4 Items Every Runner Should Own

Preface: If you're not a runner or if you're a guy and don't want to hear about a few female running items (ie. you're afraid of the words "sports bra") I'd refrain from reading this post. Just a friendly warning. The other day, thanks to a sweet family member, I was able to go SHOPPING for some much needed running gear. Needless to say, I had a hay day while rummaging through the runner's section at Dick's Sporting Goods. I could spend HOURS shopping for running gear.

If you're an avid runner, you know the importance of quality items. Without the right materials, shoes, undergarments... bad things can happen. I learned, sadly, by trial and error. Many miles, much chafing, and a pulled muscle or two later: I bought better shoes, wear spandex, & have invested in a solid sports bra.

Since when I started running, no one really filled me in on some of the necessities a runner MUST HAVE IN ORDER TO NOT DIE.. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things here:

#1. Good Shoes.

Seriously yall, invest in a good pair of running shoes. Don't go into a store & just pick out the prettiest "running" shoe, go to a Fleet Feet or a specialized sports shoe store and have them measure your foot and stride to see what's the best fit. Also, get new shoes every 300-500 miles. I had my pair of shoes for about 1200-1500 miles and ended up straining my muscles and tendons. The money I "saved" by making my shoes "last," I ended up spending double at the doctor's office making sure I didn't tear anything.

(FYI: I use Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 because I need support.)

#2. Spandex.

Ok, let's face it. Not all of us are 5'5'' and 120 lbs. And that's ok!! Not all avid runners have the typical runner frame!  Ladies, embrace it, most of us have meat on our legs and when you're running for miles, it's natural that you're going to chafe. (cringe) I truly hate that word... but it's a reality for runners. I learned about it on my first Cooper River Bridge 10k - by the end of the race I was bleeding. If only someone had shared with me that the reason why all of those other runners were in spandex wasn't because they liked to show off their curves... it was a necessity.

Here's the thing, I understand it if you HATE spandex. When I played college volleyball we had to wear itty bitty spandex shorts and I was the prude wearing my sweats until the game started. BUT you can get long running pants, and now a days you can wear shorts over them if you're REALLY uncomfortable. After some time, they grow on you and you might even find yourself rocking them without the overlaying shorts. Mark my word, if you end up chafing in a race you'll never go back. Spandex will become your best friend.

Spandex: Give in, buy them, learn to love them.

(For the record: In warm weather I use the 3/4 length Under Armour Heat Gear, and in cold weather I use the full length Under Armour Cold Gear.)

#3. Breathable running shirts.

This isn't so much for the short 3-5 mile runs, but when you're on a long run and drenched in sweat, you're going to want a breathable shirt. I bought a few the other day. I have a few old Reebok ones, but I must confess that I love Under Armour's running shirts. By far, I think they have the most breathable and comfortable material. And now they're making shirts that are loose and not skin tight!!! YES - FINALLY.

This past trip I bought 1 Women's Under Armour Catalyst long-sleeved hoodie (it protects your skin from UV rays!!) & 2 of the UA Escape short-sleeved (one in Cassis/Purple & the other in elderberry/Pink).

#4. Good Undergarments.

I know, I know! This sort of stuff is awkward. We don't like to talk about it... so no worries, I'll keep it brief, but for real this is important for both guys and girls alike. You'll thank me later.

If you're a guy, invest in some Under Armour briefs/spandex shorts - I'm not a guy, so I'm not going to say more on that subject. Ask a male runner if you have anymore questions.

If you're a girl, get yourself a supportive breathable sports bra (especially for those runners who are more "blessed" than others). This is something folks don't like to talk about, but for years I've had to wear two sports bras when running because I didn't know that athletic companies produced a "supportive" enough sports bra. All that to say, I was ELATED when I came across supportive bras for athletes. And for the record, I highly recommend the Under Amour Endure - it comes in a variety of sizes.

Alright, that's my list of "MUST HAVES." If you have any others, feel free to let me know! :)

It's going to be BEAUTIFUL today - I for one am going for a run in some of my new gear as soon as I'm done getting my first cavity filled (booooooo).

Happy Running!

Posted on March 17, 2011 and filed under Running.