Friday Favorites – Running Essentials!

Happy Friday!

Well it’s that time of the year again….running season! The end of August/beginning of September is really my favorite running weather. It’s still warm out, but not so hot your eyeballs are sweating. The mornings are usually a little chillier, and then it gets warmer throughout the day. It’s also the time of year when most people start training for fall runs. I will be running the SeaWheeze half marathon next weekend in Vancouver, but I really haven’t trained much for it.

Once I get back I will be intensely training for the Philly Rock and Roll Half Marathon is September. It’s the only race I have run consistently every year since I started running so I like to gauge my times off that race. I really want to finish under 2 hours. I have only done it once in 2009 with a time of 1:57:08. I am also running the Philadelphia Marathon for the first time in November. This will be the first marathon I am running for time in a while. I can never run the Disney races for time. Too many photo ops!

That being said, now I have to make sure I have all the essential gear for training. Here are some of my favorite essentials.

Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano 20

Asics Gel Kayano

I have worn A LOT of running shoes over the years. I have tried a bunch of different brands, but I always come back to Asics. I love the fit and weight of them. This month I am running in the new Gel-Kayano 20. I had run in the Gel-Kayano 16’s when they came out and loved them, but every generation since I have hated so I skipped them. The 20’s are finally back to the old design so I figured why not. I love them! Always make sure to go to a running store if you are just starting out to get fitted for shoes. They will tell you about your gate (I overpronate so I need stability) and your best size (I wear an 8.5 even though I am normally a 7).

Running Socks: Balega Hidden Comfort 

Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

Balega has amazing socks. There I said it. I have about 30 pairs of running socks and 28 of them are Balega. They are comfortable, don’t fall down and keep my feet dry even on super hot days. Grab a pair ASAP!

Pants: Atleta Relay Capri

Athleta Relay Capri

I mainly run in capris just because I hate having to pull shorts down. I love these new Atleta capris I just got. They have a fun pattern and a drawstring inside. Drawstring pants are key for me because I don’t like when they roll down and the drawstring makes sure they don’t. They might be a splurge on price, but quality pants mean a lot of use.

Running Tank: R-Gear Shades of Grey Tank

R-Gear Shades of Grey Tank

I can’t tell you how many times I wear this tank. I love the color and the breathable fabric keeps me cool even on hot days.

Sports Bra: Oakley Continuance Seamless Bra

Oakley Continuance Seamless Bra

Obviously this one is really going to depend on your size, but I am loving the Oakley Continuance Seamless Bra. I didn’t think I was going to like it at first since it didn’t have underwire, but it really holds you up. I run in it so often I had to get another one!

Sunglasses: Oakley Polarized RPM Edge

Oakley Polarized RPM Edge

This is my first year running with sunglasses. I could never find any that fit me well or didn’t annoy the crap out of me. Luckily when I ran the Oakley Mini 10K I got this awesome pair from Oakley. I can’t believe I went all those years squinting through runs. These are great! They don’t fall off and most of the time I forget I am wearing them.

Running Watch: Nike+ Sportwatch GPS

Nike+ Sportwatch GPS

When you are working on running faster a running watch is a necessity. I am a big fan of the Nike+ Sportwatch. It syncs with satellites to tell you where you ran, how fast and how long it took. Then you plug it into the computer and it will show you on an interactive map. You can even turn off the GPS and use it while running on the treadmill. You can even set it in intervals to beep so you know when to pick up the pace or slow down. So many functions, but easy to use. I also love the online community aspect. You can invite friends and compete against each other, and there are levels you reach depending on the miles you have run. I have had a few with problems, but every time Nike sends me a brand new one as long as it’s a software/hardware problem.

Headphones: Yurbuds Inspire Pro for Women

Yurbuds Inspire Pro for Women

I don’t know about you, but I need music when I run. Whether it’s my music, a radio station or a podcast, I have to have something to listen to. I recently got these Yurbuds and I can’t run without them. They are very comfortable and the buds come in all sizes so there is always a perfect fit. My favorite part it that there is a volume adjuster, audio controller and speaker all in one. Now if I want to skip a song or change the volume I can do it with a click. Also if someone calls me mid-run I can answer without skipping a beat.

Running Belt: Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt

Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt

Long runs in the warm weather are tough. They are even harder if you don’t have a good hydration belt. This one from Nathan is my go-to. It holds just enough water so I am hydrated throughout my run without weighing me down. I can also fit my phone, keys and a Gu packet so I have everything I need when I am far from the house.

Sport Gel: Gu Gel Energy Peanut Butter

Gu Peanut Butter

Speaking of Gu, have you guys tried the peanut butter one? It is AMAZING! I have done long runs where I am anticipating having it. Definitely a pick-me-up!

Well I think that is everything! Anything else you can think of?

Of course in the summer you also need things like sunscreen and maybe even a hat, but that all depends on the day. Have a great weekend and get out there and run!

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