Essential Gear for Running (Things I Love)

Last updated Oct 2020

Running Shoes

Just bought the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 and have logged just over 30 miles on them. Due to COVID and staying at home, I’ve gotten way more into running than I ever thought. In fact I love it now. Because of that, I decided to update from my previous shoes (On Cloud) and have fallen in love again with the Nike brand. Three main reasons I got these:

  • “Flyknit” upper is all mesh, which allows for breathing (but easily soaked in rain) and super lightweight. It feels like putting on a second pair of socks.
  • Wanted to try out their “Nike React foam,” which is advertised as a, “lightweight, durable design that is also ultra-soft and incredibly springy. With every step, the foam responds to your foot by snapping back. The more energy you put into your step, the more you get in return.” So far, I feel the springiness and I like how it doesn’t feel like I’m pounding my foot against hard pavement.
  • 9mm offset (26mm heel, 17mm forefoot). As I’m learning, the offset helps me to get the proper form, which I think is striking more with the ball of my feet, versus the heel.

Nike $150 $90

Earbuds

Although I have the previous model, I’ll go ahead and recommend the updated ENACFIRE E60 Bluetooth V5.0 Wireless Earbuds. I previously only worked out with either around the ear headphones or headband types. Because these were super affordable, I took the chance in case one fell out and got lost. I have to say, it’s been a game changer. They fit securely, are waterproof/sweatproof, and last for about 8 hr on a charge. Plus the case acts like a charger, so they’re fully charged everytime I use them. Definitely worth the low cost of about $40.

Amazon – $43

Apps

I got 3 apps for you. All of them I can now highly endorse, and why.

  • Nike Running Club – Inside the app, all free, is an option to pick a training program. I picked the one that said “Get more fit.” It spits out a 9 week training program for me. What makes it awesome is that it’s customized for me. On certain days of the course, it’ll have you do “benchmark” sessions, where you basically run as hard as you can. using that data, it re-calculates pace goals for subsequent sessions. The course also has you do sprints and throws you over to the Nike Training Club app (below) to build strength and core muscles, which ultimately help your run. The proof is in the pudding, right? I used to average 10+ min/mile, and now I’m at 8:45 min/mile for 5 miles.
  • Nike Training Club – Again, another free app, it’s got tons of training sessions. For example they have guided yoga sessions that you can AirPlay to your tv, and ranges from 15 min to 50 min, beginners to intermediates. The last session I did was, “The Complete Crush” and I was still sore 3 days later.
  • Map My Run – Been using this app for over 6 years now, and love it because it tracks all kinds of workouts, including walks, runs, road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, and more. And over all those years, I have a nice history of workouts.

Armband

Geez, I can’t believe we have to go running with tablet-sized phone strapped to us, but this is the world we live in. For me, I just need something functional and doesn’t get in the way. Must haves are obviously waterproofing for the Florida afternoon showers and a place to put my house key. Keep it nice and simple, and not too customized in case we get a new phone.

Amazon – $15

Socks

I haven’t clocked in too many runs yet with these new socks from Rockay. After reading a bunch of “Best of” articles on socks, I ultimately went with these because of their environmental sustainability. Where we spend our money makes a statement, and I want mine to more and more make a positive change. Rockay socks are 100% from recycled material, comes with a lifetime guarantee, and in turn drive other industries to be more sustainable. So far I like them because it’s adding compression at the right areas, with the socks labeled for Left and Right.

Amazon – $18

Sunscreen

When it comes to running, you gotta be wearing sunscreen, or else you’re risking some serious cancerous cells later in life. When I was deciding what sunscreen to go with, here are the important factors to consider:

  • Mineral based – Research now shows that the chemical blockers that our skin absorbs is horrible for the environment. Studies have shown how they heavily impact our oceans and their ecologies. Hence, you’ll see sunscreens these days with the label, “Reef Safe.” Also, let’s not gloss over the point that chemical blockers are absorbed into our skin, whereas mineral based sunscreens literally sit on top of our skin and physically block out the harmful rays.
  • Ease of application – Unfortunately, mineral based sunscreen do not come in sprays (or if they do, it’s got bad reviews). So the best we can do here is a rub-on lotion that also hydrates and doesn’t leave too much of that “white” residue.

Based on trusting the brand, I’ve opted for CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Body Sunscreen With Zinc oxide & Titanium Dioxide for Sensitive Skin.

Amazon – $30/2-pack

Recovery

Trigger Point Foam Roller
Trigger Point Foam Roller

Worst case scenario, no excuse is going to save you. If it’s a virtual meeting, then may I suggest targeted toning and massaging your muscles while off camera!  Get ready for your next workout with the TriggerPoint Core Foam Roller.  I bought this a few months back and it’s been fantastic to work out knots in my calves. I read an article in Runner’s mag that said, “your calf muscles are like shock absorbers when running, so by working out the knots, they can better absorb and prevent injuries.”  I was sold!

Dick’s Sporting Goods – $35


Things I Want to Try

Janji

Featured in several running articles’ “Best of,” I’m interested to try out some of their shirts and shorts. If I ever get brave enough, maybe even a singlet! It also helps to know they have a strong sense of giving back to the community, which in their case is helping to deliver clean water to areas of the world that don’t have it.

Janji


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