2.17.2012

Running Stuff

When I first started running, I did it with only the shirt on my back. Now I have all kinds of things that I have tried, some that worked for me, and some that didn't. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Fuel: 

I tried all the fuel: Gu, gu chomps, clif shots. I didn't really like them. I thought that most of them tasted like jelly. Nasty, cough syrupy sweet jelly. Thanks to Jill, who recommended the Honey Stinger Chews, I finally found one I liked (after much trial and MUCH error!) I have since also found out that the Gu Chocolate flavored Energy gel and the Clif Shot Blocks Black Cherry are not super horrible either.

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2. Belts: 

After debating for a long time, because I wanted to buy a belt, but couldn't find very many in brick and mortar stores, but did not want to order online without trying them, I finally bought an Amphipod at REI (with a giftcard! Yay!) I love it. It does not slip at all, unless you have all the waters next to each other. But if you put them equidistant apart, it doesn't bounce at all. It has 4 - 8 oz bottles which can be taken off and one pocket for my iPod. The bottles snap in, which I like, since a friend told me that her Nathan belt started to lose the bottles out of the holsters.

The only complaint I have is that the pocket has a Velcro closure and has opened up once or twice mid run (when it is filled too full) and let my goods fall out on the road. If you carry less junk, you may not have that problem. It's also one size fits all with a Velcro closure, which I thought I would not like, but it has worked out just fine.
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I also got to try the iFitness belt, which doesn't have water bottles. However, it does have a waterproof case for your iPod or phone, which has a zipper and works great. Not only that, but it has a pocket inside to fit your credit card or ID. It has a clasp with one size fits all adjustment and is comfortable and doesn't ride up. It also has a bib holder, which is great! Now I can take off my sweatshirt and not worry about where my bib is attached! I usually only use it for shorter runs though, since it doesn't have water bottles.

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3. Headgear: 

I admit, I was skeptical. I have never worn headbands. I did buy some goody ones at Target once, but they were so tight they made my head hurt a couple minutes into the run. The Chica Bands, however, are great. I am still growing out my hair, so they are good for keeping those flyaway hairs out of my face. I am still not completely used to it and it has been pretty cold, so I have not had many chances to use them, but my initial review is that they are so far, so good. They don't seem to slip and only hurt my head when I put them too far forward (by accident!)

4. Footgear:

My first running shoes were Nike. They were too tight. I tried Brooks and they are too flat. So I tried Asics and have been using them ever since! I am currently using the Gel Fluent 4, but I pretty much buy whichever one is on sale when it's time for a new pair. As long as they are Asics, I don't discriminate!

These shoes now have 621 miles on them!
5. Garmin

Because of the price, I held off on getting a Garmin for a long time. I remember having to wait until the next mile when they would call out my time, to know what my pace was. I was an expert of multiplying 9 or 10 minute miles to figure out where I was. But when the Garmin 305 went on sale, I knew I had to get it. I actually requested it as a Christmas gift. I know, it's huge, and at first I wasn't sure I WANTED to know how fast (or slow!) I was going. But it has turned out to be a very great tool for me over the last year. I don't even use or KNOW how to use all of the functions, but just knowing my pace and being able to do intervals and tracking my progress has been great. Besides, its FUN to see how high that mountain I just climbed really was! I even measured my parent's driveway (.2 miles - 245 ft ascent).

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Tomorrow I will be running the Bay Breeze Half, which will be my second half marathon for the 12 in 2012 Running Challenge! I will be back next week with a race recap! Don't forget to go over to Fitness Friday at Jill's each week to see some other great fitness related posts!

Disclosure: I was given the iFitness belt and the Chica bands for free for participating in the 12 in 2012 Running Challenge. However, all opinions stated on this blog are mine alone. 

What gear is a must have in your book? Do you use a Garmin or do you just wing it?

17 comments:

  1. I have my first Chica band on the way. excited to try it out, she even added a little more elastic for my big head.I couldn't live without my garmin now that I have it!

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  2. I just can't do the belts...I tried a Spi belt and everyone claims they don't move around, but it bounced like crazy on me no matter how I adjusted it. So I sold it on Ebay...which is where I got it to begin with, lol.
    I am trying to get into the habit of using my Garmin more often, because I think I've been slacking off on the pace without it. I have too many long, easy runs or mid distance slow runs!

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  3. I have a water belt I like, but can't remember the brand... I went w/ a different one that had elastic holsters for the water bottles after my experience w/ the nathan plastic ones...

    Besides that, I run in Mizuno's and feel naked without my garmin!!

    Good luck with your half tomorrow!!

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  4. must have’s are my garmin, my ifitness belt (i’m a convert after getting it for the 12 in 2012), and my compression socks/sleeves

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  5. Good luck on your half!! I have one this weekend, too. I also put off buying a Garmin for years... but I'm glad I finally caved.

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  6. I absolutely must have a hat (to shade my face if I'm running outside), my Mizunos, and water-wicking socks. I have a Nathan belt and I have noticed that the water bottles don't stay in as well as they used to when I first bought it. Annoying!

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  7. I haven't gotten a Garmin yet, but I really want one. I carry my phone and use the Runkeeper app to track my distance and pace. I love my Ipod, can't run without it. I haven't used my ifitness belt yet since my longest distance since receiving it has only been 7 miles. I plan to use it for my virtual half coming up and am excited! Good luck this weekend!

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  8. I always run with the Garmin now, can't live without it. I have a water belt but I can't stand it - I don't know if it was the brand or what, but now I just run with a handheld water bottle and that works fine.

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  9. Good luck at bay breeze! Have fun and don't die.

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  10. I like honey stingers, but shot bloks are my go to fuel along with larabars, Picky Bars or clif shots. I love my Garmin 405 and Brooks Adrenaline. I also love my Nathan handheld water bottle for long runs.

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  11. I love my garmin. I'm sad that it's acting up and I may have to live without for a while.

    About the barefoot running, yes, it has changed my stride. My feet also splay more now, so some of my shoes don't work for long runs any more. It was a very deliberate decision (and slow transition), so if you do it, don't run far the first time (or the next time or the time after that...) The nice thing about running completely barefoot is that the bottoms of your feet usually keep you from putting in too much mileage before your legs are ready.

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  12. i want a garmin and i've been wanting to try those honey stingers becasue i don't enjoy gu very much. ugh, i'm so frustrated with the rain...it's messing with my runs BAD!!!

    good luck to ya!

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  13. GOOD LUCK Carnival style from Trinidad! You will rock it! I LOVE those gummis....so good!

    xoxo from Trinidad

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  14. hope your race was awesome!! :) I'm doing the challenge too.
    Love honey stingers, chica bands and the ifitness belt too :)
    As far as watches I haven't tried a garman yet. I've been really happy with my Nike +

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  15. Must have Honey Stingers for any run 9 miles or longer, of course my iFitness belt and without a doubt my Garmin. Love chatting about running "stuff" :)

    How was the half? Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  16. I really enjoy reading these and hearing what works or doesn't work for various people. Hope your race went great!

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  17. I have yet to really invest in anything, running-wise, because I haven't put enough effort into really working at it. But I want to and these are some great tips.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!