Here we are, ready to face another January. Whether your theme is “New Year, New You” or “New Year, Same You,” it is always fun and challenging to pick up a new habit or refine an old one.
I’ve been a runner for a long time and am constantly looking for a new favorite thing to make my hobby more enjoyable. While I’m not going to touch the topic of shoes because that is such an individualized choice (get fitted by a running expert if you need help!), I do have a list of fun accessories to help make your run better, no matter your pace, distance, or running history.
I have had several brands of running watches over the years. I wish I had a picture of my original Garmin for you. It was a huge rectangle approximately the size of a credit card but about as thick as your garage door opener. Definitely not what you call low profile.
These days, I run in my Apple Watch and use Strava to track my workouts. However, I have heard great things about the COROS Apex running watch. It has a battery that will last for 36 hours in GPS mode. The current Garmin watches are great as well.
I am addicted to Clif Bloks Energy Chews. They come with six bite size gummy chews to a pack, making it easy to pop one in your mouth while running. There are several flavors, with options for caffeine and sodium. I carry these in my little running pack, and they keep me going during a long run. I will tell you that if you take them out on a cold day, you will get a workout just trying to chew them when they are frozen.
My other favorite is Nuun Hydration tablets to add to a water bottle. I know a lot of people prefer to run without having to carry a bottle. I have this one from Amphipod. It doesn’t bother me, and I like being able to drink on the go. These tablets help to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance and are especially handy when it is super humid.
This is another category that gets a lot of opinions. I swear by my Powerbeats Pro. I ran a trail marathon a couple of years ago while wearing these. Midway through the race, I took a tumble down a huge hill, including several rolls. I was amazed to discover once I figured out which way was up that the Powerbeats Pros didn’t budge. If those aren’t for you, check out Aftershokz and Bose earbuds.
Function is just as important as fashion when it comes to running. I don’t have a favorite when it comes to shorts, tanks, and leggings but do love my Senita pocket bra. It is comfortable, doesn’t rub, and has space for my phone and a pack of Clif Bloks. The other thing I rarely leave for a run without is my Goodr sunglasses. They don’t slip or fog and are cute.
Aftercare is a vital part of any runner’s routine. Invest in a good foam roller. I like to call it a torture device, but it really is a useful way to help with recovery, especially after a long run or hard workout. Again, we have several options to choose from. The TriggerPoint is a popular one with my group of running friends. However, even this basic Amazon foam roller can do the trick.
It was hard to limit this list to just five. Here are favorites from running friends to add to the list:
Lululemon Down For It All Running Vest
If you are running in the dark, don’t forget a light. You can buy one that clips onto your shirt for a couple of dollars or get something a little fancier like this!