Now that marathon training is ramping up, I find myself constantly turning to the same few, tried-and-true items I swear by when it comes to running. I’m a pretty firm believer that we as humans — especially in 2016 — have found a million and one ways to over-complicate the sport. There are so many gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, not to mention the whose-its and whats-its galore. (Couldn’t help myself there. Sorry.) Here are my favorite thingamabobs that help me run happy, healthy, and chafe-free.
Of course this is first. I love Body Glide. (And recently wrote about my love for it over on Self.com.) I apply it liberally before every run, particularly between my thighs (there is no thigh gap happening over here), under my arms, and, depending on the sports bra, around the places the bra rubs my skin. Body Glide is a life-saver, a skin-saver, and a happy shower-saver. Your post-long run shower will not be happy if you should have used Body Glide but didn’t. (If you’ve never used it, Body Glide rolls on like deodorant. It’s not messy or greasy or sticky, and is made specifically for endurance athletes.)
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3 shoes
I love a little cushion. OK, a lot of cushion. I started in the Cliftons, then progressed to the Clifton 2, and am now in the Clifton 3. I like this update, which is still light and cushion-y and provides max support and cloud-like running conditions. (And I’m proud to be a HOKA ambassador!)
Lululemon’s All Sport Shorts
These spandex shorts have a high, wide waistband and two huge pockets. Sadly they are discontinued, so I’m just constantly rotating through the few pair I have.
Lululemon High Speed Socks
What do I say about socks? These are my favorites. Just say no to “regular” socks. Fork over a little more money for the good ones. It’s worth it.
Lululemon’s Rack Pack and a New Balance bra that has since been discontinued
The Rack Pack definitely doesn’t provide as much support as I need, but it’s so soft and comfortable. It is no secret that I am not flat-chested, and I require ample support up top. If you’re in my camp, you know that generally means we don’t get cute, strappy bras — not for running, and not often in life, either. The Rack Pack provides OK enough support that I wear it when I want to be comfortable. The New Balance bra (I received it at an event and I don’t know what it’s called and haven’t been able to find it since) provides loads of support, it’s just not quite as cozy. But it’s my go-to for long runs and races. I’ve also run in the Moving Comfort Juno, which I like, though I have been known to pull muscles getting it on and off. (If you have a favorite sports bra, please let me know!)
I don’t get blisters from my running shoes, but I tend to get them from other shoes. (Less so now that I work from home, though, and am barefoot or in slippers 80 percent of the time.) I’ve sworn by Band-Aid Blister Blocks since my days as a dancer.
Need a sports massage in NYC? Go to Isang. I plan to see her once a month throughout training for regular tuneups.
Finish Line Physical Therapy
Another place I’ll be hitting up regularly this training cycle. Finish Line is the best.
I don’t make it to NP as often now that I live across the river (and not a mere mile away from the Wednesday workouts), but I still count on the workouts for physical and mental boosts. Between the sweat and the people, I couldn’t do it without NP. Nor would I want to.
The Weehawken Waterfront Park and Recreation Center Track
Track Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the week. I love pushing myself on the track each week, and love not having to measure the distance. One loop of the track is 400m (.25 miles). Do the math accordingly.
I used to make fun of Brian for being so in love with Strava. It was a rule in our home that I couldn’t bother Brian within 20 minutes of getting home from his bike rides because he needed that time to upload his data to Strava and analyze and compare it accordingly. We joked about it so often that I vowed to “always pretend to be interested” in his Strava data in our wedding vows. But now I, too, am on Strava, and I, too, get the hype. Get on it!
This is my go-to method for stashing my essentials on race day. The belt fits my phone, ID, and credit card, which is all I generally take with me when I’m racing. For longer races and runs, it can also hold a handful of gels. Ugh. Gels. I forgot about that part of marathon training until right this second.
Seriously. The running community, online and beyond, is so powerful and gives me so much motivation and inspiration. Thank you for always making me want to work harder, do better, run faster, and get stronger. I love you.
CHIME IN: Got any running must-haves the world should know about? Got a favorite sports bra I should try? What about non-earbud headphones I should try? #help