This post will be a review of some products which I have used and found helpful. They are all things which I have bought for myself and I have no links with any of the companies.
First, and probably the most used running accessory I have is my Flipbelt.
Soft and stretchy, easy to get things into and out of and with a handy elastic key ring. I wear it for most of my runs, it goes into the washing machine and comes out like new. Having tried squeezing a soft bottle into it, which worked but was tricky, I recently bought a Flipbelt bottle which is curved for easy insertion. Very useful for summer runs.
For longer runs, anything over about an hour, I use my Salomon S Lab vest, usually with the two 500ml soft bottles it came with. However I did also buy a bladder for it and, if it’s very warm or I’m planning to be out for hours I use that instead as it holds 1.5litres. The vest and bladder was an expensive purchase but has proved very useful as my runs have got longer in duration.
The vest came with a foil blanket and a whistle both items which come on ultra kit lists, not that I have ventured into that territory yet! For me, a woman with curves, finding the right vest proved tricky. This one is soft and stretchy and, once I got the straps set up for my size and shape it fitted perfectly.
For the first year or so I was running I would fill my bottle with water or SIS Go Hydro tablets and carry a few jelly babies in my pocket. I have never used gels, the idea of a sticky artificial tube of goo was a step too far…that was for fast “real runners”. Then I discovered Tailwind which is now my fuel of choice, with a gluten-free peanut butter sandwich if I’m going to be out all day!
It is easy to use, dissolves almost instantly, tastes ok…I use the “naked” version usually and add a squeeze of grapefruit squash to it but I have tried to other flavours and they’re all ok. Sometimes I’ll use the caffeinated Raspberry Buzz if I need an extra bit of umph!
My next item comes with me on every run, it’s my TomTom cardio watch. This was a present from my husband for Christmas and my birthday 3 years ago and has been sooo useful. At first I simply recorded my runs on it but since using TrainAsOne (see previous post…I’d add a link if I knew how!) I’ve learned how to use it for intervals etc. I chose it because, at the time, it was the only watch using a wrist heart monitor. I’d tried using my husband’s chest strap monitor but found it very uncomfortable with my sports bra.
It’s looking a bit clunky now and it may soon be time to start saving for a newer version but it has served me well.
My final item for this post is my Oakley (Flakjacket I think) sunglasses, another expensive purchase but I did get mine in a closing down sale so they didn’t break the bank! They fit so well it’s easy to forget I’m wearing them and, with clear and low-light lenses they are not just for sunny days. As I have hay fever the wraparound design is specially effective for preventing itchy eyes.
So there you are…a few of my favourite things. What are your go-to running accessories?