Taking your running to the next level takes a lot of patience, consistency, and hard work, but don’t forget about the little things that can help get you there. I’ve listed five items runners should invest in to help them become stronger, faster, and injury free.
*All products I use are linked but there are also other brands out there, so shop around and see what you like 🙂
- Heart rate monitoring chest strap: Depending on which brand of watch you wear, there may be a HR monitoring chest strap to pair with it. The wrist HR monitors are not always accurate, and chest straps provide a much more reliable measure of your heart rate. If you rely on HR for any part of your training, a chest strap is the way to go.
- Hydrapak: I always wear my hydration backpack during long runs. Wearing this allows me to run while fueling and also have my hands free because I don’t like holding anything while running and don’t want to stop at water fountains. A hydration hose and front pockets to store gels/chews are easily accessible, and it doesn’t bounce! Personally, during races I run while fueling so I like practicing that during long runs. Other options may be a handheld water bottle or a hydration belt.
- Resistance bands: Whether you’re warming up or strengthening ankles, hips, or knees, you’ll want a few different resistance levels of bands. Strong ankles, hips, and knees reduce the risk of injuries and ensure stability while running. Spending just a few minutes 3-5x a week will be beneficial.
- Body glide: Yes, this made the list! 😉 Have you ever felt a sharp burn while running, either on the inside of your legs or maybe underneath your sports bra band? What about on your arm?! Body glide to the rescue! I apply some for all runs 5 miles or longer and my skin is saved. You don’t want to get in the shower after a run and feel that painful sting and think, “Oh I should’ve put body glide on!!” – trust me.
- Nanospikes: These are important for runners who live in areas that get ice and snow. I see so many runners running on ice and thin coats of snow in just sneakers – that is so slippery, dangerous, and basically an injury waiting to happen. Take the worry out of training through winter, and simply slip your nanospikes (I wear Kahtoola) over your running shoes and you’re good to go! They grip the ice and snow very well. I’ve had mine since January 2018 and have trained outside through the winters with no problem.
What is something you think a runner should invest in?