Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What it takes to be a runner: Gear that you NEED and DON'T NEED

Today's Workout:
5 mile run

Howdy friends and happy hump day! A lot of runners who know me are usually shocked by the lack of cool running gadgets that I DON'T own. I'll get asked, "Hey, did you buy the new Forerunner Garmin watch?" Or, "Did you get that new fuel belt that holds more bottles?" I'll be the first to admit that I just don't buy (no pun intended!) into all those products. I have always kept the same philosophy as when I first started running several years ago: Keep it Simple! I have however, upgraded to a few new things but only because I am a competitive runner. I need certain things when I train to monitor my speed and to get me going on my long runs. However, if you're a beginner, I you don't need all the bells and whistles that people try to sell you.

Here's what I don't think you need:
1. Body Glide. You don't need to use Body Glide to avoid chafing. You could use other cheap products, such as Vaseline or A+D Ointment.
2. You don't need a Garmin Forerunner 305. There are other running watches that are cheaper than the Forerunner 305, so unless you have to track your pace, then I suggest buying a simple running watch. Or you could do what I used to do: drive my car through my running route to gauge the mileage!
3. You don't need a fuel belt.  You could hydrate at the water fountains or you could do what I do: Place water bottles at different locations throughout my run.
4. You don't need compression socks.  Unless you have been instructed by a doctor to wear these types of socks, you don't need them to run. Yes, I have worn them on my long runs to avoid leg pain after the run, but it's not a necessary component to running. If your legs hurt after a run, you could soak in ice water, perform a self-massage or lay down on the ground with your legs elevated on the couch.
5. You don't need fancy running gels.  You could make your own running gels  or you could stash bananas along your running path. You could also eat some candy for some sugar intake.
6. You don't need a coach. There are plenty of websites to refer to if you need a training plan. There's Runner's World,  Hal Higdon's Training Plans,  Cool Running,  Competitor,  Active,  etc.
7. You don't need pricey clothing. All you need is a light-weight shirt and a pair of shorts (summer wear); you can get these at Walmart.
8. You don't need an IPOD. Sure, it's nice to run with music, but it's not necessary.
9. You don't need a foam roller.  You could use a PVC pipe or a tennis ball to remove pain from your muscles or to loosen those stubborn knots.
Here's what you do need:
1. Good shoes. You cannot go cheapo on this. Running is a minimalist sport and the minimum thing you need is a really good pair of sneakers. I swear by Newton Sneakers.  These shoes are just perfect for my feet. Remember, running shoes hold up your weight and sustain miles after miles after miles, so don't budge on this. If you're not sure what type of shoe you should wear, go to a local running store like Miami's Footworks Running store, which helps runners determine what type of shoe their feet require.
2. Your will and determination to run. It's up to you to get up and go!!!
What's your favorite running gadget?
Transforming Your Morning Challenge:
Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for the sweet notes that my hubby gives me.
Quote: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -Dale Carnegie
Positive Affirmation: I am healthy, happy and whole, therefore I am complete. 

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  1. I finally splurged, and bought myself a garmin. Before I had one though, I used to figure out my mileage. It's a free website that is perfect for tracking your run mileage!

    1. I've heard of mapmyrun, but I have never used it. The Garmin is definitely useful if there's a need for it ;).

  2. The Nike + app is my favorite free gadget. I love that I can compete against my friends and earn running achievements. My favorite purchased item is my polar heart rate monitor. I too got a Garmin but the forerunner 10, it's the cheapest and just as good for what I need it for.

    1. I have never used the Nike app before. I have to admit that I'm not too techy or computer savvy. Do you train with the heart monitor?