Since I’m going ahead full force with my 12 races in 12 months for 2011, most of which will be running, I thought I’d take the time to share with you my favorite running gear. Its not like I’ve tried everything there is out there (and I’m always looking for suggestions/upgrades/recommendations), but this is what works for me thus far (especially on my super awesome graduate student budget!).
For starters, shoes. I swear by two different pairs of shoes, depending on the distance. For shorter distances I don Brooks Addiction.
For my longer distances, I look to Mizuno’s Wave Precision.
I choose these two shoes because I pronate a lot (I tore my acl, mcl and cartilage in my right knee when I was 16 due to over-pronation, rotation and lack of stability muscle strength in my leg while playing soccer), and these shoes offer the support (non-collapsing arch) I need when I run. I also have orthotics I put in my shoes for additional support, but that is just an extra precaution I take because I would like to keep my knee – two surgeries before 21 is enough for me 😉
For socks I swear by Smartwool’s lightweight running socks for women. I own five or six pairs, and need like five or six more. They’re seriously incredible, and they’re the only socks I have not gotten blisters from. Absolutely incredible. I will say though, that once they start getting loose, i.e. the elastic starts wearing out, you need to replace them or you may start getting massive arch blisters.
Next, my shorts/running compression tights. I’m normally not a specific brand girl, but my favorite pairs of running shorts and running compression tights have been Asics. For the marathon I wore my *new* orange Asics running shorts, which I love for the three mesh pockets they have in the back, and my other pair of Asics are blue with side pockets and a hidden key pocket. For me, and my need to fuel up on runs longer than 8 miles, pockets are very very necessary.
The only running compression tights I have tried have been the Asics Inner Muscle Knee tights, which are advertised as helping keep women’s hips and knees in alignment during running. I can’t say that I notice they’re helping me, but I love the way they feel (its almost like wearing nothing 😉 ), and the way I run in them – so they must be doing something for me!
As for my sports bras, I used to swear by the Champion Maximum Control Powerback Underwire Sports Bra, but once I started running longer than 10-12 miles, I started getting chaffing (really bad chaffing) in between the ladies. So, after Julia recommended Moving Comfort sports bras, I indulged two days before the marathon (yes I wore something for the first time on Marathon day) and bought the Moving Comfort Helena Bra.
I ran 26.2 miles in a sports bra that had never been tried out, washed or even really researched about, and I had no chaffing at all. It was even raining so chaffing would’ve been more likely than normal! And, I have been wearing it on all my runs since, and the chaffing as continued to stay away. Unless I ever find a better sports bra (I’m thinking I probably won’t), this is going to be my go-to for running. If only I had the disposable income to start investing in more…
Hey Moving Comfort want to sponsor me? 😉
And finally my tops. I will be the first to admit: For the most part, I don’t buy running/sports shirts. I usually just wear t-shirts/shirts from races that I’m now starting to collect. The only things I have invested in are a few dry-fit long sleeve shirts (I have one Asics and one Brooks for night time running – I’m really indifferent to brand because they’re usually a top layer) as those don’t seem to come from races very often. I wear shirts like this one:
The only other running shirt I’ve purchased ever, I think, is the Nike Women’s Marathon shirt I ran to run those 26.2 miles in when I realized I had only grabbed a tank and long sleeve shirt… My reasoning? I don’t need to look cute when I can look like a running race junkie – and its not like I need to impress anyone, I’ve already got Mr. K fooled 😉
What are you go-to clothes for running or working out? Do you swear by specific brands for certain items?