Talking about running gear is one of my favorite things to do. It’s probably why I enjoy working at a running store so much! Even though I’ve been working at a running store for awhile now, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to running gear. Running is unique for each runner and different things will work for each of us.
That being said, I do have some things that I like and recommend! I won’t, however, recommend any running shoes. The right running shoe is very dependent on your individual foot, whether you have flat feet or high arches, whether you overpronate or are neutral, and whether you have any injuries or lingering issues. All of those will influence which shoe is right for you. My recommendation: get thee to a running store (a real one — not Sports Authority!) and have them take a look at your feet! We’re trained and we have a lot of experience. We can guide you to the right shoe, and explain why your best friend’s running shoe won’t work for you.
Here are a few things I love to use while running:
1. Nike Dri-fit Knit tank – This is by far my favorite tank top! It’s super long (covers my bum!) and does not ride up while I’m running or while doing hot yoga. The fabric is soft and very moisture wicking. It was actually out of stock for awhile, so I’m happy to see that it’s back!
2. Nike Epic Luxe capri – I have a couple different black capris but I love this pair because of the jersey soft fabric. It’s so comfortable to wear. It’s not too clingy, but it’s also not too loose. It’s a happy medium! It also has two storage pockets (one in the back, and one in the waistband), which is awesome if you carry a lot like me. With my diabetes, I always end up feeling like a pack mule!
3. Brooks Heater Hog – It might be hard to think about winter with it still being August, but winter is around the corner and a Heater Hog is a must have. The Heater Hog is super comfy, especially because it is fleece-lined. Yep, fleece-lined. I have two pairs (one in black and one in pink) and they are some of my favorite things just to lounge around the house with. But it also makes a great outer or mid-layer during the winter!
4. Moving Comfort Luna sports bra – I first learned about Moving Comfort last year when I started working at the Rye Running Company. Moving Comfort is definitely a beloved brand because they come in so many different styles, just like a bra should! Personally, I really like the bras that have a back closure instead of the traditional pull-over racerback. They’re just, er, easier to get off. My first bra, a Fiona, wasn’t supportive enough, but I’ve really enjoyed wearing Maia and Luna, although I think the Luna is my favorite because it offers just a bit more coverage for me.
5. Feetures socks – Personally, I think having the right kind of sock is next to having the right kind of shoe! I have worn some pretty uncomfortable socks and it’s not pretty. I like Feetures because they really contour to the foot, so you don’t have any extra baggy fabric that can cause blisters and chafing. And you can get it in Light Cushion or Ultra Light. I like Ultra Light in the summer and Light Cushion in the winter. Helps to keep my feet at the right temperature!
6. Brooks Nightlife Essential Long-sleeve Half Zip – I have a few long-sleeved tops, but the Essential LS Half-Zip is a great transitional top. You can wear it on its own or you can wear it over another base layer once it starts to get super cold. It also has reflective bands on the front zipper and on each arm, so it helps cars see you once it starts getting dark early. It also comes with a pocket in the back for easy storage.
7. Nathan’s Hydration belt – We own a few Nathan’s hydration products, but this one — the belt with two water bottles — is the one that I use the most often. The front pocket is great to stash my phone and my continuous glucose monitor, while I use the pockets of my capris for my various fuel. The velcro band allows me to comfortably wear it down on my hips. We also have a belt with four water bottles, which Erik used during his marathon and long training runs, and I have a handheld water bottle that contours to the shape of your hand. However, I have found that I just don’t enjoy running with anything in my hand, so I’ve mostly stopped using it.
8. Nuun – Nuun is awesome. It’s carb-free and calorie-free, so it’s not so great as fuel, but it’s perfect for recovery because it helps replace four of the main electrolytes that you lose through sweat and running: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. They come in a bunch of different flavors, although Lemon + Lime (pictured) is my favorite. Strawberry Lemonade is pretty good too. As for fuel, my favorite things to use are GU gels and chomps. For gels, my favorite flavors are Tri-berry, Jet Blackberry and Vanilla. For chomps, my favorite flavors are Peach Tea and Watermelon.
9. The Stick — It sounds scary, but it’s actually super awesome for recovery. Many people know about foam rolling, but Erik and I found it really difficult to maintain balance on those foam rollers when we’re super tired. The Stick is basically a foam roller, but you don’t roll on it like a traditional foam roller. You hold it and massage it into your muscle, going as deep or as gentle as you like. It’s a lot easier to maneuver and control the pressure.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. There are a few other things that I like to wear or use, but this is probably what I would consider the essentials for me!
What do you like to run with? Anything I should try?