As I train for my 6th marathon, I’ve learned a great deal about gear and things that I find to be “must-haves” during my training. Some things have changed since I trained for marathon number one back in 2012, but others have surprisingly remained the same.
1. Skirt Sports. I have found that Skirt Sports never lets me down. I always wear their skirts for my runs, no exception. 95% of my training and races are in the Gym Girl Ultra skirt. It’s super comfortable with it’s shorties, comes in many cute styles, and is simply reliable. The other short percentage of runs are in Skirt Sports capris and/or pants. No chafing issues with my skirts! If you’d like to check them out, use code FWC20 to save 20% off your purchase!
2. Vega Protein & Supplements. I LOVE my Vega! I have a protein drink after every run or workout, and usually a smoothie for breakfast most mornings. Also, really like the Electrolyte Hydrator for my water. Comes in two flavors, but the berry is definitely my favorite. The Recovery Accelerator is my go-to during long runs during marathon training. I bring a packet with me and mix it up in my shaker bottle with 12oz of cold water and drink it immediately after. It helps replenish muscle glycogen that you lost during your workout by restoring the carbohydrates burned. And, Vega protein bars are AMAZINGLY yummy!
3. 2Toms BlisterShield. This stuff is awesome, and prevents blisters and chafing on your feet. You put some of the BlisterShield powder into each sock, then shake it up a bit before putting it on your foot. The powder attaches to your feet providing a barrier of protection. I use it on every run of 13 miles or longer. Usually, I roll some 2Toms SportsShield on my feet beforehand as well. I rarely get a blister now (like once every few runs maybe).
4. Mission Cooling Towel. In this brutal Florida heat, a cold towel is a must. I was using another company’s product, but found Mission to be as good, and easier to get a hold of in local stores. You soak the towel to get it wet, wring it out to get rid of the excess water and snap it three times to active. The towel gets very cold, and it’s heaven during a hot run. It has kept me so much cooler, and makes running in the humidity more bearable.
5. Oofos sandals. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I finish a hard, long run, all I want to do is get out of my running shoes. All my feet want is to be freed, and Oofos are like clouds for my sore and tired feet. They are always in my car, waiting for me to return and slide them on after a run. Forget cheap sandals or flip flops, you’ve got to treat your feet right after a hard run.
6. NightRunner shoe lights. NEVER run in the dark without illumination. Drives me crazy when I see other runners out on the roads without some kind of lights and/or reflective gear. You are invisible to cars, other runners, to everyone when you don’t take this into account. I learned about NightRunner 270 shoe lights in 2015 and have been wearing them ever since. They keep me visible to others and help me see the path in front of me. NightRunner lights truly are headlights for your shoes! I no longer have to deal with heavy or bulky head lamps when I’ve got my NightRunners on.
7. Compression Sleeves. And, socks too! I’m big into being able to wear the socks I want on a run, so I wear compression calf sleeves for my training to help with circulation and muscle recovery. I honestly have tried a lot of the brands out there. My favorite for calf sleeves leans toward Zensah. For me, they are the most comfortable. For post-run recovery, I wear the compression socks. Usually, PRO Compression is my go-to in the sock department. Another I like is Crazy Compression, because they have some fun designs.
8. Salt Stick caps. These little capsules are great. Salt Stick caps help replace the electrolytes and salt we lose when we are running. Helps prevent muscle cramping as well as heat stress and doesn’t affect your stomach causing upset since they are easily absorbed by the body. I take a cap about every hour or so during a long run. That equates to one about every 4-5 miles typically. I also carry extras when I can, as it’s been helpful to my fellow runners out there with me who haven’t gotten into carrying these great little capsules yet.
9. SQoosh band. It’s a wiper-blade for your face! Well, kind of. With one swoosh, you can wipe sweat, water, snot (gross but true), off of your face. And, your hand looks fashionable all the while. 🙂 A SQoosh is more than a sweatband, it is made from moisture-wick fabric and serves as not only a wipe, but can be used to keep your hands warm during the cold months and has a pocket pouch for accessories. They are custom made as well, so you can have just about any design on yours. So much to a SQoosh, I’ve got about half a dozen of them I think by now.
There are many other things that I have carried with me on my runs or things that have been a part of my training. These 9 were just a few of my favorite must-haves.
What do you consider to be a must-have during your training?