Let’s talk about what runners need to become better runners.
When the pandemic of 2020 hit (and hit hard), I had already begun working out more at home. This was thanks to a recently acquired Bowflex and various free weights.
But being inside too much got old. I was getting lazy. The temperatures outside were too lovely to ignore, so I decided to start running.
I really didn’t put much thought into HOW to run, my excitement to try something new was too high to actually think it through like a rational human being.
What I learned very quickly about running is that sweating happens, and sometimes a lot. The sun gets hot and can burn your head. Your phone becomes an anchor in your pocket. And your feet…your poor feet…
Through swift soreness and eye-stinging, I realized running can be enjoyable, but, only if you prepare correctly. There were a few training tools for runners on my newly made running equipment list I needed soon if running were to stay a part of my new routine.
Below, are my list of the 6 things runners need.
These are things that I must have when running outside. Else, well, I just won’t go.
They are THAT important.
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What are the tools runners need for running better?
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 went away, and the shoes even helped with some form correction. I will never wear regular shoes running again..unless it’s like…from a murderer or bear….otherwise, it’ll always be REAL running shoes.
When it comes to 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.
My Hanes comfort crew socks were not intended for this type of activity. Further research showed that running socks are a real thing.
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 a pair of good running socks can change the way you feel about running and are a must when it comes to what runners need.
3. Sports Headband
In the heat of the early spring-early summer last year, sweat was a battle. 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
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 all over when I’m 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
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 totally avoid any sort of running rhythm and ensure you will quit way too early from being annoyed. 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.
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.
I recently made a list of the best running sunglasses on the market for you to check out as well.
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!
Thank you for reading this article on tools for running better. I also made a video review of a few of these items specifically, which you can check out below.
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Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.