While training for my first marathon over the past 4.5 months, I’ve learned what I need (and don’t need) to run well. Some products are more essential than others, but these are the ones that I can’t live (run) without.
Garmin Forerunner 305
My Garmin Forerunner 305 is easily my favorite piece of running equipment. In fact, it’s changed the way that I run. To read my full Garmin 305 review, click over to this post .
Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 6 Sneakers
After experiencing some foot pain during my training, I realized that my sneakers weren’t providing me with the right type of support. Apparently, I need more stability and control , so now I wear the Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 6 , which are awesome. They feel so good on my feet, and I haven’t experienced any pain since making the switch.
I don’t know how I ran without a Spibelt for so long! I typically bring my iPhone with me on runs so I can listen to Pandora and snap photos along the way. Before training for a marathon, I only ran a few miles at a time, so I would just hold my iPhone in my hand. It really didn’t bother me until my milage increased. As you can imagine, holding an iPhone for 7 or 8 miles gets old fast. I knew there was no way I could keep it up, especially with much longer runs on the horizon, so I a Spibelt was the perfect solution.
My Spibelt fits my iPhone, 4 packages of Gu, my ID, and chapstick. It would also probably fit a couple of other small items, like a key or cash. Even when it’s really full, my Spibelt doesn’t bounce around very much, so I don’t feel it. It’s actually quite comfy to wear.
Lululemon TaTa Tamer
Best running sports bra ever!! I own five TaTa Tamers and wear one every time I run. Even though I double-up on the sports bras, I don’t usually wear body glide and rarely ever experience chaffing. Here’s my post about sports bras . It includes a full review of the TaTa Tamer.
Vanilla Bean Gu
It took some trial and error to figure out which fuel worked best for me on my long runs, but, eventually, I decided that Vanilla Bean Gu was the way to go. It sort of tastes like vanilla pudding and it’s really easy to eat. (I can’t chew and run at the same time!) I typically consume a packet of Gu every 50 minutes or so during a long run. They definitely give me the energy that I need to keep trucking along.
The next three items are equally awesome for dealing with tight runner legs. I use at least one after every single run. After long runs, I normally use all three. Stretching is really important when it comes to long distance running. Otherwise, you risk getting injured!
Mini Foam Roller
Foam rollers rule for runners. The one that I own is especially great because it’s only 18 inches long. It’s easy to store in a closet or the corner of the living room (as a constant reminder to use it!).
In the past few months, I experienced a couple of IT band issues , but my foam roller has helped so much. Now, I roll out my legs and glutes with the foam roller before and after I run, which has led to much less IT band pain.
The Tiger Tail is a rolling muscle massager that helps relieve sore, tight, and stiff muscles. Like a foam roller, it helps you perform deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy on yourself, but it gets the muscles that are tricky to roll with the foam roller. Basically, I feel like I have more control with the Tiger Tail than I do the foam roller, so sometimes it’s a more effective tool.
Yoga Tune Up Balls
My Tune Up Balls were especially useful when I thought that I had a case of Plantar Fasciitis , which is basically irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. For runners, it’s often caused by over-training and/or improper footwear. To help with this possible injury, I rolled and stretched my foot using these balls. They’re also really great for getting the small muscles in the front and side of my hips.