Monday, February 3, 2014

My Top 10 Running Items

Running does not come easily to me.  Because of this I do everything I can to make running easier, or to help my body recover faster.  Below are the 10 items that I have found that make running a bit easier for me.

1. Nathan Intensity Vest Click here to see my review.

2.  Nuun.  During my swimming years I drank a lot of gatorade and because of this I'm really not a fan of it any more.  Luckily there have been many developments in different options for drinks that will replace your electrolytes.  Nuun is my favorite, plus it contains no sugar and has less calories than a lot of other options out there.

3. Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer  This is by far the best bra I have ever owned.  It keeps everything in place without any smooshing.  Plus I can wear it all day, if necessary, and my shoulders don't start hurting.

4.   iPhone  This link is my take on running with my iPhone, I also talk about #5.

5.  Earphones

6.  Wright socks.  These socks have a double layer to prevent friction and blisters.  Unfortunately, I didn't discover these socks until after I had run my half marathon.  I had blisters throughout my training and then during the actual run I developed more.  I tried a couple different things that helped Band-aid Brand Adhesive Bandages Activ-Flex or Spenco 2nd Skin Squares covered with Moleskin.  The Band-Aids for Blisters helped a lot if worn after the run, but really couldn't hold up to all the friction during the runs.  The 2nd skin with moleskin helped a bit more during the run and the 2nd skin feels fantastic on top of blisters, but they only protected the blister for some of the run.  So far I haven't developed any blisters with Wright socks and they are thin, so you don't notice the extra layer.

7.  GU Energy Labs Gel were my favorite thing to consume while on runs.  I'm the type of person who needs about 2 hours to digest before any physical activity.  However, I also noticed that after about an hour on a run I could really use some calories.  I had heard gels were the way to go for people like me, but I was a bit worried about cramps.  Luckily I was participating with West Seattle Runner in a couch to half-marathon and they have a wide expanse of knowledge.  They suggested trying gels, or whatever other food you want to try, towards the end of a shorter run.  That way if you have any gastrointestinal issues you will not be far away from home.  They also recommended drinking at least 4 ounces of water with any food you intake during a run.  I had success with most of the gels I tried, but I liked GU's taste and consistency the most.

8.  My knees are not a fan of running, so I ice them.  Body Glove Deluxe Ice Pack Knee and Elbow Wrap is one of my favorite ice packs because I can take it anywhere and don't need a freezer, all you need is a few ice cubes and water.  I would take this to work with me on days I ran before I headed home.  That way I could throw the cubes and water in before I left work and had an ice pack ready for me after the run, and then I would ice my knee as I drove home.
I also like this ice pack, Thermipaq Hot Cold Pack,because it isn't as cold as other packs, but it stays cooler longer, so I usually can ice both knees with the same pack.  You can also use it as a heat pack, although I don't use that feature.

9.  A Massage Stick is great to have about the day after a long run when your muscles start to become sore.  I especially like it for my calves and shoulders.

10.  Women's Performance Compression Run Sock are also great after a run or on an airplane.  My feet have a tendency to swell up, so anything that will help prevent it is key in my book!

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