Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Running Gadgets

This ran in last Friday's Wynne Progress.  Kyle's got a wonderful touring article March 27, keep your eyes peeled for it!  -Keeli

The Active Life
Keeli Smith

Running Gadgets

Running is one of the most cost-effective sports there is.  You only need running shoes and apparel and you can get in a workout.  There are a number of accessories that can enhance your running making it more enjoyable, comfortable and even faster.

Running socks are an important part of your apparel and one of my first running mistakes.  In 2004, my first half marathon, I had only run 6 miles in a row and thought if I can do that, I could run/walk every other mile to finish which I did with bloody feet.  I wore plain cotton socks.  I hadn’t had any problems in the short 6 mile distance and didn’t realize the moisture wicking that I needed.  After a few weeks of healing, I got some running socks.  There are so many out there, make sure they are the right size and fit for your foot and arch.

Carrying cases are important for taking your phone for music or emergencies on a run.  I use an armband so I can be hands free running the headphones through my shirt.  Some use Ipods that clip on to your shorts.  I like the hands free accessories so I don’t feel like I’m carrying weight along with me.

Sunglasses are important that offer polarized lenses to reduce glare.  I have some from Tifosi that have multiple interchange lenses that help with sun and conditions.

GPS watches from Garmin, Nike and Soleus offer runners the ability to see their pace, distance, pace per mile and can set intervals and see cadence and other options.  I use the Map My Ride App on my Android phone (which is free) with the voice activated so it will come in over my music and tell me my pace and total distance. 

Headphones for runners who like to safely run with music can be hard to find.  I’ve used several different brands, but the one I have to have are fitted with ear clips over the ears.  Several more expensive brands have three different size buds that fit inside the ear to deliver better sound and comfort.  I use a pair from Athlete I found at a bargain store.  They stay in place which is key.

Shoes are extremely important and I recommend going to a running store to get the right fit.  I’ve been fitted at Fleet Feet on Poplar Ave. in Memphis where they watched me run to decide which kind of support I need.   I always used to get my shoes just a half size bigger but Fleet Feet recommends a full size bigger.  The last pair of shoes haven’t bothered my arch or knees.

Belts are popular for longer runs and can hold water bottles, pepper spray, car keys, and phones.  You can store several items on them and you’ll be hands free. 

FitBit is a new technology that you wear on your wrist and it tracks distance, calories, steps, your sleep and allows you to set goals.  It also communicates with apps on the Iphone or Android phone.  There are several other watches from Nike and Garmin as well.

I like to take a bottle of Halt Spray with me whether I’m running or cycling.  We’ve all been chased by a dog on a bike or just recently, while running down Airpark, I was chased by 5 dogs from different residences.  I didn’t have to use the spray but I was glad I had it.  I’ve been bitten by a dog while clipped in on my road bike so I now have a respect for their speed and possible aggression.

Try new accessories to help you achieve your fitness goals this year.  Stay active in 2015, start with a walk or run!

Halt sprays a stream from far away to
keep dogs away

Tifosi glasses have changeable lenses to help with glare

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