As I set out onto week 2 of our half marathon training, I find myself back in the "newbie" saddle trying to remember all of the necessities I relied on during previous trainings. Obviously this time around with two boys there are some others - but those will be discussed in a future post. Here are my top four items to consider purchasing as you transition from a casual runner to training for 13.1!
First, and most importantly: BODY GLIDE.
This is vital, especially for those larger chested women or those of us who are nursing. I put it around where my sports bra rubs (front, center, bottom) as well as under my arm pits because that's where chaffing is most likely to happen. When it gets raw and red (then scabby) it's pretty painful. Rub it on just like deodorant. Super easy. I've heard of people using it on their feet but never needed to myself - or never found the desire/need to. Not yet at least.
I picked up a bunch of these today at Sports Authority (had an Xmas exchange). I remembered that buying these were slightly intimidating last time, so I'm planning on bringing these to a long run to let the mommas try 'em out. The Gu energy gel is like a thin, frosting consistency - and you really have to like the flavor. Lemon and vanilla were my favorite - not sure about the chocolate… some of these have caffeine (20 mg) but I'll be avoiding those. The Gu chomps (similar to Shot Blocks) are gummies and they're BIG. I used to cut them up into quarters before putting them into a small ziploc bag. The energy gel says "15 before every 45" along with hydration, although I always had it 5-6 miles into a run over 10 miles. I've used Swedish fish, candy corn, pretzels, gummy bears - whatever is lying around the house that would give me an extra burst of energy an hour into a run!
Third: hydration/fuel belt.
I have a pretty pink and grey one but can't find a picture of it online. I haven't needed to use this as I've had the stroller (with all of its compartments and pockets…) but this is great to hold water/Gatorade (obviously!), fuel (shot blocks/gu) and keys/phone. Many of them have a few smaller bottles around the belt, I happen to like the way one bottle at the back feels. For some reason, it keeps me focused on my posture as I run.
Lastly (for now): sleeves.
These are probably the most intense appearing items but one of the most practical. Think about starting off a run in a long-sleeved shirt and warming up as you run. What do you do with the shirt? Tie it around your waist? Talk about annoying as you run. Sleeves achieve the same thing as a ls shirt without the bulk. Just slip 'em into your shorts (one end) and you barely notice them as you run. I've been known to roll them down (or up!) half way in transition.
Any other must-haves I'm forgetting?