Little things which help a lot!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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So there you are…a few of my favourite things. What are your go-to running accessories?

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