Thinking out loud Thursday: my running must-haves

I’ve been getting a lot of good thinking done during my runs recently, especially since I’m trying to do less running with my headphones. Oddly enough, most of my thinking while running is about… you guessed it… running! Thinking-Out-LoudSo I’m linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday to share my latest musings 🙂

The NYC marathon will be my first long (10k+) race in a year or so, and it has been fun breaking out all of my favorite running gear. Over the course of the past few years, I have a few pieces that have been indispensable to my training. Here are my top five favorite items:

  1. Fuel belt (or other hydration conveyance device): Hydration is incredibly important for distance runners–and finding a comfortable way to carry your H2O around is no small feat. Luckily, there are lots of options out there to lug water around. I happen to have a small handheld single bottle for shorter runs and a fuel belt for longer ones, but I plan to test out a small Camelbak this season. Whatever you choose, be sure to stay hydrated, especially in the summer heat.
  2. Reflective gear: Unless you don’t have a job (and you do have incredible time management skills), you will probably end up doing some running in the dark–so make sure you’re as visible as possible (and those teeny reflective stripes on your sneakers are NOT gonna cut it, sorry!). I love my Amphipod vest because it doesn’t bounce around, but anything reflective will do.

    Rockin' some sweet shades on top of Mt. Moosilauke
    Rockin’ some sweet shades on top of Mt. Moosilauke
  3. Comfy sunglasses: Getting caught without any eye protection on a particularly bright or windy day is the worst–and cute everyday stunnah shades are going to get old really quickly. I recommend snagging a pair of lightweight sport-style sunglasses for running. No need to spend major $$ here–I got mine for $15 off of an LL Bean sale rack. Not the most fashionable but an absolute lifesaver.
  4. A foam roller: Distance running does some… shall we say… interesting things to your muscles. You’ll be feelin’ it in places you never expected. My IT and I spend quality time pretty much every night with my foam roller and it has done wonders–it’s like an at-home deep tissue sports massage. Hurts SO good.
  5. A running ID: Thanks to my running bestie Bry for bugging me to finally get one of these. It’s a little bit scary to wrap your mind around, but you should always run with ID in case anything happens to you when you’re on the road. I got a Road ID that attaches to my shoe, so I never have to think about it, but there are lots of great options out there.

Runners, what gear can’t you live without?