Longtime BRF Leighanna and I were recently discussing what makes our favorite running gear our favorite. We both love reading gear guides from other runners and find them incredibly helpful. It’s a great way to get info on new gear with real world testing. I’ve been able to find awesome products that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able find if not for someone else’s recommendation. And I love passing info along on what has been successful for me. With that in mind we decided to do a 2 part post on a few items we love plus a bonus with a few we hope will be coming our way in the next few months.
Part 1 was written be me (Sara) with Part 2 coming tomorrow from Leighanna
- Lululemon Arm Warmers : The Swiftly Arm Warmer is a new to me product that I just recently started using. It’s actually my first piece of Lulu gear and so far I’m in love. I frequently use arm warmers, especially during seasonal transitions but I really struggle with the one size fits all sizing that most arm warmers employ. I have issues with them either falling off or leaving marks from being too tight. The Lulu brand seem to be perfect size wise so far and the reflective striping is a bonus. And kudos to my husband and BRF Leighanna who colcollectively put their heads together on this birthday gift! And bonus: they are supposedly anti stink which if it works, will be amazing and a big win for everyone.
- Athleta Capris– The Dobby Be Free Knicker is a long time favorite of mine. I was first introduced to them by my Athleta and Lulu loving friend Alethea. She INSISTED that the quality of these capri’s was unmatched and well worth the high price tag (currently on sale-run don’t walk to your nearest Athleta store!!) I hesitantly splurged and immediately fell in love after my first run. I’ve since bought several more pairs and they are basically the only bottoms I run in. The fit is great-they offer some compression paired with a high waist band. The pockets on both sides are large and deep and have allowed my to safely carry not only my phone but also PB&J, gels, and my car key. And on top of the funtionality, I find that they are pretty universally flattering. They also come in several colors. Pic below.
- Brooks Launch 3– Up until about 3 months ago, I was running the in the very cushioned Brooks Glycerin’s. I felt like I needed a lot of cushioning but also concerned that perhaps the weight of the Glycerin was slowing me down during speed work. I subsequently switched to the Ghost which offered less cushioning but a similar ride and fell in love. I planned to wear the Ghost’s for the CBUS Marathon however due to poor timing on my part and lack of inventory at my local running store, I switched to the even less cushioned Launches. I was wary of switching so close to the race but ultimately it couldn’t have worked out any better. These will be my go to everyday road trainers going forward. The lightness is such welcome feature after so many years of running in heavy shoes. The Launch fits my foot like a glove and provides such a smooth ride. I am so glad that I found these shoes!
4. Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest 2.0-This vest was initially given to me a few years ago by a trail runner friend who no longer needed it. I tried it once this summer after finally having enough with the bouncing of my Nathan vest and feel deeply in love with this. Thereafter, I have worn it for almost every single long run since. I love that you can do either bottles up front (2 22 ounces bottles) and/or a bladder in the back. There are also several pockets to hold the essentials (body glide, car key, phone, extra snacks) plus a bungee cord to stash a light jacket if needed. It fits snugly against me and I rarely notice the added weight. I also have never chafed with the vest which I’ve experienced with past hydration packs. And despite running with it in the heat of summer, I’ve never felt that it caused me to feel any hotter than I otherwise would have felt without it.
Love this vest and capris!
5. Tailwind-If you’ve spent any time around a trail runner lately, you’ve probably heard of Tailwind. It’s an all in one nutrition and hydration supplement designed with endurance athletes in mind. The developers were regular runners fed up with sports drinks, gels, salt pills and bars that left them feeling like crap. I started using this based on the strong recommendation of others and have had a lot of success with it both in training and in racing. I’ve successfully used just TW on runs of up to 31 miles. What I love most is that it’s all you need. It has the essential electrolytes plus calories to keep you going. I’ve tried both the raspberry and green tea flavors and both taste great and have not left me with the dreaded palate fatigue that I so often experience with gels. Plus each bag comes personalized-you can’t beat their customer service!
And here are a few items on my wishlist:
1.Garmin 235– My trusty Garmin forerunner 405 is on its last legs. Given to me by my brother as a first marathon gift in 2011, the forerunner has seen me through thousands of miles and is starting to show it’s age from an almost falling apart band to GPS inaccuracy. I have to soft reset it a few times a week and it’s very finicky. The new 235 has all the bells and whistles and lots of techy features. Definitely on my must buy list.
My old but lucky Garmin 405
2. Race entries for 2017. This is probably on most people’s wish lists but I have some big race plans for next year which equals big $$$. I find that when training for a goal race, I like to plan for race a few shorter distances to prepare which can add up quickly. I did recently win an entry to an awesome trail marathon so that helps the bottom line tremendously but if a race entry shows up for the holidays, I won’t complain!
So that is my list of favorites. Leighanna will be here tomorrow with her list. Any must have item’s on your list?