When you are new to the running world everything looks helpful and it's difficult to know what you actually need and what is superfluous. From supplements to accessories I want to share 9 of my favorite running necessities that I can't live without.
1. My Spibelt
During my first year of running I used an arm band to hold my iPhone, cash, and keys. I hate using an armband. My iPhone sits in sweat, I couldn't check on my intervals/pacing (ok ok or my email), and it was bulky and uncomfortably. Introducing the Spibelt. This thing is tiny and it fits SO MUCH! Mine is waterproof and fits my iphone, cards, cash, keys and the kitchen sink. There is 0 bounce and I don't have to worry about everything sitting in a soggy pool of sweat. (And it keeps my phone handy for selfies which is a necessity.) I love it and it's only $20.00. Check them out here.
2. Energy Bits
I had no clue what to expect when I got my silver little tin filled with teeny tiny little green bits. One serving is 30 tablets and while it's a little awkward getting used to, I love using these as pre-race fuel. One of my biggest problems is GI distress. I have a sensitive little tummy and sometimes energy gel's cause destruction to my runs. Energy bits are algae, 64% protein and 100% a natural food. After some trial and error I've found that what works best is to take 30 bits 20 minutes before I take off for my run and then take 30 more bits an hour in. If I plan to run anything longer than 13 miles I start with bits, take them again 45 minutes in and then take a GU energy gel every 45 minutes. They seem expensive but honestly when you break it down it ends up costing exactly as much as any energy gel, you're just buying in bulk. I love them and I'm a believer. Check them out here.
I downloaded RunKeeper 1 week after I started running and I wouldn't be a runner without it. I can't tell you how helpful this app was to turning me into a runner. After I decided I wanted to run a half marathon I knew I needed a plan but didn't know where to turn. So I went to the app store and started trying a apps. After two failed attempts I found RunKeeper. RunKeeper tracks everything from your distance, to pace, inclines, and your splits. And it keeps you on track. They have plans for new to advanced runners to run 5ks, 10k's, half marathons, and full marathons. You simply select a plan and it will tell you exactly what you need to do on a daily basis. It takes the pressure off because you know you will be ready for your race. I still use it to this day because I love having Lady RunKeeper whisper in my ear every 10 minutes how far I've gone and what my current pace is. I downloaded RunKeeper elite about a month in and I haven't looked back. Go download it. Just do it now.
Chafing is a real problem for me, especially with sports bras, and it would be oh so much worse if it weren't for BodyGlide. You roll it on before you workout and don't have to worry about being rubbed raw. It prevents chafing and blisters and I would be lost without it. Click here for more.
When I first started running I was working in a doctor's office and all of my bosses said the same thing: get insoles ASAP. Running is hard on your knees and joints. Insoles help stabilize your foot by aligning your skeleton to prevent injuries and they help with shock absorption. They are a game changer and for only $40-$50 they prevent a lot of unnecessary wear and tear. I use Superfeet but head to your local specialty running store to find what works best for you. Click here for more info on Superfeet.
6. Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch
Whether you are injured or sore these things are God's gift to mankind. I found these when I was checking out at Whole Foods one day and I can't believe I have gone this long without them. They cost $1.00 and they are probably the cheapest thing at Whole Foods. They are a patch that you place on the part of your body that is ailing you and it works instantly. It's a pain relief godsend. No mess, no stains, and your hands don't smell like icy/hot all day. I'm obsessed.
7. Foam Rollers or The Stick
I have a love hate relationship with foam rolling. But it's a necessary evil and it prevents injuries. For an extensive Foam Rolling 101 complete with exercise how to's, CLICK HERE.
8. Rock My Run
I listen to music when I run. When I am training for a marathon I spend a lot of time spending money buying music and changing my running playlist. That was until my friend Lisa introduced me to Rock My Run. They have tons of playlists with different genres from Pop, Electronic, 70's, 80's, 90's, Hip-Hop, R&B, to Rock n Roll. I upgraded to Pro almost instantly because with the free version of the app, you can't download mixes over 30 minutes long.
9. A HAT!
Whether it's 80 degrees or 30, I am always wearing something on my head. Be it a headband to keep my ears warm or a baseball cap to protect my face from the sun, I'm always wearing something. Don't leave home without a hat! Protect your skin!
Do you have anything you just can't live without? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.