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Those who know me won’t be surprised that I am a gear girl. I like to research gadgets and test things out. When you are a runner, a whole new myriad of things you could have to supplement your running are available.
I have a few half marathons under my belt, and I’m about to race #4.
Here is my list of half marathon training and race day essentials:
Please note: NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY! No new clothes, no new bra, no new belt…. just don’t do it! I like to do a test of everything I will use/wear on race day on my last long run, just like a “dress rehearsal”!
1) Hydration vest (training) – some people like to carry bottles, some like to carry their water on a belt, but I prefer a hydration vest. This Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta Vesta is my favorite! It has plenty of storage pockets in the front and back for my phone, fuel, sunscreen, Kleenex, bandaids….. I like to be prepared! 😊
I won’t typically wear a vest for a half marathon. There are plenty of water/Gatorade stops at most half marathons and while the vest is comfortable, I will run lighter if I don’t haul my water.
2) Hat with brim and sunglasses – I wear my hat always! This girl sunburns and my eyes don’t like too much sunlight, so a headband won’t suffice for me! I like <a href=”http://Headsweats Performance Race/Running/Outdoor Sports Hat, Race Hat Red, One Size” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>technical hats with a sweat-wicking band inside. My “Run for God” hat has been my favorite since I taught the class last year.
I have no idea what brand my sunglasses are. They are hand-me-downs from my mom, and I have actually broken and super glued them twice now. 🙈
3) Fuel – It has taken me a looonnnng time to find a fuel that I like that doesn’t upset my stomach and is something I can look forward to. My favorite has been GU Toasted Marshmallow, and GU Chocolate Outrage as well. I guess I like sugar. 😊 I take a gel every 45 minutes, and on race day I will alternate water and Gatorade at the stops. For training runs, I carry a small bottle in the front of my vest with Nuun (I am really liking Nuun Strawberry Lemonade lately!).
4) Wireless headphones – I count on music and audiobooks when I’m training by myself. My library has wonderful apps that have free audiobook downloads, so I go through entire book series with a training season. Right now I’m working through the Chronicles of Naria, but overall I have listened to hundreds of audio books. I’m sure I will do a post about some of my recommendations sometime soon. As for music, I have a worship running playlist with more upbeat songs that really speak to me, and I go between the playlist and the audiobook depending on how long I’m on the road. I used to use wired headphones, until I was gifted this set of LG TONE PRO Headphones, and I can’t go back to wired buds after that.
Tip: when racing, it’s courteous to only keep one earbud in so that you can be aware of others around you. It’s also the most safe to do this when training on the road as well.
5) Sunscreen – this girl burns at night! I wear sunscreen daily, but when I’m running I go for something with higher SPF and good staying power. I also prefer something that isn’t loaded with chemicals. Sun Bum is my go-to. If I’m going to be out more than 2.5 hours in the sun, I will carry a small tube with me to reapply.
5) Pants with pockets – Because I don’t care for belts, and don’t like to race with a hydration vest, I choose pants with good pockets! Up until a few years ago, this was not really something you could find. My mom discovered Skirt Sports and my life has forever been changed. They have skirts with shorts attached that have pockets big enough for and iPhone Plus (yes, you read that right!) as well as capris with skirts (my favorite!!), and standalone pants without skirts attached.
6) Extras – Lip Balm with SPF (can be used as spot chaf balm in a pinch), extra hair tie or two, bandaids, pepper spray, and silicone wedding bands!
Overall, while I enjoy trying out new gear, it’s great to have go-tos like the above for running. I know that everything I use will be dependable and will hold up over time. What is your go-to training and racing item?