Perhaps you’re a seasoned marathon junkie who runs 10 miles before breakfast. Or perhaps you are eating a slice of cake on the couch while reading this very article. These details don’t matter. What matters is that there is an ever-evolving community of running ideas out there, and unless you’re paying serious attention, it’s easy to accidentally neglect something which could drastically improve your training.
Check out the following list, make note of what you’re missing and then consider upgrading your game until you run rings around the competition.
1. A Place to Store Things
Every runner is forced to ask themselves the same question at some point: where am I going to keep my stuff? Whether it’s money, keys, waterproof gear, or snacks, nobody wants chunky pockets which jangle with every step. Thankfully, you do have options. For smaller items, look at purchasing a hat with a safety pouch and for larger stuff, test out some running backpacks with easy to access pockets and decent ventilation to avoid sweaty backs.
2. Anti-Chafing Products
The natural friction of running has some terrible side effects, including chafing, blistering, and pain. Prevention is the key here, best found with some petroleum jelly–based products to grease up your danger areas such as the feet, inner thighs, underarms, and bra lines.
3. Running Apps
Without becoming dependent on your smartwatch or phone, there are some useful applications out there which provide personal stats to challenge yourself with. Strava is perfect for a more social networking experience, Runkeeper can sync up your music to your pace, Endomondo is highly goal-oriented, and C25K is the ideal starting tool for newbies.
4. A Back Brace
In times of injury, runners tend to blame their distance or the ground or anything else but their own technique. However, the unfortunate truth is that many of these mishaps are a result of incorrect alignment, commonly due to an exaggerated curve in the spine known as “extended posture”. If this sounds like it may be you, explore your posture habits and consider using an upper back support while on a run.
5. Specific Footwear
If you’ve ever read any running-related article before, you’ll know that professionally fitted footwear is essential for safe training. But what’s often overlooked is that different shoes are made for different terrains. If you enjoy running off-road, then a trail shoe is ideal for your circumstances as they come with better grip. If you’re more of a pavement runner, then look at a road shoe for a lightweight feel.
6. The Correct Socks
Behind every great shoe, there’s a great sock. Without this cover of appropriate protection, your feet will not only feel uncomfortable, but they may also get wet with blisters following. Always look out for double-layered fabric as the separate sheets withstand most of the friction, and remember that the more sweat absorption you can get, the better.
7. Assorted Reflective Gear
For those night-runners, it’s crucial that you are not lost in the darkness just before a car enters the picture. Reflective jackets are a must as they illuminate your position, but you can also go the extra mile with easy to carry torches which slip on over your fingers, otherwise known as knuckle lights.
8. Refuelling in Action
Over lengthy distances, one needs to replace those lost calories or you will run out of steam and your performance will drop. Popular choices include sports gels, chewy energy gums, or simply just the classic banana. Even more important than food sources is your hydration levels, hence why it’s a good idea to find a bottle perfectly suited for your timeframe and hand size.
9. Running Headphones
Do you require music to get your feet racing? Do you enjoy podcasts to keep your mind as active as your body? Whatever your reasoning, it won’t mean much if your headphones fall off with each impact of your foot. Consider over-ear products for more stability and water resistance against your sweat. It’s also worth ensuring that you can still hear the traffic outside.
10. A Foam Roller
For those who can’t afford to visit a masseuse after every intense workout, then a foam roller may be your new best friend. By using your own body weight, you can stretch your tendons and loosen your muscles, pampering your body with that well-deserved post-run love. You may also want to keep an ice pack on hand too, just in case.
There are not “seasoned marathon junkie’s.” There is only one. 😉 Thanks for the mention. #RUNMORE
Over 200 Marathon Wins
More than 350 SUB 3 Hour Marathons
50 State Sub 3 Overall Marathon Wins
2:37 Average Time for ALL 50 States.