Essentials for Runs

Smartwool PhD Running Ultralight Micro Sock - Women's

Smartwool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro Sock - Men

In my opinion there are two very important pieces of gear that a runner can not skimp on...SOCKS and SHOES! A bad sock can be the biggest blister culprit as well as enduce numb toes and swampy, stinky feet!  GO WOOL!  Wool is a natural antimicrobial material.  It wicks away sweat and keeps you cool when it’s hot (this is TRUE!) and warm when it’s cold. Check out some Smartwool PhD’s and give them a test run. You’ll feel the difference as soon as you slide them on.  Compression, soft, and in a variety of thicknesses.

Brooks Ghost 4 Running Shoe - Women's

Brooks Ghost 4 Running Shoe - Women

don’t all have the same ANYTHING. So always remember to head to your local running store and get fitted for a shoe that fits you properly (usually at LEAST a half size larger than your normal size), and is the correct support for your gait.  For me personally, this is the shoe of my dreams!  Supportive, yet flexible (but not so much that I find my toes bending backward with every stride).

Ventilation galore, great colors, and I can do speed work AND long distance running in these puppies.  These are my go-to shoes.  I have even run a few trails in them with NO problem.  If I don’t know the terrain I’m going to be running on…and most times even if I do…I bring these. The “staple” of my running shoes.

Brooks Nightlife Reflective Vest - Unisex

Brooks Ghost 4 Running Shoe - Women

If they can’t see you…the will hit you! Simple as that.  Now, in the middle of the day you can relax – but dusk…dawn…rain…NIGHT…strap that vest on and head out. Consider it another addition to your “safety bling collection”. I like this one because it's not regid, easy to put on and more like a piece of clothing than a safety flag.

CamelBak Quick Grip Insulated Podium Chill Bottle

CamelBak Quick Grip Insulated Podium Chill Bottle

I’ve struggled with hydration over my running career.  I understand the NEED to hydrate…but I HATE carrying or wearing hydration systems!  I have searched and searched for a hand held H2O system that straps on, isn’t too small, and is contoured to my hand so it doesn’t cramp up!  Delight!  You’re welcome.  I found it for us!

The North Face Midtown Tote - Women's

The North Face Midtown Tote - Women

Races can be full of good nerves – but they shouldn’t be stressful in any way due to being unprepared in your packing.  Next time you are heading out for a race weekend, wouldn’t it be great to know that you had a bag with a pocket for your ear buds, a pocket for your running shoes, how about one for your post race shoes?

And maybe…separate compartments for sweaty clothes and clean clothes.  Toss in your extra socks, chap stick, sun screen, extra ANYTHING.  When you can easily see all your gear and know that it’s accessible you can relax and get the good nerves going as you head to the start line.

Garmin 405 watch:

Essential for my sanity!  I think there are two types of runners – zen runners…and then the rest of us.  I personally want to know exactly how far I went…how fast I went and how many calories I burned!  I like to keep a record of my training – however, I don’t want to always be timing and calculating, etc. Takes up too much time!  I ran for about a year without a watch – my life changed the day I purchased one.  It can be as simple as putting the watch on, pressing a button and running or as complex as setting it to race friends virtually across the world!  The possibilities are endless – and you’ll never wonder how far you went…or do another pace calculation again! I have mine charged and ready to go EVERYDAY. I never run without it – even on my “zen run days”!

ID bracelet:

Being an athlete can be very unpredictable.  “I saw 4 deer this morning!”. “It down poured at mile 4 of my 9 mile run…it was SUNNY when I left!”  “I stepped wrong on a pinecone and I think I broke a bone in my foot…I can’t get home!”  “I am dehydrated and passed out on the side of the road…”  “I just got hit by a driver who was texting and didn’t see me…” Get my drift?  You never know what you'll encounter out on a run.  If wearing identification could be the easiest way to have your family contacted when you are in need…you’d do it right?! It IS that easy.  Register your demographics and run on!

Author: Kate Baron