Running is one of the most simple sports. All you need is yourself and a pair of shoes! Despite this, the market is flooded with products aimed to help runners be better, faster, and more comfortable. Where do you even begin?
I try not to rely too much on gimmicky gear for running, because working on your body and mind is where you will actually make improvements. But, there are a few things that I have found along the way that I wouldn’t live without now. Here are my top suggestions that you won’t regret spending the money on:
Massage Ball: In addition to regular foam rolling, I use a spikey massage ball to help with problem areas. If your suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s great to roll one of these under your feet. I get pain along the sides of my arches, so I work the area after every run and it has really helped reduce aches and pain. I also lay on the ball at my TFL trigger point to help release tension.
Lululemon Light Speed Sock: I think I’ve shared these in every post I’ve ever written about running, but they are the only socks I run in and I never have problems with blisters. They also last a really long time, so they are worth the price.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter: Take care of those feet of yours! I try to use this cocoa butter every night to keep my feet soft. Just because you’re a runner doesn’t mean that your feet have to look like it.
Body Glide: This one is probably pretty obvious, but it’s a life saver. If I’m doing a long run, I put it anywhere an edge of clothing is against my skin. I also have really sensitive skin, and this has never bothered me. When you run for 2+ hours, things that never bothered you might end up cutting apart your skin (I’ve learned this from personal experience), so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen: Sun protection is no joke! Protect your skin from the sun EVERY time you run. I use a Neutrogena face sunscreen and a spray sunscreen for the rest of my body. Some spray sunscreens can yellow your clothes, but I haven’t had an issue with this brand. Just be careful because it makes floors slippery!
Nuun Electrolytes: I am a brand ambassador for Nuun because I really believe in their product. These tablets provide the minerals and electrolytes that you sweat out during intense workouts. I usually take this after a really sweaty session, or if I’m feeling drained during the day. Some people swear by it to drink during workouts, but I only do this if I’m doing a 2+ hour run where I sweat a lot, but I switch off between Nuun and water. They also have an endurance formula that I can’t wait to try during my marathon training! I try to only take fuel during really long runs, because you can train your body to be too dependent on it.
Run Gum: I need a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, but if I have an early AM workout and don’t have time to let it settle, it gives me a stomach ache. In order to get the caffeine that I need to wake up, I found this caffeine gum that I can just chew at the beginning of a workout to get me going! It does have a lot of caffeine in it, so one piece is all I ever take. If you’re someone who gets an upset stomach when you run early, I recommend trying this over coffee!
The one other thing that you actually want to spend money on is a good pair of shoes. The best pair of shoes for you depends on your foot and how you run, so the best advice I can give you is to go get fitted in a running specialty store. The right shoes will save you lots of trouble down the road!
Do you have a running or fitness product that you can’t live without?