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The 7 Basic Tools Every Runner Needs

Starting on my running journey during the 2020 pandemic, I quickly transitioned from indoor workouts to the open roads, lured by the great outdoors. My initial enthusiasm for running soon met the hard truths of the sport: intense sweating, the scorching sun, a burdensome phone in my pocket, and sore feet.

This led to a realization: Running is enjoyable, but only with the right preparation. I compiled a list of essential equipment to make running a sustainable part of my routine. Below are the seven indispensable items that transformed my running experience – the essentials that keep me going, or else I might stay indoors.

They are THAT important.

Essential Tools for Improved Running Performance

1. The Right Running Shoes


I recently visited a running store for the first time. I was informed that my horrible running form was partially to blame for my sore feet after ANY distance run.

I tried on a few pairs of running shoes. I decided on these New Balance 860 v11 running shoes.

I have always been a skeptic that more money equals BETTER. But in this case, higher-priced shoes DID equal better…a lot better. My foot soreness disappeared, and the shoes even helped with some form correction. I will never wear regular running shoes again unless it’s from a murderer or bear. Otherwise, it’ll always be REAL running shoes.

Regarding running needs, running shoes are #1 on the list.

2. Running Socks

Now that I spent some bucks on running shoes, I felt like I wanted to make sure that I got the most out of them.

Now, running socks won’t make you faster. But, they WILL provide breathability to your now stank feet during a run and help cut down on sweat, which can lead to blistering. And when we talk about running needs, the additional comfort during the run will help you stay out for longer and let you push further.

The right running shoes with good running socks can change how you feel about running and are a must when it comes to what runners need.

3. Sports Headband

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Sweat was a battle in the heat of the early spring-early summer last year. Specifically, sweat seemed to have a direct pipeline directly into my eyeballs, causing pain, discomfort, and, in many cases, an early exit from my intended route due to lack of vision.

I found these workout headbands, which, if I am honest, aren’t too far off from being repurposed pantyhose for your forehead but actually work. Additionally, these are thin enough to wear under a hat.

4. Cooling Towels

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While the headband above does a heck of a job protecting my eyeballs from sweat sizzling, it can’t stop ALL the sweat, and certainly, I sweat all over when running. This cooling towel has been one of my primary tools for running because it is extremely handy to keep on my hip, just in case I get a bit too slippery when running and need to towel off.

Also, I got the bright green color (which is usually the cheapest-priced color) to help with the driver’s visibility of me on the road. Oh yeah, and when you snap the towel, some sort of magic makes the towel cooler..which…I can’t explain, but I love it.

5. Smartphone Armband

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Ever tried to run with a pocket full of rocks? That’s what it’s like when you try to run with a phone in your pocket. It’s the perfect way to avoid any running rhythm and ensure you will quit way too early from being annoyed. It turns out this problem was solved for humanity a long time ago.

I just had my head in the sand. I won’t run without my phone for music, and I won’t run with my phone unless it’s in my armband. When it comes to running gadgets, this is a must on every run.

6. Sunglasses

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Nothing stops a run faster than a bug in the eye. Been there, done that.

But sunglasses aren’t just about protecting your eyes from the elements. They are an important part of shielding your eyes from the sun.

Too much sun can impair visibility and even cause eye damage if exposed for too long.

7. Fitness Tracker/Heart Rate Monitor

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Fitness trackers and heart rate monitors are instrumental for runners for several reasons. Firstly, they provide real-time data on physical activity, allowing runners to track their pace, distance, and overall performance. This information is crucial for tailoring training regimes and setting achievable goals.

Secondly, heart rate monitors offer insights into cardiovascular health, enabling runners to train at optimal heart rate zones for endurance building and fat burning. Training within these zones ensures that runners maximize their workouts without overexerting themselves, reducing the risk of injury and promoting long-term health and fitness.

Do I Need All These Running Tools?

You don’t need these exact tools for running to max out and enjoy your runs, but maybe these will get you thinking about some of the things I wished I had thought about before I started. But most importantly, don’t wait to start running until everything is and feels perfect…because that time may never come.

So get out there and get running!

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