When I was training for my half, all I had with me on runs were my sneaks, my iPhone, and some energy chews. I did well during my training and finished with a time I was pretty darn proud of.
A year and a half later, I’m training for my first full marathon, and a lot has changed since my I ran 13.1 miles. For one, I’m now following a vegetarian/pescetarian diet. I’ve also evolved this here blog quite a bit, connected with a number of other health/fitness/running bloggers, and have learned a LOT more about running than I did when I was training for 13.1.
Even though I did well during my half, I feel much more prepared for this round of training. After hours and hours of research on nutrition and how to train properly and prevent injury, I treated myself to a bunch of new running toys. So far, I’ve been loving all of them and figured you all might enjoy a little roundup. So here they are from head to toe:
1) Garmin Forerunner 610 – My phone battery can’t withstand more than 2 hours of running with a GPS app open, so I switched from using my Nike + app to using the Garmin Forerunner 610. I absolutely love it. The touch screen is incredible and so easy to use. The watch also connects to a heart rate monitor to accurately track calories, vibrates at every mile and displays your lap pace, and even automatically pauses when I stop (which happens a bit when you run in a busy city – so many street lights!). It has a million more amazing features, but this post would go on for days if I told you about all of them. If you’re interested in learning more about this watch, I found this review very helpful.
2) Quick Draw Plus Water Bottle – Last time around, I never carried water on me, but with more miles to run, I won’t be able to get away without carrying water. I also didn’t really know about the importance of electrolytes when training for my half. Silly me! Now, I need something to carry my water (mixed with Oral I.V.) or my own electrolyte-charged sport drink. I looked at water bottle belts, but they seemed uncomfortable. This water bottle was the perfect solution. It’s so comfortable to carry – not cumbersome at all. The fabric around the bottle and the thumbhole help the bottle fit easily into my hand, so I don’t have to grip tightly or worry about the bottle slipping out of my hand when I get sweaty. It also has a little pouch that is perfect for my homemade energy chews (recipe to come!).
3) Lunatik Athletiks Compression Socks – I hadn’t even heard of compression socks when I ran my half marathon. Now, I don’t know how I’d complete a long run without them. There are plenty of compression brands out there, but I particularly like Lunatik Athletiks. Their apparel is ADORABLE. Anyone that knows me knows I’m not afraid of color or patterns, so these socks are right up my alley! Not only are they cute, but they also work so well. I wear them during all my long runs and haven’t had sore calves yet. If you think these are cute, I suggest tuning in to Fitful Focus tomorrow. There may or may not be a giveaway ;-).
4) Running shoes, fabrics, and playlists! – Last but not least, I can’t run without my sneaks, some clothes, and good music! I love my Asics Gel Cumulus 15’s. It’s also still warm enough to run in shorts and a tank top. I always opt for light fabrics that help wick sweat and won’t chafe (no heavy cottons here!). Music is also key – gotta get pumped up, motivated, and out of my own head.
I’ve definitely upped my load since running my half, but I suppose with more miles come more accessories!
What are you favorite running accessories?