Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Must-Have Running Essentials

Many things can affect your running performance. These are the items I can NOT run without!!

Well, I will admit, I have been on a bit of a running hiatus.. 

My last run was the Hot Chocolate 15K back in December. It was my first 15K (the longest race I have done to date) and for being a running newb, I'd say I did a pretty good run! :)

I finish just under 2 hours at 1:56 and managed to run most of the course! That is a feat in-and-of itself! I was very proud of myself that day and plan to frame my medal and number bib to honor my feat!

But, like every runner, after I finish one race I begin thinking about what race I'm going to conquer next! I have such an itch to do an obstacle mud run and have had my sights set on one of those! (Prob not Tough Mudder though.. I will pass on getting electrocuted, thank you!)

However, my older brother, who use to be an avid cross-country runner, told me he wanted to get back into running and asked if Anthony and I wanted to do the Foam Glow is St. Louis on May 2nd.

I thought, "Pss.. a measly 5K? No problem!!" So we signed up and now I am training for that fun run. I actually hope I can keep up with my brother, honestly...

As I have been training for the Foam Glow, I was inspired to do this post about what I NEED to have whenever I run.

When it comes to running, many things affect your performance: your shoes, the weather, how well you slept, what you eat.

And while it is true that it is important to prepare yourself prior to your run, what about during it?!

For me, what I have with me when I take to the pavement can be as "make-it-or-break-it" as all that pre-prep!

Here are the things I can not run without!


Photo credit: Mapmyrun.com

This handy little app I discovered a while ago, but I only just started utilizing. MapMyRun does, well, just that! It traces your running route using the GPS signal on your phone (luckily I have an unlimited data plan.)

The app keeps track of the miles you ran, and, what's even cooler, it will tell you your running pace WHILE you are running!

This is why it is SO essential to me! If I have a goal pace in mind for that run, I love having a way to evaluate how I am doing against that goal! (Without having to fork out money for one of those fancy watches..) Then I can speed up or slow down accordingly!

MapMyRun gives you these little reminders every mile. It tells you how many miles you have ran so far along with your current time and average pace! This worked out awesome during that 15K and helped me finish in under 2 hours!

At the end of the run, the app with give you a nice summary as well, including calories burned and even the elevation of the course. You can even connect and share your run with your friends through the app!

MapMyRun = MUST HAVE!!

How to get it: MapMyRun is available for free for Android through the Google Play Store or for iPhone through the iTunes App Store.


Photo credit: Play.google.com
Amazon Prime Music App
The music I listen to has a HUGE impact on how well I run! It is totally a mental thing, but it plays such a big role in my motivation. I tried running without music once... It lasted a good 2 minutes...

I love using the Amazon Prime Music App! The Prime Music is a feature that comes with getting Amazon Prime Membership. It does cost for the Prime yearly membership, but with the 2-Day free shipping, free music, and videos, it can def. be worth it! (Although the free movie selection is not the greatest.. I must say.)

Amazon Prime gives you millions of songs to stream for free! Good music too! Like full albums from JT and Bruno Mars! They also have playlists you can download specifically for running and working out!

Amazon Prime Music. A must-have!

How to get it: The app is available for free on Android through the Google Play Store or for iPhone through the iTunes App Store. You can also try a 30-day free membership of Prime if you want to try it out.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

Bluetooth Headphones
Just as my music is a must, my Bluetooth headphones are a must!

These I actually had wanted back when I was an avid weight lifter at the gym (my clumsy self would always yang out my earbuds mid-deadlift or press..) But then when I started running, that want increased astronomically!

Our first Christmas together, Anthony got me these AMAZING wireless headphones! I can honestly say this is probably one of my most-used Christmas gifts EVER!

These headphones sync with my Galaxy via bluetooth and I can control the volume and song selection all from the snazzy buttons on the side! No annoying wires banging against me while I run (I am one of those people where this SERIOUSLY annoys me while I am running...)

And if my headphones aren't charged, I don't go running. MUST-HAVE!

How to get it: These headphones are available on Amazon.com for about $40.


Photo credit: Amazon.com
Sport Armband

As you can tell from the two apps above, it is important that I have my phone on me while I run! But how do I carry it? With this i2 Gear Sports Armband!

I have tried holding device while running before, but my hands get so sweaty I have actually ruined iPods in the past doing this. (Probably a TMI... sorry... #sweatyhandproblems...)

This armband is SO helpful when it comes to running. It is also super lightweight and not bulky at all! I have have other armbands that are bulky and are not comfortable while running. Not the case with this one!

I also LOVE that it has a little slot for you key! Before this armband I was using a hair tie to keep my apartment key around my wrist, but those often got a bit too tight... I've also tried keeping my key in my sock, and that just ended up stabbing me in the foot. So this key shot is an AWESOME feature!

The armband also has reflectors to help if you don't finish your run before sunset. Another added bonus of this armband (safety first!)

My armband. A must-have!

How to get it: You can currently get this armband on Amazon for about $9! It is available in black or pink for Samsung Galaxy phones and iPhones.

What are your running must-have?! Or what is the next race you are training for?!

Disclaimer:  I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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