running gear

Thought I’d share with you my running gear of choice. Now some of this stuff I use all the time while other stuff not so much. If it’s something I know I’ll use again, it will be listed here. Just so you know, I’m not being paid by anyone to endorse this stuff. I have provided links for you to visit in case you’re interested in finding out more.

Shoes
Nike Free 4.0

Nike Free 5.0

Nike Free RN Distance

Never thought I’d like Nike shoes but the Nike Free have me hooked. The greatest benefit of this model of shoe is the natural movement, responsiveness and feeling of running barefoot while still wearing a shoe. They are lightweight as well. I will caution you though—when you first start wearing the Nike Free’s you will have to gradually build up your miles in them. I recommend starting by running no more than one mile in them at first. Wearing them as street shoes for a few days isn’t a bad idea either. Give yourself a couple of weeks to gradually increase your running mileage in them. The shoes made me change my running stride and it was for the better. I’ve become more of a mid-foot to toe striker and before the Free’s I was more of a heel striker. I haven’t had any injuries since changing to the Nike Free and I attribute that to the natural feel of the shoe and the change in stride.

Clothes
I mostly use Nike Dry Fit running clothes but I have a few articles of clothing from Asics. For many years I’ve also used Road Runners Sports line of clothing. They make good quality clothing at a price lower than the name brand stuff. Great company and worth a look for running shoes and clothes.

Road ID Tags
I’ve wore Road ID tags since 2007. I can’t imagine running or cycling without Road ID gear. I wear the FIXX ID which is a military dog tag style ID made of stainless steel. One side is laser engraved with my name, age, blood type, known allergies and my emergency contact info. I like the FIXX ID because I can wear it while running, cycling, playing golf, boating and really all the time.  All of my running shoes have the Shoe ID attached to the laces on my right foot. The tag has the same information as the FIXX ID and the Velcro strap has a reflective strip to aid in visibility during dusk or dark running conditions.

Road ID High Visibility Gear
Most of my running is in the early morning hours before the sun rises and many of the streets I run are not illuminated very well. It’s important that I’m seen by drivers on their way to work each morning. I wear the Road ID Reflective Belt and attached are two white Supernova Lights set for solid illumination in the front and one red Supernova set to flash on my backside.  The lights are bright and are powered by two CR2032 batteries. I wear a hat on most days and one of my favorites is the Road ID Race Hat. The hats are made by Headsweats with CoolMax material. The hats have reflective piping along the edges of the hat to help motorists see you in the dark.

Fitbit Activity Trackers

I started using the Fitbit Flex in 2013. Since then I’ve have used the Force (now discontinued), the Surge and Blaze. I use both the Surge and Blaze trackers. The Surge for my outdoor runs and the Blaze for wearing at work and out in the evenings. Both have heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. The Surge has built-in GPS tracking while the Blaze has connected GPS. The difference between the two types of GPS is the Blaze uses the GPS capabilities of your mobile phone and the Surge has GPS built-in the tracking device. I would recommend the Charge HR as well. What I like about the Fitbit trackers the most is their mobile app and web dashboard. To me, the Fitbit app is by far better than anything from the makers of other activity trackers. Reviewers seldom compare the mobile app that goes with the tracker and I think this is a terrible omission.

 

Tune Belt

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Tune Belt Arm Band


Need an arm band or belt to carry your mobile device? Check out Tune Belt.  They make well-made arm bands and belts at an affordable price. I use their iPhone arm bands most of the time when I run.

 

Jaybird X2 Bluetooth Ear Buds

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Jaybird X2 Ear Buds


The Jaybird x2 ear buds are a bit pricey but for Bluetooth audio I don’t think you will find a set of wireless ear buds that sound better. The Jaybirds X2’s sound quality isn’t quite as good as wired ear buds but its close enough for my tastes. Getting the proper fit isn’t easy but if you work at it you will find a fit that works very well. I have tried and tossed several sets of Bluetooth ear buds before switching to the Jaybirds and now I rarely run with wired sound anymore.

 

Small Personal Item Belt

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SPI Belt


Once in a while I’d rather not wear an arm band but still want to take my mobile phone with me. That’s when I bring out my SPIBelt. The belt is very small and lightweight. I also have the optional race toggles that allow me to attach a race number bib to my SPIBelt.

 

Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt

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Nathan Trail Mix Plus Hydration Belt


When I’m out running in the afternoon heat of Georgia (I try to avoid this as much as possible!) or when my distances are longer than 10K I use the Nathan Trail Mix Hydration Belt to carry my phone, gels, and my favorite hydration fluid. At first I found it a bit tricky getting it adjusted so it doesn’t bounce around but once I got it figured out the belt keeps everything steady and easily accessible. If you have a larger mobile device, you might want to go for the “Plus” version which has a larger storage pouch. I didn’t get it and wish I had but the regular version still works for my purposes. I also have a couple of extra hydration bottles so I can stage them somewhere along my running route when the runs are very long.

 

Nathan SpeedDraw Plus

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Nathan SpeedDraw Plus

On shorter runs in the heat of the summer I take along the Nathan SpeedDraw Plus water bottle. It has a thumb loop and hand strap to make it easy to hold and a pocket large enough for my iPhone 6, keys, gels, etc. The 18 ounce bottle is insulated and reflective.

 

Body glide Anti-Chafe Balm / TriSlide SBR Anti-Chafe Spray / 3M Transpore Tape / Blistex Lip Medex
On long runs in hot and humid weather chafing, blisters and rashes are going to happen every now and then. For me, it’s hard to figure out when the conditions are right for any of them but when in doubt I use Body glide or TriSlide to protect my skin. Body glide is in stick form much like deodorants/anti-perspiration stick applicators. TriSlide is in spray form. The body location where I need the protection determines which protectant I use.

Sore nipples from my shirt rubbing are a common problem I have. Unless you have an extremely hairy body 3M’s Transpore Tape works great for covering the area to prevent irritation. The tape is transparent, breathable, waterproof and easy to apply.

In cold weather good ole ChapStick works for keeping lips from drying out and cracking but my preference is Lip Medex from Blistex.