As much as minimalistic running appeals to some, it is a nightmare for others. Using gadgets and accessories can make your running more comfortable, and more data-driven. Measuring your cadence, heart beat, pace, burned calories, etc. does make running more complex, but it also helps you take more informed decisions that can drastically improve your performance.So here is a list of some accessories runners should have.
5 Accessories Runners Should Have
With the ever-growing market of accessories and technology, the options we have are endless. Though some of the accessories runners should have are listed below, they aren’t an absolute must-have, they sure are the ones that are worth having by your side.
1. A Running Shoe That Suits Your Type:
Shoes give the basic foundation to the act of running. This might seem very obvious to most people, but they still end up buying the wrong pair. Many runners need corrected soles to support their feet. This correction is required to balance the pronation that a lot of us suffer from.
If you are pronated, your feet tend to roll on every step which can lead to some serious problems such as shin splints, hip injuries and knee pain. It is also important to have shoes that leave a little space in front of your toes to prevent your toenails from coming off while running long distances.
However, you should also make sure the gap isn’t too much as it will cause shifting of the foot within the shoe while running which could lead to blisters.
On the other hand, maybe barefoot running is something that appeals to you!
2. A Running Watch:
A running watch is a convenient alternative to the hassle of carrying your phone every time you run. Not only is it inconvenient to carry your phone while running, most running applications aren’t as accurate as the running watches in the market today. Running watches provide you with a lot of structured data.
This data can be compared against all your other runs, and you can see the progress you’re making. Having a watch allows you to run comfortably without something continuously moving around in your pockets.
The data from running watches can easily be synced with your laptop or phone and displayed in a systematic manner. Some of the good running watch brands out there are Garmin, Suunto, TomTom, etc.
3. A Heart Rate Monitor (HRM):
If your running watch doesn’t already come with a built-in heart rate monitor, this is something you have to buy separately. These HRMs generally are to be strapped to your chest and they give an accurate reading of your heartbeat. Recording your heartbeat is essential in speed training to understand your zones of comfort.
Generally, in training plans, the speed of running is given in the form of a percentage of maximum heart rate. This is because it is a more accurate and generic way to plan your speed training workouts and long runs. Garmin has an accurate HRM that straps around the chest and connects via Bluetooth to your running watch.
HRM’s are much more accurate than wrist based built in heart rate monitors in watches.
4. A Hydration Pack:
If you’re a long distance runner, you probably need help with hydration during your long training runs. When you run, you lose a lot of water and electrolytes from your body in the form of sweat. Drinking water while running is essential while running long distances as it keeps you hydrated and prevents cramps.
There are many ways to carry water and electrolytes while running like hydration belts, hydration backpacks, hand-held bottles, etc. Carrying a hydration pack might seem inconvenient, and so we might choose to do our runs without them, but this can be dangerous and can cause multiple cramps causing you to cut your run short.
Find what type of hydration pack suits you best and that you’re most comfortable running with, as you’ll be spending quite some time carrying it.
5. A Comfortable Pair of Shorts:
A comfortable pair of shorts is an accessory, every runner should have. Wearing shorts of the wrong fit can cause inconvenience while running as they’d keep sliding off while running or create discomfort around your waist if they’re too tight. You must train using the same running shorts that you will be wearing on race day, making sure they fit just right.
Also, the running shorts should be loose enough around your thighs to avoid chafing that’s caused by the friction between the shorts and your inner thighs. Serious chafing can cause blood clots and leave a burning sensation for up to two weeks.
Putting in some time and making sure you buy the right pair of shorts will save you from a lot of trouble that can come up during your training or races.
Having all the things listed above will make your running experience much more fun and comfortable. Above all, running is a sport like all other sport that should be enjoyed, and these things are just additions to make it a better overall experience. What options may work for you may not be the best for someone else. So invest some time before you go out there and buy something that might not work well for you.