With Christmas right around the corner I wanted to share with you my “Favorite Things”. I’ve tried to include all of my basics that I depend on for every workout. I’m not a label whore, so name brands aren’t a must have. I’ve gone through many styles, brands, trial and error to find what works for me, and find that my favorites change as new items are produced or with new products I try….but these are my current favs. So, without further ado….
My hat of choice is the Nike Thermal Running Skullcap. It fits my head perfectly and has the sloping design that helps fully cover my ears. It’s not bulky, but keeps the wind out. In addition, it has a small opening in the back for your ear bud wires to enter. I’ve never used this feature, but it seems pretty smart to me. Unfortunately I’ve had this for a few years and I haven’t found anything to replace it when the time comes. Still looking….
For warmer weather runs I take to the Bondi Band. It’s basically a hip sweatband. They have all different patterns, fabrics, and styles. It definitely helps to keep my hair and sweat out of my eyes. A must have for sure.
For rainy weather runs I absolutely love my Rev3Tri visor from HeadSweats. I never thought I’d like running in a visor, but it’s perfect when you don’t want rain falling into your eyes. I’m surprised how much I like it and am taking to it more and more.
My running tanks are so variable that it’s hard to mark down what I absolutely love. However, I have definitely found a pullover for winter that rocks. It’s the C9 by Champion® Long-Sleeve Fleece Athletic Top at Target. I’m telling you, Target has some awesome active wear. I have multiple items from there and they all rank VERY high on my items I wear while working out. I’d highly recommend checking out their selection. And then when you can catch them on sale, that’s even better!
Alright guys, you better skip this one, but I’m sure the ladies will appreciate it. Having a right fitting bra is number 1 when it comes to my wardrobe. That’s no different when it comes to workout gear. I searched high and low for a bra that would work and the Nike Pro Bra. Bras are always an issue for me. Although some may be surprised, I am a larger chested girl. Not only that, I’m also small around, which makes it that much more difficult to find bras that fit/work. In addition I have a condition where I absolutely need good support. The “experts: say I should wear an encapsulated sports bra, but one in my size doesn’t exist and doesn’t provide the support I need. This is where the Nike bra comes in. I went with the XS, which personally I think is crazy. Looking at it off of my body, it looks like it should be a kids bra. It’s an interesting feat to get into and out of. I’m now used to it, but the first few times I put it on it literally took the wind out of me. Those suckers aren’t moving. The bottom line, and I’m not joking, if it weren’t for this bra I wouldn’t be able run. When deciding what to where for triathlons I’ve also decided to go with this as my “swimsuit” too.
After signing up for my first triathlon my next purchase was a wetsuit. Unsure if doing a triathlon was a one-time deal I didn’t want to break the bank. An Xterra Vortex Wetsuit fit the bill. It was affordable and worked perfectly for what I needed.
No big surprise here, but the Garmin Forerunner 205 ranks high on my list. D calls it my crutch. Unfortunately it does tend to be. At the same time though, it helps me keep my pace and know how I’m doing in my run/ride and how far I’ve gone. It keeps everything organized, which is perfect for my OCD. In the future I hope to upgrade to something that also provides a heart monitor.
If you run outside, especially by yourself, then you need the identification. Currently I use a Road ID however, I just ordered a 1BandID. It will fit onto my Garmin band and is one less thing to worry about putting on. (Review coming later). Having identification is kind of like insurance, it seems pointless until you need it. I hope that it never has to be used, but it’s there and gives me peace of mind.
On short runs I often don’t use hydration, but when I go out for the long haul I make sure I take something along. When I started training for the half marathon I kept my options open. I finally decided on the Nathan Quickdraw Plus. It holds just the right amount of water I need and has a pouch that I often use for my iPod on long training runs.
For all of my other crap that I take out on long runs/rides (cell phone, keys, etc.) I use the SPIBelt. Just like the Bondi Band is a hip sweatband, the SPIBelt is a hip fanny pack. It’s so tiny, but being made out of spandex allows it to stretch to your needs, which doesn’t feel bulky. In addition, it stays put instead of bouncing up and down like a typically fanny pack. It’s crazy how much stuff you can put in it.
I absolutely love Nike’s Tempo Track Running Short I love them so much that I have 5+ pair. After many tries with different brands and styles this is what I have settled on. They have the typically running brief inside, but don’t ride up your crack. And they come in a ton of colors. It’s as though they are constantly introducing new colors. I’m still experimenting with tri/bike shorts, so I’ll let you know when I find my match.
The Adidas Astro Pant are my pant of choice. They’re not as tight as tights, which I also have. Not being too tight allows me to use these to wear over my shorts when heading to the gym. Or I can put on another layer under them during cold weather. At the same time, they aren’t super loose either. The legs taper but have the back zippers allowing for a slight flair when you’re not running. Out of all my pants I find myself wearing these most and grabbing for them first.
Some individuals may not understand the need for Body Glide. Body Glide is an anti-chafing product. You place it in any place where you chafe and you’re good to go. Originally I did not like the first time I used it. It made me sticky, which was totally the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Needless to say it found itself in the junk drawer. However, I have found that it is a must-have when I’m running in the gym. I’ve tried to explain the use of this product to several women and they kind of look at me like I’m crazy. Having my target area for Body Glide be my inner thighs, they look at me and say, “I don’t have that problem.” I have some pretty big thighs, something I absolutely hate, and attribute to being a bigger kid and riding horses. At the same time I never thought I’d be in the minority for having this “problem.” Heck, maybe I’m not but everyone I talk to about rubbing thighs doesn’t seem to have the problem. That aside, this product rocks and not so wet as Vaseline. But it all honesty, when you’re chafing you’ll take anything that relieves it, including straight up Vaseline.
On to socks! After Asics recently changed the design of their sock I loved I had to search for something new. By process of elimination, my new favorite running sock is Under Armour Grippy II. I think they are so awesome. Just the right thickness, enough heel coverage to prevent chafing but still considered no-show. I was a bit worried about the grippy part on the bottom of the sock, thinking it might irritate my feet, but this wasn’t found to be the case. I’ve tried other brands and they just don’t do it for me. They keep my feet too hot. Some are too thin. Some too thick. I dig these Under Armour socks.I’ll end with my shoes, Mizuno Wave Riders. I started out running in trail shoes. Looking back I have no idea how I did it. They were flat, hard, and heavy. I remember walking in and getting fit for my first official pair of running shoes. They looked at me like I was crazy for previously using trail shoes to run in. They were surprised to see that I hadn’t killed myself yet in them. Heck, I didn’t know any different. And as with everything else, shoes aren’t the easiest for me to buy. My feet are long but narrow. Nothing seems to fit just right. But when I slid my first pair of Mizunos on I knew they were the shoe. They fit like a glove. Every time I place my feet in those shoes I find why I love them all over again. I’m on my fifth paid of Mizunos and love them just as much as my first.
Do you have any favorites that I should try??
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)