NOTE: Mary Catherine wrote an article for the October 2015 issue of Fayette Woman magazine that listed some of her favorite things – indoor / outdoor running gear. I was asked to write a companion piece, so here are my favorites from head to toe:
Running hat – I have several running hats I wear from time-to-time. My absolute favorite is my HeadSweats Ironman hat from my 2002 Ironman Florida race. It’s still holding up strong. Sometimes if I don’t need full coverage, I like to wear my Multisport Performance (thanks Kim B.) sun visor, also by HeadSweats.
Sunglasses – We don’t spend a lot of money on sunglasses in our family because they tend to get destroyed or lost. My go-to sunglasses are a pair of Ironman logo glasses by Foster Grant. They don’t slip, rarely fog up, and are perfect for keeping the sun out of my eyes while running.
Reflective vest – When running on roads, it’s important to be seen! I have a variety of full-size reflective vests I’ve collected over the years, but most are pretty ragged. This past year I’ve been wearing the Amphipod Xinglet Vest. It’s minimal, doesn’t slip around, and is highly visible. The front pocket is too small to hold anything, but that’s okay – it’s the thought that counts. I bet the next model upgrade will be better.
Hydration vest – Unless I’m running a long distance, I normally don’t like to carry my own hydration – I’d rather use water fountains, especially along the golf cart paths of Peachtree City where we often run. While training for the marathon this year, I was encouraged to get a hydration vest by Mary Catherine so I could also carry her stuff! The Nathan Zelos 2-Liter Hydration Vest is just what I need. It’s carries lots of fluids and gear. Just call me running sherpa.
Running shirt / tank – I prefer to run in tank tops (runners call them singlets). They allow for full arm movement and ventilation. Brand doesn’t really matter as long as it doesn’t chafe. I like to race in my Peachtree City Running Club singlet where possible. If I’m wearing a hydration vest, sometimes I’ll wear a sleeveless shirt so that the straps don’t bite into my shoulders.
Jacket – Most of the time I don’t wear a jacket when running, but when I do it’s hard to beat my 1998 Boston Marathon jacket by Adidas. I earned that jacket when I ran my first Boston Marathon so it has some sentimental value. In addition to that, it breathes well, has reflective stripes, protects against the elements and, of course, it’s hard to beat the big Boston Athletic Association logo on the back.
GPS watch / iPhone 6 – Unless it’s really bad weather, I almost always run with my iPhone 6. Having my phone handy allows me to be reachable by my family. There are a lot of good running apps, but my favorite is RunKeeper (if you use the app too, look me up and friend me). When I race I also like to wear my basic Garmin Forerunner 10 – it’s simple and effective, not a lot of extraneous buttons or functionality. Usually the Garmin and RunKeeper come up with slightly different distances for a run. I’ll write about why that is in a future post.
Running shorts – I have two types of running shorts – those with pockets for long runs and those without. If I don’t need pockets, then I enjoy running in my Champion brand (featured at Target stores) running shorts – they’re inexpensive and fit well. If I need pockets for energy food or my phone, then my favorite pair of shorts are my Patagonia Nine Trails shorts. Featuring an 8″ inseam and three big zippered pockets, they can carry my iPhone 6 and other supplies without bouncing. A close second are my pair of REI brand Fleet running shorts also featuring three pockets. The two side pockets on the REI shorts are especially good for carrying my iPhone.
Running socks – I’m a fan of the Champion brand athletic apparel carried by Target and their socks are especially good. There’s a wide variety of ankle top, no-show, reflective, and support socks – they’re all great and I have pairs of each style. I’ve not had a need to buy expensive “no blister” socks as I’ve never had a blister in the cheaper Champion socks.
Running shoes – Most of the time I wear my tried and true Saucony Kinvara shoes for racing and training. I’m not fast enough for a racing flat to make much difference in my performance. The Kinvara are fairly minimal anyway, with only a 4mm heel drop. Recently I purchased a pair of Hoka One One Clifton shoes on sale and ran in them during marathon training this summer – they performed great! The Hoka provided a lot of cushioning much appreciated during my long runs. I’ll stick with my Kinvara’s for now, but use the Hoka’s when I need some more cushion.
Disclaimer – I was not paid by any manufacturer, distributor, or retailer to promote any of their products. All products and gear mentioned by me were purchased with my own money for my own personal use while running.