After returning from the John Muir Trail, I needed something to keep me motivated to stay in shape. So on a whim I decided to sign up for my first half marathon. I still can’t decide if it was a dumb idea or not. I’ve NEVER been a runner, and with the race now less than two weeks away, I’m only up to 6.5 miles. Eeek!
When I first began training, I was really struggling. But then I decided to invest in a few pieces of running gear that have turned out to be a total game changers. Who knew that tunes, water, and a fitness watch could make running fun (ok…maybe fun is an overstatement). But really. With each run, it seems to getting a little bit easier, and I attribute much of my progress to being better equipped. I’m still not sure I’ll be able to run the entire race, but I’m finally starting to understand what people mean when they talk about a runner’s high.
Looking to get into running? Here’s the three pieces of running gear that have changed my world.
You may think these are nerdy, but being nerdy is better than being parched. At least here in Vegas, dry desert air equals a serious case of cotton mouth. It’s totally unpleasant and makes it easy to justify quitting. To solve this problem, I picked up this Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt. This comfortable, stay-put waist belt holds two 10-ounce water bottles which is more than enough for the average run. It also has a pocket that is large enough to hold your phone, power snacks, keys, or other things you need to carry on your run, as well as two bungee cords that can be used to secure soft items like gloves.
Running with music really pumps me up. It helps me maintain a rhythm and distracts my mind from any agony I might be in. But what really annoys me is tangled up wires that constantly tug the earbuds out of my ears during runs. So when I came across these bluetooth wireless earbuds from Jay Bird, I knew I had to give them a try. The Bluebuds X Sport headphones connect wirelessly to your smart phone and fit snugly but comfortably in the ear. They require very little readjusting during runs and have great sound quality with audible bass. Jay Bird even offers a lifetime warranty against sweat. The USB-rechargeable battery lasts up to 8 hours, and as a bonus, they can also be used to make hands-free phone calls.
Get motivated by keeping track of your running progress. Since I got my Garmin Forerunner 220, I have watched my pace and distances increase, and I no longer have to guess how far or fast I’m running. This GPS watch has a simple color interface that records information from each run, which you can then upload to your computer or sync to your smart phone. You can also race yourself and keep track of personal records, which helps give you the mental boost necessary to push a little harder each time.