Top 5 Favorite Running Gear

So, no one said “no, don’t run the Philly half.” Shocking. I knew that was going to happen, you guys are convincing. I still haven’t signed up but, I’m inching closer.

I feel like I’ve gotten my “kick” back with running all of a sudden. In fact, reading Anne’s post yesterday felt like I was reading about myself. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying running recently but, after the HOHA 5 mile race, I just slacked off a bit on the mileage, had no races to train for and got excited about other things like rolling hills. Signing up for my 10K race and putting a training plan together was exactly what I needed to get excited again about it.

Case in point:

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I was seriously giddy about that run all day! The plan was a 4 mile tempo run. I wanted to keep my warm up/cool down miles between 8:50-9:10 and the other 2 between 8:20-8:35. Here’s how it panned out:

  • Mile 1: 8:55
  • Mile 2: 8:38
  • Mile 3: 8:25
  • Mile 4: 8:57

I’ll take it! A great run and a gorgeous day for it. The temps dropped about 10 degrees and it was 78 when I started my run. What a difference 10 degrees makes! In 88 degree weather I’d be dying without my camelbak, drenched in sweat and cleaning up a disgusting pool of water from the back of my legs on the seat in the car (that’s when leather seats are not preferable). In 78 degrees, I barely missed the water and didn’t even need the nasty “sweat towel” I keep in my bag. I try to never wish away the precious summer days but, running in cool weather is so much more enjoyable.

Since I’m on a running high again, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite gear/gadgets for running. They say all you need for running is a good pair of shoes but, sometimes the other stuff is worth it.

Top 5 Running Gear:

1.  Garmin Forerunner 305

garmin

This is the most expensive single piece of “equipment” I own for running and it was worth every penny. I think I paid $150ish over a year ago for this but, Amazon is selling it for $138 now and I’ve definitely seen it even lower than that recently. The Garmin gives you the obvious information like your pace, distance, calories, elevation, etc, but, for me, it’s been much more. It’s helped me become a better runner with it’s “training” settings when doing speed work intervals, it’s helped me push myself during tempo runs and it’s even gotten me “un-lost” with it’s GPS map feature! Considering it’s not much more than a good pair of running shoes, I think it’s worth the investment. And no, I don’t think Nike + even comes close in comparison.

2.  Lululemon Ta-Ta Tamer

ta ta tamer

Let’s talk about boobs, shall we? This is hands down the best bra I’ve ever owned. If you are a C cup or above, I highly recommend this one because of it’s support. I’m no DDD or anything but, without the proper support my back starts to hurt while exercising and those uni-boob sports bras just do not work. Is this expensive? Yes. Are your boobs worth it? I think so.

3.  Bondi Bands

bondi

You can see this amazing headband in action here, a 1/4 mile before finishing my first half marathon and in the same exact spot it was when I started almost 13 miles before.  I was completely skeptical of this headband because I had never used one that didn’t slip off my head 10 seconds into my workout. I think it’s a combination of the width and the material but, this thing sticks! They have a bunch of fun colors, designs and sayings on their website to choose from too.  I wear mine all the time and don’t wash it nearly enough. I need more.

4. Sony MDR-J10 Headphones

headphones

Headphones are like headbands for me, I feel like I’m completely in the minority because the earbud ones everyone has that came with their “i-whatever” don’t even stay in my ear while sitting completely still, let alone running. I have no idea how people can exercise with those horrendous things. I‘ve gone through 4 different sets of the type that wrap around your ear and these are my favorite yet. They are comfortable and they stay put. They’ve also lasted the longest so far. I think the sweat eventually burns headphones out and I had never gotten more than 6 months of life out of other brands I tried but, these have lasted me almost a year now.

5. Camelbak Aurora

camelback

Ah, my summer savior! I have this model (in blue) which holds 50 oz. It’s fitted for women and I have to say it is completely comfortable. When you tighten the straps it fits high up on your back and with my headphones to drown out the sloshing, I forget it’s even there. It’s got 2 pockets in the front with plenty of room to store keys, cash, phone, gels, whatever. Cleaning it is probably my least favorite part but, I’ve yet to buy any cleaning kit and have managed to keep it free of mold or mildew so far. If you live anywhere south of Alaska, I’d definitely recommend a camelbak. I personally, can’t stand running with things in my hands or around my waist so this was the best option for me. With a 50 oz. capacity, it’s usually good for about 10 miles in moderately warm weather.

What are your favorite gadgets/gear?

Do you go through lulls with your favorite sport (running, biking, swimming, etc.)? If so, what gets you out of them and excited again?

 

*I was not compensated in any way for these product reviews. This information is solely based on my opinion and personal use of the products bought with my own money.

19 Comments

  1. kari @ Running Ricig

    I really need to get a camelbak. People are getting tired of me trying to convince them to carry water for me.

    So if you do the philly half, I might sign up too. There are going to be a TON of bloggers there.

    Reply
  2. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun

    You did awesome on that tempo run. I think tempos are the hardest for me because the pacing. So hard to get in the right groove. But you killed it!

    And I am a HUGE fan of the bondi bands. I love how they keep my hair back but also keep sweat from running down my face. they may not be as cute as some other bands, but they WORK

    Reply
  3. Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled

    My Garmin is my running pet. I don’t think I’ll ever want to run without it. Best purchase ever!
    I also couldn’t live without my Brooks running shoes. They’re the only ones I’ve ever found that fit my giant toe bed and tiny heel while never giving me blisters and never needing to be broken in. I take them out of the box and go. In love!

    Reply
  4. The Teenage Taste

    The Garmin Forerunner is one of my favorite running gadgets. When I first started running I didn’t think I needed one, but they are so helpful and much more practical than the kitchen timer I used to use to time my runs. Definitely worth the $$$! :-D

    Reply
  5. Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    I just began training for a marathon and so far, tempo & speedwork are my favorite. I love long runs, but tempos go by so fast!! Mainly because you’re running so quickly, you don’t have time ti just stroll like you can with long runs.

    I just got a Garmin 305, too!! And after just one run, it’s my all time favorite running gear. Thanks for the headphone recommendation, too. I cannot find on that’ll stay in my ear the entire run. Even the ones that wrap around the ear!! It’s so annoying.

    Reply
  6. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    First, nice job on your tempo run! Those can be challenging (duh) but they usually go by quickly and then you can feel fantastic after :)
    I really want a Garmin, that particular ones looks great!!
    I always wear Asics shoes for running- every other brand I have tried rubs my pinky toes… no fun!

    Reply
  7. Kate (What Kate is Cooking)

    Having a Garmin is pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me! Before, I used Map my Run to find out the distance of all my runs, but I like knowing EXACTLY how far I’ve run. I got mine a few weeks before my first marathon and I don’t think I could have done the race without it!

    Reply
  8. Lisa Fine

    Awesome run! I’m loving that the weather’s cooled down – it makes running so much nicer.
    I love my basic Ironman Timex watch. I can set it for intervals, and it has just enough information I need. (Maybe some day I’ll switch to a GPS watch.) I also love having a Road ID, which makes me feel much more at ease when I head out for a run or walk.

    I would love to try Bondi Bands – going to look at their website now.

    Reply
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  11. Karen

    I’ve had a camelbak for years, and the best way to keep it clean, hands down, is to just store it in the freezer when not in use. I’m sure you’ve realized by now that unless you give that thing a NASA grade cleaning every time, it will start to grow god knows what in the tube. That of course, is a huge pain in the ass. So now, I just rinse it out with hot water, (not boiling! but hot) and every now and then some baking soda, (I’ve never used that camelbak cleaning kit) and store it in the freezer. I’ve had my latest resevoir for three years and no sign of weird growths yet. Keep it in the freezer!

    Reply

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