10 Running Essentials

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I’ve been asked recently about my running essentials – those items that are with me every run, that if I didn’t have them, the run would feel off in some way. Besides a shirt, shorts, socks, sneakers and occasionally a hat, here are the 10 items strapped, taped or clipped to my person through the miles:

10 Running Essentials

  • Compression shorts – I never used to wear these. I always thought they were an affectation of the fabulous runner. I would hit myself under there with some lubricant and run10 Running Essentials for miles and miles. Then came the Staten Island Half Marathon circa 2010 when, by the time I got to the finish line, the inside of my thighs were so chafed, I was bleeding. I went out and bought compression shorts the next day. I was recently approached by SKINS and have been wearing their NEW DNAmic compression shorts and am loving them. The brand collaborated with a Sydney based street artist – James Jirat Patradoon to design the line. I’m not going to tell you that they make you faster, but I will tell you that I was 90 seconds off a 10K PR the first time I wore them.
  • Sunglasses – Bright sunlight or overcast and pouring rain, if I’m running during daylight hours I’m wearing Oakley FlakJackets. These are the most comfortable I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned a lot of them) and don’t bounce around my face – they actually get stickier when you sweat. The lenses are easily interchanged and because of the coating on the lenses, sweat or grime is removed with a simple finger swipe without leaving a smudge.
  • Anti-Chafing Insurance
    • Nipple Coverage: Sorry, I’m not sure how else to categorize this. Nothing makes me cringe as much as seeing a bloodied shirt on a runner. I can’t imagine the pain people go through in the shower the next three days. Luckily I’ve never had that issue. I wear NipGuards. Yeah, I get asked about the hexagon sticking out of my shirt where my nips should be, but I’m not chafed at the end of the run!
    • Body Lube: Even with compression shorts, I need to have a little lube down there. I’ve tried a bunch but for the past four or five years have been using a local NY brand called Silke Anti-Chafing Stick. It’s all natural, lasts through my long runs and washes off my body and clothing without smelling bad (like some of the larger brands).10 Running Essentials
  • GPS Watch – If I can’t record the numbers, then it don’t count, right? I love my Garmin Forerunner 630. The touchscreen makes on-course screen changes SUPER easy and the integration with the phone (I can get my texts on the watch) means that if there’s an issue I need to attend to immediately, I will know about it.
  • Phone – I only started carrying a phone on runs when my wife was close to giving birth to our son. Now its an essential because I’m a responsible parent.
  • Race Belt – Since I’m carrying a phone, I need a place to put it. The SPIBelt Endurance Series is just what the doctor ordered. It’s got a waterproof pocket so I don’t have to worry about ruining my phone with sweat and a place to attach my race bibs so I no longer have to fuss with safety pins.10 Running Essentials
  • Music – I can’t run long without peeps or music. Since I only get The Congregation on weekends, I keep an iPod Shuffle charged and filled with mixes or Podcasts.
  • Nutrition – 10 miles or longer means I need to replenish calories while I’m out there. PowerBar just released Simple Fruit Energy Food and at 100 calories are a nice alternative to the gels I usually use.
  • Hydration – Nuun, the last name in electrolyte replenishment (maybe I should copyright that?). If I go out longer than a 10K, I’ll hide a water bottle containing my favorite flavor along the route. The brand recently reworked all tablet recipes with all natural and vegan ingredients (in case, you know, that’s your thing).

10 Running EssentialsBonus: Post Run Essentials

  • Upload your stats – All I can say is that if it ain’t on Strava, it don’t count. Don’t know about Strava? Are you living under a rock? It’s the social network for endurance sports, upload your runs, rides, swims, skiing, hiking, basically anything you can record with a GPS watch.

10 Running EssentialsSo those are my essentials, what are yours?

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