One of the nice things about running is that it is one of the few sports where you don’t need a ton of gear to partake in it (unlike football or hockey). Actually though, if you get into serious running, you will discover that that is actually not true. Here is a list of my long run gear essentials:
iPhone Armband: For the first month of my running career I held my iPhone in my hand the entire run. It would get sweaty and gross and as my friend Nina once said, it could possibly be making one arm stronger than the other, thus there was a constant need to alternate which hand I held it in. Needless to say, this was unbelievably annoying, so I went down to Nike (any sports store or online store carries a million different brands and designs) and got myself a running armband. It was one of the best investments I’ve ever made because now I truly feel like a free woman, waving my hands wildly about as I run (because I can dammit!), and looking hardcore like I know what I’m doing (ha!).
Performance Socks: This was a recent revelation and I now understand what it must have felt like when archaic people discovered Christ. Before I discovered performance socks (BPS) I was wearing cotton socks to run in, or as close to 100% cotton as I could find (did you know it’s near impossible to find 100% cotton socks anymore?). Anyways, I have hyperhidrosis, so my feet are often sweaty and cotton is just more uncomfortable on them. Little did I know that cotton chafes, especially with shoe inserts, and gives you nasty blisters. After coming back from a 5-mile run this week, with blisters on the arches of both my feet, my dad marched on down to Marathon Sports and came back with these fine pieces of cloth: The Balega Drynamix Hidden Comfort Sock. I don’t know why they’re named “Hidden Comfort” because the comfort has been pretty obvious to me. No more blisters, just cushion and wicking from here on out.
Handheld Water Bottle: I used to have a water belt but it was wicked uncomfortable so I opted for a small oval-shaped handheld water bottle with a strap, which although not actually palm shaped, is manageable enough on a long run. The best part about it is that the strap mine came with has a little zipper pouch that can hold a gel or keys. I’d also recommend finding a bottle with a soft rubbery top, because they are more comfortable to bite open while running.
Fuel: Don’t run far in the heat without fuel. You will feel depleted and gross afterwards. Burning this type of body energy requires quick replenishment. Upwards of 7 miles and I will eat a gel at 6 miles. I bought a ton of different brands to try out, but so far I’ve only tried one product and just stuck with it because it worked so well the first time. That product is Gu Energy Gel in Chocolate Outrage and Espresso Love. I actually like the taste so much I look forward to getting to eat them. When you’re tired and hot during a run they taste like manna.