Although the Friday’s are going to be sad for the next few weeks as my remaining vacation time gets shorter and shorter. Next Friday I will find out about work – so it is looking like it will be a long week. Good news, I ran this week’s long run this morning, 16KM done! It was a really good 16K. I ran much slower, finally getting a good grove for a long run pace. I could have a full-blown conversation at all points. I did pick it up in the second half (I broke the run up into two 8K runs).
Many people post Friday Favourite Things posts, so I figured I would write about my top five items that I use for running. Many people say that the only thing you really need to run is a good pair of shoes, and I would pretty much agree to that statement. When I started running, I just found a pair of running shoes, put on a cotton t-shirt (ahh) some shorts and off I went. I am curious to know what my first few pairs of shorts were like, because they were definitely not Lululemon! Over time, I became more particular with my running gear and paying more attention to what I purchase. The following is my top five items for running.
#1 – Good Pair of Shoes
Obvious answer! But it is true – you need a decent pair of shoes to start running. To find a pair of shoes, visit a local running store that actually specializes in running, not just a sports store. You want to try and visit at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen than in the morning. My Ottawa store of choice is Sports 4. Some places will ask you to run and try to gauge your running style in a few strides – word of caution on this method as they will not get to see your entire gait/running style. You should try on many different shoes to see how they fit and feel. You may be brand-aware and want a certain brand, but I advise you to try on other brands. Also, if you do have a particular model that you like – try them on again if they issue a newer model as they do alter the shoe and it might have a different feel. Even sizing can be different – my Wave Inspires are a 7.5 while my Wave Musha’s are an 8. Another piece of advice is to only wear your running shoes for running. Have another pair for walking, the gym, or whatever else. I finally have three pairs that I rotate between. My older pink Wave Inspires are for day to day stuff, my new Wave Inspires are for longer runs, and my Musha shoes are for shorter runs/races. Some people have multiple pairs, but shoes are expensive!
#2 – Quality Running Shirts
I only rotate between a few running shirts. I have a set outfit for races – my MEC shorts (which I really need to purchase a new pair) and either my Nike Dry Fit Tank or my Columbia Omni-Freeze tank. I’ve worn both for long distance ranges and the shirts are comfortable, sweat-wicking and do not chafe. I am not the biggest fan of t-shirts and prefer tanks/singlets over them. What I like about these two particular tanks is that they are more open at the end and don’t bunch at my middle. I find tops that bunch up, also tend to ride up. The Nike tank even has a pocket in the back. Since I do not like wearing belts – pockets are key!
Ignore the wrinkles – I’m not going to iron my running shirts for the sake of a good picture. This isn’t Canadian Running Magazine!
#3 – The Garmin
Another pretty obvious answer. The Garmin is something I rarely go running without. After coming back after 6 weeks off, I did only run with a regular watch, but in terms of training – I really need the GPS watch. It keeps track of my pacing and distance. Although I do know the markers for KM 1-7 on the path, sometimes I do not go on the path and have no idea how far I’ve run. Pacing is also key as I sometimes tend to go too fast. I also like how my watch downloads my running information to Garmin Connect. Note about Garmin Connect – for safety reasons, it is best for you to set your profile/activity listing to “only you”. You also do not necessarily have to go with Garmin – but a GPS watch is something that can be very useful when you start going from your first 5K race to longer races.
#4 – Road ID
If you are a long distance runner and don’t have a Road ID – you need to ask yourself, why not? You never know what is going to happen, so having a Road ID gives you the piece of mind that if you happen to collapse, get hit by a car, or other bad things – that someone can see your information on your Road ID and know who to contact. If you have a medical condition, the ID can even identify that. They are very affordable!
#5 – Socks
A few weeks ago, I ran out of clean athletic socks and wore just plan ol’ cotton socks. Thought.I.was.going.to.die.
Ok not really – but my feet were mighty uncomfortable. I now own 7 pairs of running socks to last me through the week. My sock brand of choice is Wigwam socks. I have never had a blister with them and they do a pretty good job with keeping my feet nice and cool. I also have several other Wigwam socks for hiking and for winter activities. Running socks can be pricey, but I would rather spend a bit of money on good socks than have a blister on my foot!
My socks are not the whitest, so I will spare you the picture of my non-bright white socks.
What are some of your must-have running items?
Disclaimer: I am not being paid by any company to write about their products. However, the links for RoadID are referral links 🙂