Consider this fair warning: running is addictive! Often times when people decide that they want to start running, they will invest a lot of money in the fun gadgets that are marketed to help runners become stronger, faster, etc. The follow items are things that I have purchased at running expos, online or have been given to try that you may or may not find helpful. A word to the wise (and thrifty): don’t feel like you must have every running related gadget known to man to be a good runner. Don’t let all the “stuff” distract you from actually running.
I bought this little contraption at the running expo before the 2009 Thunder Road Half-Marathon in Charlotte. It provides you with a great place to store your keys, phone, emergency contact information, and a few bucks. I use mine during races to hold my “snacks”. I’ve also noticed some runners will pin their race bibs to the belt instead of their shirts. I could see that being handy if you were planning to shed some layers of clothing.
Hand Held Water Bottle
My handheld is made by Nathan and is the Quickdraw Elite Handheld model. It holds 22 ounces of water which is great for a 3 mile run. I like this water bottle a lot because it is easy to clean. The bottle seperates from the fabric portion and both are machine washable. I also like that it has a nice size pouch to store keys, snacks, etc. Unfortnuatly, I bought mine in a sporting goods store and fell for the 20% marked up price! You can find them much cheaper on Amazon.
More gadgets to come!!
Sunscreen is very important for comfortable running. It is very easy to get sun burned while running mainly because of the angle of the sun and how it typically hits your face. I recommend you wear a hat, but a hat will not protect your mouth area and can lead to having wrinkles around your mouth. That is why I recommend you take a bottle of sunscreen and apply it very well to your face so that it lasts you the whole run.
If you decided you want to be a runner, it is imperative you wear the correct shoes for your feet. When I started running, I remember walking into a Lady Footlocker and picking out something that looked sporty and felt comfortable. Little did I know that these were the exact opposite of what I should have been wearing! If you walk away with one piece of advice from me, get shoes that are right for your feet!
A great resource for ensuring the health and happiness of your feet is your local running stores. My favorite store is Fleet Feet. Fleet Feet stores tend to be privately owned and operated by people who are runners themselves and can give you some great tips! When I was fitted for my Brooks (which are my personal favorite) the owner of my local Fleet Feet actually video taped my feet while I ran. He then played the tape back for me and analyzed my run.
While you may initially spend a bit more on buying running shoes at a running store, you’ll save money in the long run on doctor visits and physical therapy. Think of buying good shoes as an investment! I guarantee your feet will love you.