We all know that our shoes are the most important piece of running equipment we own. They do the heavy lifting, so to speak, in terms of protecting our body from the stress we put on it as we put in the miles. Beyond our shoes, though, are a wide variety of other running accessories that can be very helpful in enhancing our running experience. These are a few of my personal favorites.
Compression calf sleeves and compression socks
Particularly for long runs and long races, lower leg compression makes a noticeable difference both in terms of reduction of muscle fatigue and recovery following the run. As you train harder and run longer, compression is a great accessory to help reduce wear and tear on your legs and to aid in recovery.
High quality running socks
A good pair of high quality running socks makes a hugedifference when it comes to keeping the feet dry, eliminating friction, and avoiding blisters. I am very picky about the running socks I wear because I know just how important they are. A good pair of high quality socks made specifically for running makes all the difference in the world.
One of the most simple, practical and affordable accessories (I only wish I had invented it), you can work out a lot of tightness, aches, pains, knots, etc. with this thing. People keep trying to improve on it, but the old standard still does the job.
Much like The Stick, a good foam roller provides a low cost way to really work out the kinks. I particularly like the Grid Roller by TriggerPoint Performance because the grid zones on the surface of the roller really dig in.
Nuun Active Hydration
The Nuun electrolyte replacement tabs are a great hydration tool. They are quick, handy, and easy to use. Dissolved in a bottle of water, the drink goes down easy and doesn’t upset the stomach.
I absolutely love my running sunglasses. I particularly like the Tifosi Fototec lenses because they quickly adjust to the changing level of brightness so that I always have consistent and clear vision, even as the conditions change, while providing needed UV protection. They are super lightweight, don’t bounce around, and are always comfortable regardless of the distance or intensity of the training run or race.
I have several GPS watches that range from the fairly basic to pretty advanced. I have a Garmin Forerunner 210, a Garmin Forerunner 620, and a Suunto Ambit 2S, and I like them all for different reasons. Overall, I like GPS watches for certain types of training runs, for races, and while travelling. I’m one who has a pretty good feel for pace and degree of effort, so I don’t run with a GPS watch every day. I find that it’s easy to get too concerned (obsessed) about pace on a daily basis, and lose the proper perspective about our running. GPS watches can be a fantastic accessory when used properly.
A very simple and inexpensive resistance band can be a fantastic and easy-to-use accessory for both strengthening and stretching. They have so many positive applications for runners and they are very handy. They take up no space, so you can easily take one with you wherever you go.
PowerBar Recovery drink
I like this to recover from particularly intense workouts and races. It has the optimum combination of carbs, electrolytes, and protein to help you not only rehydrate, but replenish electrolytes and repair muscles. I wouldn’t describe it as tasty, but it does what it is supposed to do.
Brad will be continuing his Favorite Things series with a post on his favorite cold weather and winter running gear!
written by 3RRC Owner & President, Brad Altevogt