As a lifelong runner, over the years, I have seen some pretty ingenious ways that people have tackled some of the hurdles that can kill any great run. After all, we all know how it is to hit the pavement only to have something like a blister ruin the entire experience.
That’s why we’re bringing you this list of must-have running gear, whether you’re heading out for a 3-mile run or going to a destination marathon. To solve all of those things that can slow you down, invest in these fantastic running solutions.
Compeed is a blister band-aid, pain relief and buffer in one. Unlike Liquid Band-Aid, which I thought was a miracle cure when it first came out, Compeed is more of a patch that helps to prevent rubbing, friction and pressure.
If you are traveling, make sure that you carry this along. Nothing is worse than having a blister and running through the pain. Also, if you are trying to break in a new pair of shoes, don’t go through the punishment of developing callouses when you can wear the shoe in before they cause blisters. They can buffer any place that your new shoes rub you wrong, literally.
For the adventure-seeker who wants to hit the trails and have everything they need, just in case, the Inov-8 is the perfect fit. Unlike other running backpacks that tend to be heavy on the backside, this bag distributes the weight so that it doesn’t change your natural gait or put too much of a burden in the wrong places. More like a vest than a backpack, there are six different places to store your “stuff.”
It also allows you to take essentials like food and drink if you are going to make a day of it training far away. It also is an excellent way to travel really light if you are going to a destination marathon overnight. No need to check your bags or over pack. All you need are the essentials to carry on. Although the cost is quite pricey at $350, it is an all-in-one backpack to go.
When heading out to hit the pavement, there are times when you have to bring essentials like keys or a credit card along. Instead of running with it in your hand, and risking either losing it or falling and poking your eye out, the Pursuit shoe wallet is the perfect running gadget.
It is completely lightweight and clamps onto any size shoe.
For those of you who are still okay with kicking it old-school and don’t want to spend a fortune on a new streaming device or carry around a clunker phone, the clip-on iPod shuffle is still the best thing going. It costs about $150, and if you have an iTunes library, all you do is load it up. The battery can last as long as a marathon, it is lightweight and versatile, and you don’t have to stress out about taking it on a destination run with you.
Worst case scenario, if you lose it, you are out $150. The Shuffle isn’t blue tooth compatible, which can be a downer if your favorite earphones are. But the good news is that you also can buy an excellent cheap pair of earbuds to go along with your shuffle. That way you don’t have to worry about losing them either. The iPod Shuffle is one of the most reliable ways to hear your favorite music and not be out a whole lot if you don’t come back with it. It clicks right to your clothes, so do be careful. Although they are waterproof, they don’t make it through the washer well. I found that out the hard way!
If you are someone like me who has trouble with my calves when I get dehydrated, the Physix Gear compression socks are a Godsend! They are not as expensive as other brands in the industry, but I found that they offer the same, if not superior, quality. The Physix Gear compression socks have similar breathable material as the more costly brands like MudGear, but they aren’t as much of an investment. They cost only about $15 a pair!
The only potential drawback for is that they tend to be a bit warmer because the material doesn’t breathe as well as other compression socks. This doesn’t bother me, though, because they keep me warmer when it’s below 40 degrees, and I’m not one to overheat when it’s 80 degrees. Since I started wearing them, I’ve seen a significant decrease in calve soreness and I’ve been able to elude injury.
I know I am not the only crazy one who likes to head out when it starts to drizzle. The problem with most rain jackets is that they quickly become saturated and tie you down or flap around and make it miserable. The Saucony Vigor Jacket is perfectly fitted not just for rain, but also for mud. The low collar doesn’t rub and cause misery at your chin, even when it is soaking wet, and the custom fit is great. (They have a jacket for women and for men.)
The arms have holes for your thumbs so that it doesn’t inch up your arm, and it keeps your arms free to pump away. The best part is that it completely seals you and keeps you warm while also whisking away the rain to keep it lightweight. The price is a little higher than average at about $120, but you won’t ever need to replace it. Consider it is a long-term investment for all weather conditions!
Even if you aren’t someone who is prone to chaffing, once it happens, you want to make sure that it will never happen again. For an emergency fix, you will want to bring this trusted brand’s best friction defense to make sure that nothing slows you down.
Apply Gold Bond Friction it to your underarm, between your thighs or even on your heals, if you are prone to blisters. The best pain relief is prevention. For those long hot runs or if you are trying out a new sports bra, make sure that you make a preemptive strike to stop anything like a skin rash from striking you down and out.
Often as a runner, we are so quick to hit the trails that we don’t stop to think about preventing the inevitable. If you want to stay blister-free, skin rash-free and listen to music without all the techie stuff, this must-have running gear will give you the ability to make every run equally awesome and prevent things that might slow you down.
Julie is a lifelong runner, as well as a writer, a wife and the mother of six. Throughout the many challenges she has faced, the one thing she could always turn to was running, which is where she finds solace and healing. Ironically, it is when she runs until she can’t run anymore and feels empty, that she finds peace. Julie became a writer more than a decade ago when she wrote an ongoing blog for her first husband, who was dying of pancreatic cancer. She realized that she loved writing as much as she does running, and it became her life.