• My Favorite Running Gear

    January 5, 2011

    While training for my first marathon over the past 4.5 months, I’ve learned what I need (and don’t need) to run well. Some products are more essential than others, but these are the ones that I can’t live (run) without.

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    Garmin Forerunner 305

    My Garmin Forerunner 305 is easily my favorite piece of running equipment. In fact, it’s changed the way that I run. To read my full Garmin 305 review, click over to this post.

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    Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 6 Sneakers

    After experiencing some foot pain during my training, I realized that my sneakers weren’t providing me with the right type of support. Apparently, I need more stability and control, so now I wear the Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 6, which are awesome. They feel so good on my feet, and I haven’t experienced any pain since making the switch.

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    Spibelt

    I don’t know how I ran without a Spibelt for so long! I typically bring my iPhone with me on runs so I can listen to Pandora and snap photos along the way. Before training for a marathon, I only ran a few miles at a time, so I would just hold my iPhone in my hand. It really didn’t bother me until my milage increased. As you can imagine, holding an iPhone for 7 or 8 miles gets old fast. I knew there was no way I could keep it up, especially with much longer runs on the horizon, so I a Spibelt was the perfect solution.

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    My Spibelt fits my iPhone, 4 packages of Gu, my ID, and chapstick. It would also probably fit a couple of other small items, like a key or cash. Even when it’s really full, my Spibelt doesn’t bounce around very much, so I don’t feel it. It’s actually quite comfy to wear.

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    Lululemon TaTa Tamer

    Best running sports bra ever!! I own five TaTa Tamers and wear one every time I run. Even though I double-up on the sports bras, I don’t usually wear body glide and rarely ever experience chaffing. Here’s my post about sports bras. It includes a full review of the TaTa Tamer.

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    Vanilla Bean Gu

    It took some trial and error to figure out which fuel worked best for me on my long runs, but, eventually, I decided that Vanilla Bean Gu was the way to go. It sort of tastes like vanilla pudding and it’s really easy to eat. (I can’t chew and run at the same time!) I typically consume a packet of Gu every 50 minutes or so during a long run. They definitely give me the energy that I need to keep trucking along.  

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    The next three items are equally awesome for dealing with tight runner legs. I use at least one after every single run. After long runs, I normally use all three. Stretching is really important when it comes to long distance running. Otherwise, you risk getting injured!

    Mini Foam Roller

    Foam rollers rule for runners. The one that I own is especially great because it’s only 18 inches long. It’s easy to store in a closet or the corner of the living room (as a constant reminder to use it!).  

    In the past few months, I experienced a couple of IT band issues, but my foam roller has helped so much. Now, I roll out my legs and glutes with the foam roller before and after I run, which has led to much less IT band pain.

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    Tiger Tail

    The Tiger Tail is a rolling muscle massager that helps relieve sore, tight, and stiff muscles. Like a foam roller, it helps you perform deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy on yourself, but it gets the muscles that are tricky to roll with the foam roller. Basically, I feel like I have more control with the Tiger Tail than I do the foam roller, so sometimes it’s a more effective tool.

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    Yoga Tune Up Balls

    My Tune Up Balls were especially useful when I thought that I had a case of Plantar Fasciitis, which is basically irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. For runners, it’s often caused by over-training and/or improper footwear. To help with this possible injury, I rolled and stretched my foot using these balls. They’re also really great for getting the small muscles in the front and side of my hips.

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    What are your favorite running products?

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    { 84 comments… read them below or add one }

    Samantha January 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve been curious about the Spibelt and bra for a little while now. I was worried that the belt would bounce too–good to know. I always am stuffing various items in my pockets in my pants/shorts/tops and carry my phone, so the spibelt seems like a good option. Thanks!

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    Monica January 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    My spin shoes. My achilles gets very tense from running and my spin shoes provide me with a firm surface to stretch my achilles and calves out very well. I just lean my shoe up against the wall to get a good calf stretch and there you have it.

    I also have a love/hate relationship with my foam roller and tiger tail. I love them because they are so necessary, but hate how painful it is to use them!

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    Alyssa January 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Hey Tina, I was wondering if you could tell me how the TaTa Tamer is pretty true to regular bra sizes. I am always looking for a good supportive bra for my 32/34D bust. Currently I wear the Moving Comfort Fiona, which has been the best other than the super tight Enell. I am thinking about ordering a TaTa Tamer online, but am wondering if the size you get is tru to your normal bra size?
    Thanks,
    Alyssa

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    Tina January 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    From my experience, they are!

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    Ceren February 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Alyssa,

    I do wear 32D but always buy 34D for the TaTa Tamer, they are the best running bras that I have ever tried. I think I have every color and it is worth the purchase!!

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    Britney January 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I got two Lululemon bras for Christmas – the Ta Ta Tamer and The Bust Stops Here. I had been running in some cheap bras that were okay for gentler exercise but sucked for running, and I just ran 5 miles with The Bust Stops Here and I didn’t feel a need to readjust my bra or feel them bouncing. I’m in love.

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    Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous January 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I just got the Garmin 305 for Christmas and I love it!

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    Evan Thomas January 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    My parents got me running tights for Christmas and I LOVE them. They keep you so warm even when it’s 30 out. I don’t know how I ran w/o them.

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    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life January 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I love spi belts and often wish my life were like one–so I could just keep fitting in more and more stuff. How did you learn the best foam roller exercises for you?

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    Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) January 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Awesome post!

    I really need to look into the spibelt! Carrying snacks, cell phones, and things like that seriously gets tiring, and this sounds like the perfect solution. :D

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    Katie January 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    glad your foot pain is gone with the new shoes!!!

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    Amanda (Eating Up) January 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I wear Mizuno shoes to run too! I love them.

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    Lisa January 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Love this post as I’m getting back to running. I have a question about your Garmin. Can you use if for things like Spinning or the Eliptical? I had a Polar F6 HRM that just died and am debating if I should buy another or get a Garmin. I am one of those people who use mapmyrun all the time bc I need to know my mileage but I don’t want to buy both.

    Thanks!!

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    Hannah January 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I bet you’ll be the bestest looking gal out there ;)

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    Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle January 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    my newest favorite running thing are my nike lunarglides….they are amazing!!!

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    Melissa January 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I think we are runner twins! I love my spi belt, mizuno wave inspires, garmin, foam roller, and Gu :) Happy Running!

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    Diana January 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I love my Asics 2130s (wish they wouldn’t keep stopping production of older lines!), pvc pipe roller (foam ones aren’t enough anymore!), and two tennis balls taped together – perfect for rolling tight shoulders, feet, and basically everywhere. Cheap =)

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    Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I definitely need to get a TigerTail. Gahhh I’m so sick of these tight muscles!!

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    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I just got a Garmin for Christmas and I’m loving it! Being able to see my speed and distance motivates me to run even harder.

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    Jessica @ Racing to Thirty January 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    This is a helpful list! I’ve been searching for a more supportive sports bra, I will have to look into the TaTa Tamers. I ordered the Garmin Forerunner 305 two months ago, and it’s been a great motivator for me – it makes running much more fun when I can track my numbers.

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    Josephine @ Creating a Positive Life January 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I haven’t heard of the yoga balls but I am excited to try them! I love taking my iPhone with me and the dogs when possible. Also a good headband is a must!

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    Jackie January 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    @Josephine — I’m with you! Can my dog count as running gear? She’s definitely my best motivator.

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    Bobbie January 6, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I agree with you on the Vanilla Bean GU. I have walked several marathons and half marathons, and it is the only one I like. I also like the cran-razz flavor of cliff blocks.

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    michele January 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    My favorite (must have) is my Yurbuds, They never fall out of my ears (they’re headphones). If you need a pair, I have a giveaway on my blog right now.

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    claire January 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Great post! I want all of the above immediatly. Especially the sneakers and spie belt!

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    Linda January 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    How I wish that Garmin! <3

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    Molly January 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Tina,

    Have you also done a post on your running clothes? You always look so stylish in your post-run pictures. Do you get most of your stuff from Lululemon? Or other brands? Thanks!

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    Tina January 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I mostly wear whatever is on sale at TJMaxx or Marshalls. But, I also like Old Navy, Target, and New Balance.

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    Maria April 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Hi! Love your blog. What kind of headphones do you use that don’t fall out of your ears while you run?

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    Tina April 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

    @Maria: I wear the ones that came with my iPod.

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    Kelly July 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    What do you use to carry water? I live in Arizona and find it’s difficult to carry a water bottle during my runs. However, the belts with water bug me on a long run. Any suggestions?

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    Jamie March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I don’t know if you’ll see this on an old post but I just had to tell you now.. the weather’s warming up and I miss my pockets! I’m not running with TNT anymore either so I don’t have that support for fuel and had to figure out a plan. I remembered reading about your love for the spibelt so I purchased one. WOW! It’s so much better than any other belt I’ve tried! It doesn’t bounce and to my surprise, it fits my key, fuel, and iphone in it’s case! THANK YOU!

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    Elise July 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Tina,

    I’m planning an overseas trip and my first stop is Euurope in winter! Brrr! I want to get a pair of running shoes that withstand wet, cold and possible snowy conditions. I read that you run in the snow too! Do you have an recommendations in regards to footwear? I’m Australian so running conditions are pretty warm over here and mostly dry! I hate the cold unless I’m snowboarding, but I love running and want to keep fit while I backpack around the world :) and hopefully do a few marathons!

    Reply

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