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Monday, March 04, 2013

Gear and Gadgets

As I get more and more into the running world, I've been finding lots of fun gadgets, gizmos, and gear that are intended to help you along the way. It's a surprisingly expansive department!
When I started running, I wore really old Adidas x-training sneakers, a cotton t-shirt, a pair of cotton leggings, and a pair of short shorts. I was fine with it, but this embarrassed my long-time running father, when I went on runs in their neighborhood. He got me a few things to encourage my new activity. I guess one of my favorite things about running, is that it's an excuse to get new clothes, and that keeps me excited.
Here are some things that I currently use:

THE SHOES! (omg shoes.)
Probably the most important thing to a runner is the shoes. I have a pair of New Balance 720's. I've been using these for about 6 years (on and off) only for running, and they've served me well. I know almost nothing about running shoes (trying to learn more) and these were a pair that I found with my Dad's assistance. They are comfy and supportive...although sometimes they do feel a little clunky while I'm running, and let's face it, the color is SOOO BORING! Though New Balance doesn't make 720 running shoes anymore (they are now a pair of water shoes...), I would recommend their comparable version to these for anyone unsure of what to get.
I believe the time has come to get myself a new pair and I will be taking a trip to The Running Lab in the coming week or so to find myself the perfect new shoe. Story to follow! :)

The Clothes
Like I said, I'm not fancy. My clothes are gonna get sweaty anyway, why spend a ton of money? Usually I run in a pair of  Danskin Mesh pants from Walmart, and an old work or event t-shirt. I have a pair of Underarmour Shorts that have always worked well for me, as well as a really comfy Nike running Jacket (Similar to this). I also have a pair of Activa runner's spandex tights that are good for cold weather. Lately I've gotten a few moisture wicking shirts, which are comfortable enough, but I find that they aren't as roomy to move in unless you buy a size larger. As far as socks go, I just wear white ankle socks...nothing too exciting there. Other than that, I'll wear a random hoodie for a little extra warmth to the gym, but that's the gist of the running clothes that I own. I'm looking to expand upon that collection once I have a bit more income to play with. 

Now the exciting stuff!


When I was living in NYC, I HAD to bring a key with me when I ran (auto locking building doors, wee!). I had no pockets on what I was wearing, and I wasn't gonna risk tying it onto my shoe somehow. So I found this handy little thing online one day. It's called a SpiBand. They fit around either your wrist or ankle and use a folding system to keep things in place. It can actually hold a lot of stuff  (keys, credit cards, ID, gels, etc.) and it's not uncomfortable. Mine is hot pink and lime green and I really don't mind if I have to wear it while on an outdoor run.

Tune Belt
I'm a fairly new iPhone 5 owner, and finding a decent armband seemed like quite the task after reading reviews on amazon. (Some of them let sweat in and it completely destroys your phone?! NO THANKS!!) I searched and searched runner's message boards and the Tune Belt was suggested and the price was right! (It's not just for iPhone 5...for almost every possible phone or gadget you could think of!) The phone fits perfectly inside the pocket (with or without my Incipio Dual PRO case), and there are outlets in the bottom to plug in your headphones and your charger. There is also a really handy little velcro tab on the side that holds your coiled-up headphone wire! You can access the screen while it's in the band and it's relatively easy to see when you are wearing it. It's also quite low-profile, so you don't feel like you have a brick attached to your arm. The material is great and doesn't let any sweat through (PHEW!). It stays in place very well without having to be adjusted too tightly, which is incredibly important if you want your arm to have circulation while exercising! 

I couldn't run if I didn't have music. I'm actually terrified to run the races that don't allow runners to wear headphones. I guess I'll be crossing that bridge when I get to it! But for now, I use my trusty Sony MDR-Q33LP headphones. I bought these babies when I was 17 (oof!...11 years ago...) and they still work like a charm (though the foam pads have fallen off and the silver paint is worn)! I really like the clip-on kind of headphones for working out because they really stay on. Earbuds always pop out of my ears and I spend more time fixing them and praying they don't fall out than I do focusing on my workout. The cord is really long (6ft I think), so it's good if you set your player in the cup holder of the machine you are using. This is another reason why the Tune Belt's cord holder was a plus for me. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I can get this exact pair if I wanted to without spending A LOT of money. Luckily, there are some comparable styles available now and the sport earbud has improved a lot in the past few years...but I love these so much, I don't know if I would ever be brave enough to try something else.

Gym Bag 
I love this gym bag. It was one of those random "Hey! It's on sale!" kinda purchases I made on a shopping trip in Manhattan one day...This is the Lululemon Athletica "Hot Yoga" bag. It fits what I need exactly. the inside is lined with lots of pretty colors and it came with a drawstring shoe bag. There is a zipper mesh pocket inside and a larger flat snap pocket that could fit a small laptop, a tablet, or some magazines. There are also pockets in the rounded part on the outside that are super handy. I love the material it's made out of (kinda leathery) and the color is awesome! The only thing that I'm not 100% pumped about on this bag is that it's very rigid. When you use the shoulder strap, it's really awkward to carry, and putting it into a locker is sometimes a bit of a squeeze. But I usually just use the handles on my shoulder or arm, and it works out fine. It's too cute not to use!
 (Plus, it's the perfect size to carry my dog around in! NYC dog owners...I'm looking at you!)

Those are my essentials and I look forward to adding on and replacing the old. I'll update as I go!
What is your favorite exercise gadget or piece of clothing? Is there anything you recommend I put on my wishlist?


ally said...

You are right about ear buds being distracting. May check into this style!




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