Running is a simple and very affordable way to workout.
That is, until you actually start running.
Then it becomes expensive as crap!
So I thought of some running gear that’s definitely awesome and I’d recommend, but you could live without (if you had to).
1. Garmin 405 or other expensive GPS watch
Yes, a Garmin is great for accurate distance and pacing and I never ever run outdoors without mine because I love it so much, but there are other more affordable watches out there, free apps for your phone, free sites to plan out your run from your computer, or there’s always the ‘ol ‘drive your running route’ which I used to do. (If you’re shopping for a Garmin, the cheapest I found the 405 online is $189.99)
2. Compex muscle stimulator machine
This little handheld machine is fabulus for recovery or times like now where I’m trying to build back mileage and fitness and just feel all out of shape, sore and tired. I use it primarily on my calves and hip muscles, and my husband uses it on his back when golfing and his foot. But the one I have is almost $400 and unless you are dealing with chronic injuries, it’s not a necessity. but still totes awesome. (Check out how EMS works here)
3. Compression gear
I love all my compression socks and clothing. I ran 10 miles of hills yesterday and then slept in compression because it’s dead sexy like that. I like products that are aimed at recovery and recovering faster, but you don’t need a pair of compression socks to be a better runner. For anywhere from $30-60 a pair, they’re not a huge investment and if you take care of them, they’ll last awhile, but you’ll still be able to run without them too.
4. Running fuel, gels, hydration additives, post-run recovery shakes
All great things that take the guesswork out of the nutritional side of running and encourage the proper hydration and refueling, but you can make your own running gel or use candy, and refuel with a simple combination of protein and carbs (low-fat chocolate milk, peanut butter and banana, Greek yogurt with granola and fruit, etc).4
5. Upgraded foam roller
I have this TP grid roller and it’s awesome, it hurts so so good. It is great for loosening up my hip which is the very first thing that gets tight for me. If you have piriformis, this is an awesome tool. But a tennis ball or regular ‘ol foam roller will help as well. I’ve even rolled with a champagne bottle.
6. Training Plans and a running coach
Will a personalized training plan help you become a better runner? Chances are, yes. And a coach will too – they have the knowledge and experience to know how to draw the very best out of you. But there’s also free training programs available online and if you don’t have the budget for a coach, join a free running club.
7. Pricey yet cute running clothes
Running skirts, love ‘em. Lululemon, love it. But if you don’t have the budget for a $60 skirt, there’s more affordable options out there – check out Old Navy, JC Penney, Marshalls, and Ross for great deals. And remember that just because you look the part doesn’t automatically make you a runner.
All these products are great and I have most of them (minus the training plan and coach) and they can most definitely help you become a better, more efficient, faster runner. That’s why a lot of them were created. But you can still run without them, people did thirty years ago. Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in JOGGING PANTS!
So what do you need?
1. A pair of running shoes that fit your specific needs (to prevent injury)
2. The desire and will to run