Running Gear That Will Keep You Going
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
The quote above comes from one of my favorite books of all time, What I Think About When I Think About Running. The books is authored by Haruki Murkami. Mr. Murkami is a good runner, but not an Olympic level runner, just a regular guy who runs well. His book sums up my love of running.
The joy I get from running has not changed much since childhood. I guess it’s in my DNA. Running makes me happy, despite the fact that it is not as easy and as comfortable as say, sitting and watching a great movie (another thing I love to do). Yet somehow running is the thing I dream of most. As I drive to work and see a road, I often catch myself thinking, “Man, that looks like a great place to run. I could park my car on the side and take off…” I’ve learned to run through it all. I run in the snow, heat, rain, missing toe nails (it’s a runner thing), with blisters, in someone else’s shoes (once), alone, with music, on oval tracks or dirt roads. You name it, I will do it for a good run.
So, get to the point, right!?
For a sport that technically requires NOTHING extra to participate, it is amazing how many accessories accompany the sport of running. There are no balls or gloves or rackets and a runner does not require a special field or court to accomplish their task. Yet somehow, runners have a lot of gear. And as a lifelong runner, you might guess that I have accumulated a lot of that running gear. And you would be right! Here are a few items that make the top of my list.
Music is for sure at the top of the list. I will admit to being only a very occasional runner-who-listens-to-music. But when I am in the mood, music is the best running partner. I use the standard in-ear style, but know many runners prefer the over the ear style to ensure they stay put. If you are a music lover and an audiophile, I suggest the Skullcandy Chops In-Ear Ultra Sport Performance Headphones with Mic. These earphones have it all from sweat resistance, superior sound quality, a swivel hinge allowing the runner to swing the bud out during runs to hear surrounding sounds. I use my phone for tunes so an exercise armband is a must. They come in an array of colors and styles to fit your phone, making it convenient and safe for all runners.
I also strongly recommend a good GPS running watch. Knowing how far and how fast you go is usually enough data for most runners. But for those that really want to dig into the numbers, a Garmin Forerunner Watch can track your route, heart rate, even your VO2 rate. I have mine set to beep if I fall below a specified pace and to buzz each time I run another mile. This helps be track my runs even when my mind begins to wander.
Activity trackers are quickly becoming the jewelry de rigueur. My favorite is Samsung’s Gear Fit Smart Watch. The Gear Fit was designed to wear not only while you’re working out, but for whatever situation you’re in, day or night. Its curved display contours comfortably to your wrist, while interchangeable bands provide you with multiple color options. Gear Fit isn’t your average fitness band. Now you can view emails, texts and alerts on the 1.84-inch Super AMOLED® display, so you can stay updated while you’re working out.
One thing I love about running is being outdoors and being in nature. With that said, I did purchase a treadmill a few years ago. There are just times when it is hard to gear up for a short run in the dead of winter (ah, life in Nebraska!). A good treadmill helped my get my shorter mile runs in without spending 20 minutes layering on clothes and hats and gloves.
Treadmill options are numerous and I specifically opted for one that was “low profile” model since it was going to reside in my basement. Many treadmills have preset workouts to help you vary your indoor running routine. NFM even offers the Proform Thinline Desk Treadmill. It has an adjustable desktop that allows you to lower the console and utilize the flat space as your very own desktop. Now you can work out while you work in. Or, leave the console facing you for your typical treadmill experience.
I could keep going, but all this talk about running has made me (you got it) want to go hit the road for a nice long run!