It's the most wonderful time of the year, thats if you're a runner! The weather is warming up, the sun is staying out later and marathon sign ups are happening. I ran my first half marathon in October of last year and this year I plan on running 3 more. They are really addicting and the training, for me, was really exciting. Through training, I learned a lot about what to use and how to train properly with the right tools. Here is what I recommend to bring when you start training.
1. SHOES. You have got to make sure the shoes you wear are comfortable for 2+ hours. On your longer runs which can be 7, 8, 9, 10 miles, you want to make sure the shoes you wear don't give you blisters and are great support. I have always been a nike girl. I purchased mine from Famous Footwear, but I have friends who rave about other brands too so you just have to find what makes your feet happy.
2. Energy Chews. I have really seen a significant change when I use these throughout my run because my energy levels perk up quite a bit. When I run 8+ miles at one time, I usually take these with me so that halfway through my run, I have something to keep me going to the end. I bought mine from GNC, but they are available at most running stores and even amazon.
3&4. GPS and Heart Rate Monitor watch. I get asked all the time, why do you wear two watches. The answer is so simple, I am just too cheap to buy a $300 watch when I already have both. Sure it would make it more convenient to wear one but for now I am ok with that. The Polar FT4 watch was purchased from Amazon and I love it because it makes me realize how much I am actually burning. I wrote a blog post on why I love it so much.
My other watch is a garmin GPS that shows me my distance. It does track calories but without the heart rate monitor so its not accurate.
5. Half Marathon Schedule. When I signed up for my half, I looked all over Pinterest for a training schedule. I wanted one that could train someone who could only really run a few miles. I made my own one up and it worked really well for me. I hung it in my kitchen and so every time I finished a run, I would cross it off and it made me feel extra amazing for completing my run. You can print out your own training schedule that I created here.
6. Running Belt. One of the best things I purchased was a running belt from yet again, Amazon. This has saved me while carrying water, energy chews, my keys, tylenol, pepper spray, you know cause you just never know! Its comforting knowing you're prepared when you're miles away from your house or even another person! I recommend this for 8+ mile runs when water isn't around for a while.