased one. They come a wide variety of fun colors so I’m hoping to purchase a few more……. ’cause you know, a girl needs to match while she’s getting fit!
Next item on my list, The Fuel Belt Revenge 4 Bottle Belt I’m going to be honest here, when all four bottles are full this belt jumps around like the Harlem Globe Trotters. Since buying the flip belt I don’t really wear this full system anymore. I like it because it has storage space and I can carry plenty of water but for the most part, I end up taking the bottles out tucking them in my sports bra between my shoulder blades. So really, I should just be highlighting the Fuel Belt water flasks I guess. They are small and easy to carry either in hand or tucked away.
Speaking of Hydration! I cant forget about Nuun. I tend to buy these on the regular. I prefer Nuun as opposed to Gatorade because its not as sweet and I feel like it gets the job done better than another other sports drink. Not to mention the Nuun tabs are small and portable so I can always tuck one in any pocket and carry it with me.
Every runner becomes a shoe snob. It’s just what happens when you torture your feet. I’ve tried everything from Asics to Mizuno but I prefer Newtons. My shoe of choice is the Newton Lady Isaac S. From what I gather the fine folks over at Newton have discontinued this specific shoe and replaced it with another (similar) style. Being the creature of habit I am, I refuse to buy a new shoe because this one has been so good to me. Unfortunately, marathon training has not been good to this shoe. As much as I put it off, I will need to make a trip to my local running store for a new shoe very very soon. The concept behind all Newton shoes is to encourage a forefoot strike and stability, that is why I love them so much. I find that I’m injured less and though I may still have aches and pains from training, they Newton keeps it minimal.
Next up! Scunci Sports Headbands Most of you may not know this but I have the oddest shaped head. I have a tiny forehead and large elongated face. The back of my head is also tiny and flat so it does not support most headbands without them sliding off. I’ve tried everything from those headbands with the gel strip to headbands will combs, clips and much much more. The only brand that seems to stay put on my head are these Scunci headbands. I love them because they are dirt cheap too. I pick mine up at my local walmart and I often find them in lots of fun colors and patterns. When its cold out they are wide enough to slip down over my ears and even secure my earbuds in place.
I can’t forget about my Garmin forerunner 110. When I first started running, I used an App called MapMyRun to track my runs and training details. I still use this App from time to time when I forget to charge my Garmin. This little lady was a gift and to date, has to be one of the handiest gifts I’ve ever received. It came with a heartrate monitor that I use religiously even if I’m not out running. It’s really helped keep track of my target heart rate zones and allowed me to relax on longer runs. With the GPS tracking I don’t ever have to worry about how far I am running and I can easily track my pace or speed. When I want to go out for a bike ride I can change the settings and record speed and heart rate as well. Eventually I will upgrade to a waterproof garmin that is targeted more for triathlon but for now this little buddy works great for me.