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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.

Shoes

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:

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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.

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Left to right: my black Lunarglide collection (versions 4-6.)

Clothes

My current running wardrobe looks something like this:

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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)
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.

Sports bras
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:

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Available at Nike.com

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.

Re: socks

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.
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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?

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11 thoughts on “Sometimes I run

  1. So how/where do you put your IPod? Arm band?

    I think Smartwool makes really good running socks – I have a few but I always end up just wearing really thin socks because I can’t stand cushioning. Did you get yourself professionally fitted for the running shoes? If your shoes are too small, they will rub you in places (like the ball of your feet). I usually wear a size 6.5 in Nike Frees for walking but ended up having to get a 7.5 in a pair of Brooks running shoes because you’re suppose to have about 1/2 inch running space. Something to look into.

    Good luck with the prolonged running! I busted my knee last year and long-distance really isn’t my thing since I’m lazy and hefty. I just do lots of HIIT now.

    1. The bad part is I carry my phone in my hands…or in my sports bra. Neither of which are really comfortable. I can’t do the arm band thing; that would drive me nuts! It’s not an ideal solution but if they could invent a chest-harness I would prefer that over a belt. Maybe there’s already something out and I just don’t know it.

      I was professionally fitted and determined to be a size 7.5 for running shoes. I didn’t get to try many brands except for Asics and NB. I liked New Balance, but I need the Narrow width which I’d have to order specifically. Probably for my next shoe; the NB model I tried was light but still fairly cushioned and the heel drop wasn’t too drastic from what I’ve been running in. I’ll have to go back and try more brands.

      Thank you for your insights Amanda! I hope your knee isn’t bothering you too much now.

  2. You should look up Spibelt to hold your iPhone. And get bluetooth headphones, if they’re only for running they don’t have to be expensive (mine are Kinovo and were $18 from amazon), it’s the best setup IMHO, you’re not tethered. Cushiony socks might give you blisters on long runs, I actually recommend very thin running socks, remember your feet will swell a lot. And First-Aid’s anti-friction stick! Apply liberally everywhere before putting your socks on, it really helps with the blisters. Good luck!

  3. Haha best post title. How cold is the coldest it gets when you run? I find even in winter here I never want a jacket to wear (might be because I heat up so much!) Also, I would like to appeal to your running geekery- how often is one meant to replace their running shoes? For socks, I like the Nike Elite cushioned dri-fit socks, I had the worst problems with blisters until I got them.

    1. About the high 40s to the mid 50s at around 6, 6:30 am. I typically do better with morning runs before work as opposed to after; I just don’t have the energy to do much after work.

      I believe the usual advice is every 500+ miles you’re supposed to change your shoes (if one believes the many running blogs and forums out there.) I’ve gone with as soon as I feel sharp arch pain, the shoes go, which end up being about 9-10 months with my use.

      With these long runs, I’m running into some foot pains and aches that don’t go away for days, so I’m a little worried. Health is so important and so fragile.

      1. Ah so that’s a bit colder than when I run during winter (I prefer afternoons!).

        Hmm! That would mean I’d probably have to get a new pair soon, although they’re still feeling fine so I might stretch the use out a bit longer. I can see the soles starting to wear out though.

        You’re right, taking care of feet especially is important… never really think about them but they carry all my weight and get me places!

  4. I second the Nike Elite socks – not that I do a lot of running but they are the only ones that don’t give me grief and blisters when I hike long distances. I’m actually nerding out over this upcoming collab: http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/nikelab-gyakusou-elite-cushioned-no-show-tab-running-socks/pid-10281475/pgid-10321448

    I wish I could contribute more to this but most of my fitness gear is for yoga/pilates/barre type workouts.. I can say though, I find that a good pair of compression tights helps lots with recovery!

      1. To be honest I’m not entirely sure how they work but I find my legs less fatigued and sore post hardcore workouts – I also like the idea of being really well supported by the garment. Possibly related to how they work to reduce clots during flights (plane socks).. I’m going to look into it!

      2. If it’s compressing your muscles maybe it works like a slight massage on the limbs (not sure if this is the case.) But either way, that’s cool! I do know some of my marathon-runner friends wear them during the run, so it must have some benefit.

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