The end of my half marathon training is finally near! On Tuesday I made it into the double digits and ran 10.5 miles!
It was a very humbling run, to say the least. The only thing that pushed me through it was knowing that I only had one more long run left after this one. I stopped and sat down a couple of times and took more walking breaks than I usually would, but I finished. I have to keep reminding myself that bad training is not necessarily indicative of a bad race. The idea of running 12 miles next weekend makes me cringe, but it will be worth it!
I realized while running yesterday that, though I’ve been running for a few years now, I’ve never written a post dedicated to my favorite running gear. I’ve tried out my fair share of gear, so I figure it’s time to let everyone in on my essentials!
My tried and true running (and barre, yoga, basically everything) tank is the Lululemon Cool Racerback.
Expensive? Yes. But these are truly my favorite tanks and work for everything. These tanks never ride up, and are nice and long. They also wick sweat away and have all those great technical running gear qualities. They come in tons of fun colors and go on sale often (I almost never buy them full price!).
My other favorite tank is the Athleta Chi Tank.
The fabric of this tank is to die for. It is the softest, most comfortable fabric out there. The fabric is much lighter than the Lululemon Cool Racerback, so it is my go-to summer running tank top. I prefer to wear it with shorts, though I’m not sure I can explain why. I think if Athleta made a thicker and longer version, it might replace the Cool Racerback in my book.
I also love long sleeved pullovers from Athleta. I have the Fast Track Half Zip (which I got on sale for $30 I think), and another half zip that they don’t make any more.
I have been going to Athleta more and more lately (over Lululemon) because they have the same great quality and the BEST return policy EVER. You can seriously return things that you’ve worn. I finally tested this out about a month ago and exchanged a pair of yoga pants that I had been wearing for months for a brand new pair in a smaller size. I couldn’t believe it! I love knowing that if I spend the money on a nice piece of workout gear and it doesn’t work for me when I take it for a spin, I can return it, no questions asked. I can’t tell you how many times I wear something new on a run, only to realize that it rides up or rubs in the wrong place. Athleta ROCKS!
My other favorite cooler weather tops are the GapFit Motion Long Sleeve Tees (they go on sale often too and are very similar to the Lululemon Run Swiftly Tees, but cheaper), and the Lululemon Define Jacket. Sadly, they no longer make the Define jacket, but the Forme Jacket is similar. My favorite feature of the jacket is the “cuffins” – AKA built in mittens for those runs when your hands warm up after the first mile or two.
My favorite shorts used to be Nike Tempos, but now I prefer Athleta’s Pulse Short (pictured with the orange Chi Tank above). They are cuter, very lightweight, have a nice sized zippered pocket, and the fabric helps tank tops not ride up. I wear these when the temperature is above 65-70.
In cooler weather, I love Athleta’s Relay Capri.
These are a great length, are made out of a nice soft material, have ventilation in the knees, and have a great zippered pocket (that even fits my phone!). They also don’t ride up or sag. My only complaint with them is that they can be a little warm if the temperature is over 65, but I usually want to wear shorts then anyways.
I also like the Nike Filament capri, and wear the CW-X Stabilyx Tights for recovery after long runs.
I haven’t found a pair of long running tights that I love yet, but hopefully I will this winter, as they say it will be a cold one!
I tried to test out different running shoes last year, but I learned that, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Asics GT-2000s work for me.
Bras: As far as sports bras go, my go-to’s are the Moving Comfort Juno Bra and the Lululemon Energy Bra. Of the two, I prefer running in the Moving Comfort, but it’s very high cut and shows a little too much under a Cool Racerback.
Socks: You wouldn’t think socks make much of a difference, but they do! Many socks make my toes go numb while running. My tried and true running socks are the Brooks Essential Low Tab Running Socks. Recently, I tried Thorlos 84N socks out for the first time. They have very thick padding on the heel and sole of your foot, but somehow the thickness of the sock did not make my toes go numb. I wore them on my 10.5 mile run and was very comfortable!
Other must have accessories:
• Garmin Forerunner 10 running watch
• Armpocket Arm Band (fits my phone + anything else!)
• Handana (for wiping sweat away on hot runs)
• Nathan QuickDraw Plus water bottle
• BIC Band headband
• FUEL! My new favorite long run fuel is Honey Stingers. They are tasty, super soft and easy to chew while running, and made of natural ingredients.
• Compression Socks for recovery (I only wear them after long runs to help prevent sore muscles)
There you have it! All of my favorite running gear. While all you need is a pair of running shoes to run, the right running gear can make running more comfortable and more fun!