When it comes to essential items for runners, the conversation usually centres around shoes, clothes, watches and other gear. As you dive deeper into the world of running, you’ll quickly realize that it’s more than just a sport or a hobby — running is a lifestyle, and there are several things that, while they are not necessarily essential to the sport, will make your life as a runner much easier. Take a look at the following list and see if you’re missing any of these helpful items.
There’s nothing like a cold, creamy smoothie after a long, hot run, especially when your stomach isn’t really up to eating solid food right away. Smoothies and shakes are an easy way to pack in some post-run nutrition, and having a good blender is a recovery meal game changer.
Thought fanny packs went out of style after the 90s? Think again — these hands-free waist bags are perfect for carrying everything you need on your run, including your wallet, keys, phone and even a small snack for those extra-long adventures. No more struggling to squeeze the essentials into those tiny pockets on the back of your shorts — the fanny pack is the way to go.
We all know sleep is essential in order for runners to recover properly between workouts, so improve your sleep by getting yourself a body pillow. Anyone who has a body pillow will tell you their sleep quality improved drastically when they got one, and when once you jump on the bandwagon, you won’t want to go anywhere without it.
Blistering toes, rubbing thighs, chafing nipples — we’ve all experienced at least one of these issues at some point (sorry for your luck if you’ve had all three). A little Vaseline on the problem spots can prevent you from having to walk bow-legged or shirtless the day after your long run, and every runner should have a large tub in their kitchen cabinet and a small one for traveling. (Some runners prefer more expensive lube products intended for running, which may have the advantage of not staining your clothes.)
Sunscreen and moisturizer
As runners, we spend a lot of time out in the elements, so it’s important to take care of our skin. Sunscreen is a must, even in winter, to prevent UV damage, and a heavy-duty moisturizer during the cold months will keep your skin from getting dried out and itchy.
This is for when you inevitably forget to apply the aforementioned sunscreen before your long run in July.
Dealing with cords while you’re out for a run is so 2010. If you like to rock out to your favourite tunes while you’re cruising down the streets, do yourself a favour and go wireless — it’ll give you a sense of freedom you never thought was possible.
The golden rule of dry-fit running clothes is “thou shall not put them in the dryer,” so get yourself a large laundry rack to hang-dry them and be prepared to spend at least 20 minutes every week figuring out how to fit them all on at the same time.
Your feet are one of the most important body parts if you’re a runner, but they often get neglected. Keep them happy by always having a tennis ball on hand to roll around under them after a hard run.
Water-proof phone case
Don’t let your phone become a casualty on a rainy run.
Meal kit service
Nutrition is important for runners, but not all of us are five-star chefs. A meal kit service will deliver all the ingredients you need to make healthy meals for the week, and most of the meals can be ready in 30 minutes. This is perfect for when you come in from a long run and you need food ASAP.