I get a lot of questions about what I use and why. Here are some of the things I use in my everyday training. I’ll try to review these in depth and give some pros/cons over time. Until then, if you have questions about anything listed here, just comment or ping me (I absolutely use each of these items).
Also, I’ll add some links to these items when I have time! Michael P.
Socks and Shoes
- Vibram Five Finger KSOs– I’m just starting with these and am really liking them. There are a lot of fake versions of these shoes out there – so be sure to order these from a legitimate, known retailer to make sure you’re not getting a cheap rip-off.
- New Balance 905s – These were my minimalist shoes I ran with in multiple events (short and long distance). Like most minimalist shoes, they start to break down around 200 miles.
- Brooks Adrenaline – I used an older version of these (Adrenaline 6) when I first started running. They are stability shoes.
- Injinji Socks – These are said to help prevent blisters.
- Gold Toe PowerSox Coolmax socks. These are my everyday socks (I literally tossed every pair of white socks I had and replaced them with these) for two reasons 1. they are seamless and 2 have arch support built in. They are also comfortable and a pack of them is about the same price as any other white socks (3 pack is $11 retail). I’ve found them at a local department store for as low as $6 for 3 pair.
- Local events are a great place to get inexpensive workout shirts. As part of your entry fee in a 5k, you’ll usually get a shirt (plus the experience of an event). I’ve gotten some very good wicking shirts that I use with a $20 entry.
- Champion brand wicking clothes from Target are also great if you’re just starting out. You can get great men’s and women’s clothing, often on sale for less than $15. Regular priced men’s wicking shirts are often $12.99. All of my winter running tights (yes gentlemen, you will need these if running in VERY cold weather). I don’t like super short-shorts
- For the rain and wind, I use a Nike ACG Storm-Fit Fairweather Rain Jacket. This jacket is incredibly durable and blocks wind very well. This is definitely one of my best pieces of running clothing. I’ve had this for two seasons and plenty of miles and it still looks brand new.
- I got a New Balance NBx 2.0 Windblocker Jacket as a Christmas gift, I haven’t used it to run yet (but will be perfect for this spring weather!), my first impression is that it may be too nice to run in Looking forward to getting out there with it.
Running Watches/HR Monitors
I’m big on HR training and have quite a bit of data. For now, I have two primary things I really like:
- Garmin 305 – yes, there are newer models that are smaller, but for $130 on Amazon, it’s a great gadget. Pace and Distance via GPS and HR via a Garmin Strap.
- Garmin FR60 – Actually a very accurate watch using a foot pod to calculate pace and distance.
- I bought a “Comfort Strap” for the HR and quick release kit for the 305, I’ll talk more about these in a separate post, but basically both are good choices if you want to do a triathlon.
I only wear headphones on a maximum of three runs a week. You get a performance benefit from listening to music when running, but you lose this benefit if you always run with music.
- Bluetooth Headphones: Yep, headphones with no wires!!! After making the switch you will never want to go back. They are fricking cool! I am currently using RocketFish RF-MAB2 which are available at Best Buy. They usually keep them near the cell phone accessories. Without touching your phone, on the headphones you can switch tracks, pause the music, and adjust volume…and pick up a call if you need to.
- Cell Phone – The headphones should work with your iPhone or Android, but I currently use a Samsung Focus (a Windows Phone 7), great zune interface and much more than icons on a page.
- Zune Service – I good playlist will last me 1 to 2 weeks and then I want something different. I love the Zune service since I get unlimited music. Can download music and playlists wirelessly on my phone or sync from my computer…
- Phone Armband – I use a Tunebelt (Model AB-83). It fits my cell phone great. If you are doing a long run or in the rain, I suggest putting your phone in a zip-lock bag and then in the tunebelt. With the bag, my phone still works great and I have added protection if I sweat a lot or have weather issues.
- Nathan Racing Belt – Yes, I’m that guy that carries water even in a 5k. It started as wanting to have someplace to put my keys when I went out on a run. I carry my car key and house key, a credit card, drivers license, $5 cash (in case I need to buy something) and two bottles of water. I also have a Nathan 4 bottle carrier for long runs, will fill 1 or 2 with Gatorade.
- Ice Packs – most grocery stores and pharmacies will have everything you need. I keep four reusables ready to go.
- IceWrap – I’m sure you’re getting the hint that if I feel any discomfort or anything I ice immediately… yep, sure do. After the Chicago Half last year, I was pretty jacked and this thing was awesome. Just that fact that you can strap it on and don’t have to hold it in place is a big help. I have a knee one, but have used it for shins, ankle, and arch. They are currently offering 10% off if you use the code GetIceTEN. IceWraps ice wraps and packs
- Advil – ALWAYS eat something when taking this, it will help substantially with recovery.
- AquaJogger – When dealing with an injury, allows you to “run” in the water. Read my full review here. I’ve seen these as inexpensive as $27 on Amazon.
- Coming Soon!
- Coming Soon!
- Honey Stinger Gold – Love this stuff since it has ALL Natural ingredients and tastes like Honey.
- Jelly Belly Sports Beans – My coach was sponsored by them in the past and got me hooked on them. I tend to use them on the bike more than the run – but if you like jelly beans, these are jelly beans with caffeine and electrolytes!
- Pretzels – yep, good old rolled gold. These provide salt and something I have my wife bring to long events (to hand to me after 10 miles or for the finish line)
- Bananas – Plenty of potassium combined with a few carbs. These are good fuel for a run!