I have been running for a little over three years and while it is a pretty simple sport – there are a few items I have discovered along my journey that I consider “essentials”. If you are in the market for some new gear or just curious as to what other people use, below is what I consider are “must-haves”.
I do most of my training runs and races alone – so listening to music or a podcast is a MUST. I have a short attention span when it comes to listening to music – I frequently change my songs mid-play, or it takes a couple of tries to get the perfect song on my shuffle. Because of that I like to have my phone in my hand, but simply holding on to my phone isn’t comfortable and I risk dropping or breaking it.
Enter HB Tune – a smartphone case that straps to your hand. It comes in three sizes and the website gives phone models as examples as to what size you would need. The phone also comes with an arm strap, so you can utilize it as an armband as well – but honestly – I think I lost my strap and I don’t miss it because I love holding my phone in my hand.
The case also has a pocket in the back for cash, credit cards, and ID. I am also able to fit my house key in here, if I don’t overload the pocket too much. I have been using the same HB Tune for 2.5 years and I can’t see myself ever not using it.
When it comes to nutrition during my long runs and races these are my one and only choice. They taste like less sweet gummy bears AND they are gelatin free. My top flavors and Black Cherry (contains caffeine) and Margarita (contains sodium).
I always carry hydration on runs longer than 6 miles. Since I already have one hand occupied with my HBTune, I prefer to use a hydration belt rather than a handheld bottle. There is also a pouch where I carry my shot bloks. Yes – the belt can weigh me down in the beginning – however I kind of like that – because when I race – I don’t wear the belt, so I usually have a faster time due to feeling a tiny bit lighter.
While I don’t wear a hydration belt when racing – I do wear a Spibelt. Spibelt’s are great for me to hold my shot bloks, tissues, and any other necessities. The belt is so lightweight I sometimes forget I’m wearing it. I don’t put anything too valuable in there (ID’s, money,keys) – as my husband lost his ID once when he was grabbing something else out of his belt. I keep all my important stuff in my HB tune.
5. Bondi Bands
After I ran the 2016 San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15k I saw a picture of myself post-race and couldn’t help but notice how many fly aways I had in my hair. From that moment on I knew I had to always wear something on my head to manage my hair – if I’m not wearing a hat or visor: I wear a Bondi Band. I love how they come in so many colors and designs – so I can match them to what I am wearing. I also love how they make my hair feel not so sweaty, so if I have an easier run – I don’t need to wash my hair – just dry shampoo and go!