and sometimes 90s pop song lines work as blog titles, so we’ll run with it (ha). In case you didn’t know, I took up running as a hobby in late 2013 and have been keeping up with it since. Today I’ll be talking about mostly the gear I use to run, whose importance is rising as I get more involved with the sport. I’m planning on attempting a half-marathon this year (!!!) so the topic is near and dear to me as I put myself through torture for reasons which I still don’t quite understand as of yet.
Gear preferences and needs are specific to each person. I currently prefer cushy, supportive, stability running shoes. Typically these types of shoes are recommended to people whose feet roll inward (pronation) or outward (supination) but I like them because they’re very comfortable. I favor the Nike brand of running shoes because my feet are small and somewhat narrow–it’s what works for me. I currently run in these:
Nike Lunarglide 5+ in volt/gray (source)
I’ve owned Lunarglide versions 3 – 6. They are my never-fail, walk-everywhere, travel-anyplace shoes, and they’re more than comfortable on asphalt and concrete. The stock insole could use a slightly higher support in the arches, but that can probably be fixed by getting custom insoles.
Left to right: my black Lunarglide collection (versions 4-6.)
My current running wardrobe looks something like this:
Since it’s “winter” for California my tanks are put away and I’m running in Heattech and one of the full zip tops + pants. I prefer running outdoors early in the morning when I have the most energy, but it happens to be the coolest time of the day where I live. Thankfully the weather here is mild enough that I can do this, but my advice probably won’t work out for most of you who have actual seasons.
Under Armour Printed Qualifier 1/2 Zip (source)
This Under Armour top has been a great workhorse since fall. It has a pocket in the back to hold cards, an energy gel pack, or keys. There are thumbholes sewn into the sleeves that can be pulled over the top of your hands for extra warmth. The fabric is very soft on the inside and the zipper/neck area are comfortably snug and warm without being restrictive or cold on the skin (there’s a tab that covers the zipper at the top.) I wish it had a few more reflective elements, like a stripe down the arms or on the back, but I figured safety orange would be a good bright color for running on the street.
I will be forever indebted to high-intensity sports bras with discrete cups. This will vary from woman to woman, but for running I find that structured bras with molded cups (not necessarily padded) are really useful for feeling secure during long distances. I’ve found the most success and comfort with GapFit’s high intensity sports bras–which sadly are not in production currently.
On how to fit sports bras (or even bras in general, really): Running Warehouse and Moving Comfort put this video up on Youtube that I think best explains how to get a good fit on for a sports bra. The best advice I’ve ever gotten is to scoop your breast up and into the cup securely–really, this way you’re ensuring the mass is adequately supported by the band instead of the band sitting on most of the breast tissue. Now any time I change in and out of any of my undergarments, I do this adjustment and I feel a lot more secure.
Accessories and socks
I live in a place with sun year-round, so a hat is essential. I like my Nike Feather Light 2.0 Dri Fit hat:
It’s not groundbreaking but it sort of acts like a sweatband and shades my eyes. It’s breathable and doesn’t add weight to my head, so it’s a worthy purchase. Hand wash and line dry.
I also occasionally use something like the SPIbelt (Small Personal Item Belt) or what my folks would call a fanny pack. I like that the SPIbelt and other products like it change size to fit your needs but what they don’t tell you is that the belt has a tendency to move while you run–resulting in the contents bouncing around in a most distracting manner, and the belt moving around and up your waist. Also, good luck fitting anything heavy like a phone or an iPod in there–even if you cinch the belt tight it will droop somewhat because of the weight.
This is the issue I’m currently grappling with–what sock brand to use? I’ve been working out in Adidas Climacool socks for a while until I realized they chafe the ball of my foot on long runs. They also seem to fall apart quickly, though I’m wondering how much of that is also the stress I put them through–they’re both workout and everyday socks. I’m looking at trying Balega’s Hidden Comfort sock which was highly recommended online and by one of my marathon-running friends who swears by them. I like padded, cushioned socks and while these aren’t the thickest, online reviewers said they were happy with its cushioning and durability.
And just because I’ve been very impressed with this retailer I will mention that I love shopping at Running Warehouse. They’re a California company out of San Luis Obispo and have top-notch customer service. Their 90-day No Sweat Returns policy is easy as pie, and I’m spoiled because I get free overnight shipping (and so do select Arizona and Nevada residences.) Otherwise it’s free 2-day shipping which is still pretty darn quick. If you add them on their social media they’re quick with coupon codes and deals to all sorts of sportswear, accessories, and shoes.
I recognize that this type of topic is somewhat new on here–what do you think, was that informative? I geek out about a lot of things, and I guess running is now one of them. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions; I like to share my discoveries. Do you run? Have you got any long-distance running tips for a n00b like me? What are your favorite brands for sportswear?