Practically everyday it seems like some new product is “the next big thing” to help aid runners. Between the GPS watches, the water belts, the iPods, the endless options of shoes … it can be overwhelming. That said, I tend to think of myself as a fairly basic runner. I don’t wear Lululemon or rotate between six pairs of sneakers. But I do have a few new favorite products making running even more enjoyable to me.
I’ve struggled with finding a good pair of running shoes for months now. I ran the Harrisburg Marathon in Brooks Ghost 5s, but they felt a little too heavy. I had been running in a pair of New Balance Minimus, but my legs couldn’t handle distance with so little support — my calves were in agony. It was a frustrating battle for me. A trip to Inside Track had me surrounded by brightly colored sneakers and a perplexed salesperson (“I have worked here for quite some time and I haven’t seen a stride like this.”). It took visit number two until I left with a pair of purple Brooks Pure Cadence 2, which had been previously recommended to me by several people. I was nervous to try them out, but it’s official — I love them! I ran 15 miles in them on Saturday with zero discomfort. I know shoes are unique to each runner, but I can’t rave about these enough.
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I felt skeptical about compression socks, but I gave these a shot, and I think they really aid in recovery. According to procompression.com, “the benefit of wearing compression socks … is the delay of muscular breakdown that comes from spending hours on your feet. PRO Compression works against gravity by helping your vascular system increase blood flow which relieves discomfort and assists in recovery.”
I always put these on after a long run, and I swear my legs feel less fatigued than ever before.
Any other runners struggle with finding a good pair of headphones? I feel like I am constantly replacing mine or adusting them during runs. I was given a pair of yurbuds for Christmas and I love these headphones! From their site, “designed specifically to fit smaller ears, the FlexSoft™ and TwistLock™ technologies guarantee they will never hurt or fall out. These sweat & water-resistant yurbuds allow for ambient noise awareness and deliver consistent, premium sound.”
I think it’s worth it to shell out for nicer headphones, instead of constantly replacing a $10 pair, which is what I had been doing for years.
This book advocates shorter long runs and spreading your miles throughout the week. As an often-injured runner, I am always looking for ways to train smarter, so this book was a great read. The authors also offer advice on nutrition and hydration. I love soaking in new information, and this was a great, easy read. I’d recommend it to fellow distance runners looking for something new.
Okay, you don’t run with a kettlebell (well, you can!), but kettlebells are a great core workout. As runners, a stronger core is essential to be a stronger runner. There are tons of workouts you can do with a kettlebell and it’s a nice way to mix up your workout routine.
What are you loving right now? P.S. Sign up for a spring race!