So starting out in any new sport you want to get all the right stuff! You probably end up spending an absolute fortune on random bits and bobs that guarantee to make you faster/better/stronger (well I do). To be honest it is total trial and error as to what will work for you. However there are some essentials that I could not live without and have made my training oh so much easier. I can’t guarantee they will work for you but if you’re on the lookout for some new kit, or essentials for your marathon training then this is what you’ll find in my kit bag, well the essentials…
Well this guy makes it top of the list; I hate him and love him (not the cat) in equal measures of ouch! Seriously though from prima ballerinas to American football players they’re all foam rolling and it is worth it. It hurts sometimes, largely because I avoid it more than I should, but getting in to a routine with your roller is how you stay injury free. With just 2 weeks to go to the marathon I can now openly admit that we are in a pretty committed relationship.
Trigger point are really leading the field in sports performance and injury prevention. The Grid is a staple for any runner, they are worth every penny.
If you are a running for any length of time then just go ahead and buy this stuff. I cover myself in it before any long run and have suffered 0 chafing and 0 blisters since purchasing! For anyone who has escaped chafing for their running career, congrats! Chafing hurts, a lot! This little miracle is the only pre-hab you need to be carefree about the insane amount of rubbing that occurs between your clothes and skin when you’re out on the road. I really can’t stress enough what an essential this is.
I know there is a hot debate raging about Spi Belt or Flip Belt… I have never used the Flip Belt so can only attest to the brilliance that is my Spi Belt. It carries all my crap; phone, keys, snack, whatever. I have the water resistant version which has survived one heck of a British winter. The best bit though is it doesn’t move around, at all. I’m not conscious that I’m wearing it, plus quick easy access for me to grab my phone and take a pic for this very blog!
Compression Socks and Sleeves –
Whether placebo effect or not I have a pair of each and I am a believer in the support and recovery they give me. If you’ve ever had problems with your calves or shins then it’s worth reading some of the science behind them and ultimately trying a pair out. One added effect of sleeves is that they work pretty well for temperature control in that awkward transition from cold to warmer weather. I admit there are probably cheaper ways to climate control your body but hey it’s an added bonus. The number one brand at the moment is probably Zensah which I have a pair of, and can highly rate. There are a wealth of other options out there though and again it will be down to personal preference, budget and what you want to achieve.
Now I used to have the TomTom Cardio which I equally loved, and would highly recommend for anyone seeking a running watch. I however bought the fitbit surge to act as both a running watch but also an everyday activity tracker. I personally find it to be great at both jobs. It links with Strava and other key running/cycling apps. It tracks any activity I want, including yoga, cycling and even my sleep and tracks HR constantly through the wrist instead of having a pesky separate HRM chest strap. Now there have been some complaints around the accuracy of the HR monitoring, but I found it to be comparable to the Tom Tom, and as such have no real complaints.
There are specific running watches out there that can give you a load more data such as cadence, VO2max, or ground contact time. Although very interesting for me this just felt like a little overkill. I have enough trouble making sense of the data I have. Again your needs may be totally different, but if you’re training for something or just interested in your bodies stats then a good bit of wearable tech might be worth considering.
Caveat here… Make sure you run without it occasionally; becoming a slave to numbers and figures is easy, and it feels great to just go out and run like we were made to… just to the sound of your own breathe.
P.s it’s not the prettiest piece of kit you can buy.
On running are relatively new to the running sphere (July 2010), and especially new to my shoe-drobe (Jan 2016). I have the clouds which are pitched at runners who want a minimal shoe with maximum cushioning, and that pretty much hits the mark.
These bad boys are lighter than light, when I first put them on I joked about them feeling more like socks. I made the cardinal sin of wearing them out for the first time to a race! They repaid me with a finish time 10 minutes faster than expected and just two weeks later achieved me my Sub 2 at Brighton Half Marathon. I’m not saying it’s all down to the shoes. I’m pretty sure my training had something to do with it too, but the shoes definitely fulfil their brief. I think On are creating something really special in the world of minimal running shoes.
The cloud range is ever expanding and I love the branding and ethos of the swiss based company. It was started by an athlete and you can feel that these shoes have been made by someone who cares and understands the importance of running shoes. Although mass produced it feels a lot less like you are being sold a trend and more a new way of running life. Now if only I can convince my husband that it is actually a necessity for me to have another new pair of shoes, and I’ll be out to test the cloud racers!
Shoes are extremely personal and it’s best to take your lead from a professional but if you’re researching a new pair, then it may be worth having a read up on On!
Lastly one just for the ladies…
Seriously worth the money, if you are blessed in the breast department. I would love to get away with wearing the gorgeous thin sports bras that are out there, but I need a little more ‘protection’. Probably my best investment, and will make running feel a gazillion times more comfortable. This really is an area worth spending money on.