When you’re starting out running, all you really need is a good pair ofÂ shoesÂ and a place to run. Â And, while I highly recommended going to a local running store and having shoes fitted by the pros, that’s the only thing that I think necessary to run.
But, once you start gaining distance, gear becomes more important. Â It’s easy to be overwhelmed when figuring out what to get – there are countless options for shoes, hydration belts, race belts, nutrition, watches, etc…
So, where should you start? Â I started by asking opinions of fellow runners, then heading to my local running store to see my options. Â I started off with a 2 bottle hydration belt, only to realize that for the majority of my longer runs, I could easily drink more than 2 bottles worth. Â I’ve also seen many runners with slightly bottles with hand straps to carry, instead of carrying the bottles around your middle.
What about watches? Â Are they necessary? Â There are 2 types that I’m familiar with – heart rate monitors and GPS enabled watches. Â Obviously, the GPS watches cost a bit more, but when looking into them, you can also have a heart rate Â monitor as well, so it can be an all-encompassing option. Â Or, you can do as my husband does and find a cell phone app that can track your distance/route Â and save the money. Â I personally splurged on a GPS watch after my cell phone crashed one too many times.
How about nutrition? Â As I mentioned, it is important to replenish calories lost after about an hour of running. Â Sports drinks (or similar) come in to play as well as food. Â Yes, food. Â During full marathons, I’ve heard of people eating sandwiches or full nutrition bars. Â I tried several different options on my training runs, including bites of nutrition bars, gels, blocks, etc… and settled with a chocolate GU that tasted as close to frosting as you can imagine (and was one of the only things I could stomach).
Other gear: I found my own personal preferences on clothes, ear buds, socks (yes, even socks are important in endurance running), shoes, and headbands. Â Most of them came from discount stores, where it is easy to find work out clothing for much less than they can cost in brand name/department stores.
There is a plethora of options, just know that you won’t need everything all at once, but can start a collection as you build distance.
Jenn resides with her husband, 1 year old son, and 2 bratty dogs in a suburb ofÂ Washington, D.C. She also hosts her own blog, the Disney Babies Blog (http://disneybabiesblog.blogspot.com) , where she shares her experiences, tips, and ramblings about traveling the parks with a baby. In her non-Disney life, Jenn is often found running, practicing yoga, or playing the clarinet in the military.
Photo courtesy of Ruth Lim
- Training for your Disney Marathon – Starting from Scratch (chipandco.com)