While the holiday season may be behind us, that doesn’t mean you still can’t “Treat Yo’ Self” or someone else to stocking a running “survival kit” full of the essentials! Pack up some key running tools and prepare for your training and racing to hit a new level!
What to pack in your kit and Why?
Running watch (Apple Watch, Timex Ironman, or Garmin)
Whether you’re running for time or distance having a functional athletic watch is pretty essential. Apple watches are GREAT smart watch options to track all of your data (plus it can be synced with the Charge App). For the timeless, affordable, functional classic, go with the Timex Ironman in any variety. It’s simple to use, extremely durable and made for activity. If you want distances, paces, and HR without smartwatch features, pick up a Garmin GPS watch.
Keep yourself focused on the road ahead and get yourself a good pair of sunglasses that work and, most importantly, you enjoy wearing! Whether you choose one of the free pairs you can get at races or want to invest in a pair (check out the Goodr brand funky and fresh running sunglasses) avoiding having to strain your eyes in the summer sun or winter snow glare is worth it.
Protein, fat, fiber, filling AND delicious…what else do you need? As a snack or meal, peanut butter (or similar nut butters) makes good on its title as one of the world’s most versatile food products. Combine with some complex carbohydrate products (whole grain bread products, oatmeal) and you’ve just created the ultimate runner fuel!
The Charge Running App (of course)
All these great running survival tools don’t do you any good if you’re not out there running! Don’t run alone, enjoy great runs and workouts. Plus it gives you an excuse to wear those sweet new running sunglasses you just bought!
2 Pairs of Shoes
Keep two pairs of your running shoes of choice ready to go at all times. You never know when you may get your shoes soaked in a rain storm or they may end up left in your car. Having a reliable backup pair is your safest bet for all possible shoe disaster scenarios.
Music, podcasts, radio news, or live coaching by awesome Charge trainers, all require headphones. Not just any headphones will suffice. You’ll need a pair that will hold up in weather conditions, to sweat and stay in your ear while you’re jostling about and ripping off mile after mile. Our very own super-trainer Dana Klein suggests the Aftershokz brand of wired or wireless sport headphones. These are AWESOME for active users, are incredibly secure to your head and don’t have to insert into your ear for great sound.
BIG Water Bottle + Squeeze Bottles
Keep hydration on track throughout the day with a large, 32oz or more water bottle. This will almost guarantee that you’ll be keeping up with water consumption if you are sure to fill and finish it even just 2-3 times a day. On top of that collect a few cheap or free squeeze bottles to bring to runs and races that are easy to drink from, even when moving, and you don’t mind having to toss away as needed.
Good for sun protection, hair protection, rain protection, and mainly sweat protection. Getting a breathable, comfortable piece of head gear can complete the runner’s look and serve a serious function. Keeping the hair and sweat out our of your face and eyes couldn’t be more important when you’re racing through the streets and trails.
Spending any long amount of time outdoors in direct sunlight without the proper skin protection is a mistake, but especially when you’re in typically skimpy running clothing. Applying a healthy lather of a strong, non-greasy, sweat proof sunscreen before your runs will help put your mind at ease. This way whether you’re out there for 2 miles or 2 hours you can rest easy knowing you kept that skin safe.
Towel (quick dry type ideally)
Ideal for any hot day of running away from your home, some type of towel for a post-run wipe down will make your recovery period that much more enjoyable without all the dripping sweat. Plus, for some extra relief on particularly hot days, soak it in ice cold water and flop it on top of your head…oh the joy!
I prefer the athletic flip-flop type (I’m a UA guy myself) but any comfortable pair will do. Take sandals with you if you’re transporting yourself anywhere for a run (assuming it’s not winter). Wrenching off your running shoes and socks after a long run or hard workout and slipping on a pair of breathable, toe-freeing sandals will make all the difference in your trek home.
First Aid + Athletic Tape
Having a few basic first aid items is incredibly important. Bandaids, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, athletic tape, gauze pads, and the like provide an extra sense of security when you’re out there running. While a few items can be brought with you during a run, race, or workout, just having the rest accessible and on hand nearby will suffice.
Let’s be honest, race organizer aren’t always on top of it when it comes to entry provisions. It’s not terribly uncommon for you to get a bib without any way to fasten it to your singlet. Having 4+ spare safety pins in your racing bag at will save you the stress of trying to figure out what to do when you should just be focusing on kicking butt when the gun goes off!
Running Belt (to hold ALL the stuff)
Turns out you can’t just carry all of these key pieces of running equipment in your hands. Get yourself a fitted, active running belt that can handle your phone, energy gels, water bottles and whatever else you may need during a race or workout. Make sure it fits well and doesn’t slip and slide as you run. Charge All-Star trainer Michelle never goes anywhere without hers…and that’s good enough praise for me!