Here are some of my go-to products for training and race days:
1. Nuun Hydration tablets*. I mostly use their ‘Nuun Active’ tabs, but they also make some great energy tablets, a Nuun plus tablet, and the newest product Nuun vitamins tab. My current favorite ‘Active’ flavors are: Fruit punch, Tropical, Orange, and Watermelon. I used to have the worst issue with exercise induced headaches from long training runs. I tried Nuun and no longer suffer from those awful headaches! I use Nuun often, but especially for every workout longer than an hour or for a workout on a really hot and humid day. It’s an electrolyte replenishment without the high fructose corn-syrup, artificial flavors and colors. Avoiding those ingredients whenever possible is important to me, so Nuun is like gold!
2. Shoe Hoodies – These are my cold weather must haves! When it’s cold my feet are among the first places I feel it and sometimes it’s painful! I have had frostbite on my toes, so I’m so thankful these exist…I wouldn’t be able to get out in the winter without them! To read more about these, you can check out my product review.
3. ProCompression socks. I’ve tried a few different brands and these are my favorite and all I wear now. I have a pretty good size collection of their over-the-calf compression socks. They are comfortable, they come in a variety of fun prints and colors, and most importantly I swear by them for running and biking recovery. I seem to bounce back pretty quickly when I use them. They’re fabulous!
4. Nathan Sports Moxy Hydration Pack. I can’t run without this 2L size pack on my runs of 8 or longer (or 5 or more miles in the summer. The heat and humidity can make it brutal, but this makes it a lot better!). All the storage is great for keys, phone, fuel (gels or other), and anything else you might want along the way. For my full review on the Moxy, click here.
5. Running belt. I wanted a FlipBelt, but didn’t like the price so I ordered the We Move brand off Amazon (price fluctuates and depends on size and color, but cost anywhere from $9.99-14.99.) I got a black one and a pink one totaling less than one FlipBelt! 🙌 (I need to get a better picture…I’ll update later).
6. Brooks “Run Happy” Visor. I have tried hats, but now own two different colors of the Run Happy visor (black/white and light blue/dark blue). It’s made out of a wicking material, stays in place well, and doesn’t give me a headache since it has an adjustable velcro strap. They’re perfect for keeping the sun off your face and allow your head to breathe better than in a hat. They’re also machine washable. Two thumbs up vote from me!
7. Hippie Runner headbands. I bought 4 while at the expo for the Country Music Marathon and was instantly hooked on them after I started using them. I love them for indoor cycling, yoga, and even running if I decide to skip the visor. They keep my hair out of my face, absorb sweat, and they’re so comfortable. Oh, and they have tons of awesome colors and prints to choose from! They often have special deals going like ‘buy one get one’, ‘buy two get one’, etc.
8. The Gluten Free Bar – I absolutely love their bars! The ingredients in these bars are clean and the flavors are great! I haven’t tried a flavor I didn’t like. But, my two favorites have got to be the Oatmeal Raisin and the Chocolate Peanut Butter. Both have 12g of protein are are delicious!
9. High-Density Foam Roller. This has been a life saver for me. My IT band and hip flexors get really tight, and this foam roller has been so wonderful for recovery. It even came with me in the car all the way to Nashville for my marathon! I like the big size, but if I could get another one I’d go with a shorter one just since it would travel easier. No way I’d want to carry this through an airport 😉.
10. Garmin Fenix 3 (Sapphire collection) GPS watch. My precious Garmin! Is it really a “must have”? Well, no. I mean you can obviously run without one. BUT, I don’t know what I’d do without mine now. I love analyzing data and the fact that you can use bluetooth and sync it with your phone via Garmin Connect is pretty awesome! You can view pace and mile splits, elevation, routes taken, mileage, etc all on there! It’s so much fun to keep track of your PR’s and see improvements. I do consider a GPS watch it a “must-have” if you’re working on pacing. Being able to see your pace in a single glance is so nice! I had the Garmin Forerunner 220 before this and it was great. My husband is now using my old 220 with a new white band on it to replace the original purple one. I upgraded to the Fenix so I could use it for Tri’s (however my future in that sport is unknown right now).
*I am on Team Nuun, and receive a product discount. However, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions.