Okay, close your eyes and imagine: There’s a chill in the air; the leaves have begun turning shades of orange, red, and yellow; and Halloween decorations are starting to fill department-store shelves. Yup, that’s right. Fall’s almost here, and before you know it, we’ll smack in the middle of a busy fall racing season here in Philly.
That’s why you should start stocking up on all the running gear you’ll need now. Here are a few items I can’t race without.
Spibelt. No, this isn’t just an athletic fanny pack—the Spibelt is so much more than that. I’ve used mine during races to hold my cell phone, ID, and car keys (so long, gear-check), and the the Spibelt is expandable to fit waist sizes from 25 inches to 50, with an expandable pocket length. $19.95 at Philadelphia Runner.
Garmin Forerunner 610. A sport watch isn’t a necessity for every runner, but it can definitely help if you’re focused on your pace. There are a variety of companies that make them, such as Nike, Soleus and, of course, Garmin. The watch pictured includes a touch screen display for easy tap-and-go functionality, and keeps track of serious data like distance, time, calories burned and average pace and heart rate. $400 at Bryn Mawr Running Company.
Lululemon Slipless Headband. The anti-slip headbands at Lululemon are a staple for every single run I take. I have side bangs, so without a headband my fly-a-ways are uncontrollable. This headband is made from Lululemon’s signature fabic, luon, which allows for a comfortable fit. The silicone grip helps the headband stay in place even on your long runs and the moisture wicking fabric keeps your head cool and the sweat off your face. $12 at Lululemon Athletica.
CEP Compression Sleeves. Compression sleeves are great for runs of any length. They improve blood circulation, providing you with more energy and stamina during your runs. These from CEP Compression are a nylon/spandex combo, and stabilize your muscles and joints, reducing shin splints, calf cramps, Achilles issues and muscle pulls—a must if you’re planning to run a few races this fall. $39.95 from Philadelphia Runner.
A yoga mat. Wait, a yoga mat? For runners? Yup, no mistake here—yoga is a great way to cross-train. “Yoga can compliment and balance the work that running does by lengthening out the muscles, opening up the hip flexors and reducing strain on areas of the body that are impacting most from running,” says instructor Lauren Hanna Foster of Manayunk’s Hotbox Yoga. Foster recommends practicing yoga at least two to three times a week if you’re a regular runner and adding yoga moves to your before and after run routines.
>> What running gear can’t you live without? Share in the comments!
Nicole Kennedy is a healthy-living blogger and public-relations specialist living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Nicole’s blog, Simply Nicole, documents her daily life as she balances working full-time, blogging, training for races, practicing yoga, eating healthy and spending time with her boyfriend. You can connect with Nicole via Facebook and Twitter for real-time blog updates, tips and tricks for living a healthy lifestyle.