Happy 4th of July!
During this morning’s super sweaty 8-miler, I was thinking about how far running gear has come since my first marathon way back in 2004.
So what has changed?
All hail to the Garmin
My first watch was a $20 Timex I bought from Target. I used to tediously map out my runs on USATF routes to see how many miles I covered. That seems like many moons ago. Mr. Garmin came into my life in December 2009 and has forever changed the way I train for a marathon.
I remember using GU gels to train for my first 2 marathons. I despised how they tasted. I used to eat them like I was doing a shot – get it in and get it down as fast as possible. During marathon #3, I discovered Shot Bloks and was hooked. I can’t believe how much there is to choose from these days: chomps, sport beans, energy chews, waffles…and how many different brands there are.
I also sucked down Gatorade during long runs and then just dealt with the heaviness and sloshing in my stomach. Now I use NUUN (which I originally didn’t like last summer but I gave it another try) during and after my runs to replenish electrolytes.
How am I supposed to carry all of this?
I used to safety pin GUs to my Nike Tempo shorts. That little pocket in the front is essentially worthless (even a car key will jab you in the pelvis). Running clothes have become more practical and smart over the past few years. There are more pockets to stash fuel and hidden holes to loop your earphones through.
I love Oiselle Distance shorts (just ordered their Roga shorts – can’t wait to try them out)! Lots of pockets and super comfy without the “diaper” look. I can also stash 26.2 miles worth of Shot Bloks into my North Face Stow-N-Go Bra.
Tools of torture
What foam roller? If anything was sore I would just slap some ice on it and pop some ibuprofen. Now we have the handy dandy foam roller to massage our aching muscles and help prevent injury.
Thanks to my freakishly long torso, finding a tank that was long enough was impossible. I would give up looking and just run in T-shirts. Yes, T-shirts…100% cotton…in the summer. Eww. Now I’m an avid lululemon Racerback tank wearer.
It may sound like I just plugged a lot of gear. I can assure you that in no way, shape, or form am I getting paid to endorse any of these products. I simply love them and cannot believe I used to run without ‘em!
Your turn – what has rocked your running world? After everything I listed above, I would have to say the Garmin.
Erica @ EricaDHouse.com says
As someone very new to running this post has made me re-evaluate some of my workout gear and habits!
I agree that my Garmin is what changed my running the most. I love being able to just run any route without the tedious calculations!
Also I love running skirts. I have worn them for the past few years. I remember being hesitant to try them. But once I did I was sold–very comfy and more flattering on me than shorts. Although I still wear shorts for some runs, I pretty much race exclusively in skirts.
(2004 was the year of my first marathon, too! A good year!!)
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
I would definitely agree with you on the Garmin – I used to drive all around my neighborhood clocking different distances in my car and then drive the routes….and I would distract myself by doing math during the run to figure out my paces, etc! I think the iPod shuffles and nanos have always come a long way to enable running with music without the bulk!
oh my gosh, I know! I don’t know what I did before the Garmin, haha. And also agree that Nuun >>> Gatorade. I also have to say Body Glide – can you imagine a long run without it?? I’ve never tried any Oiselle shorts but am intrigued…
I just converted to a Garmin watch last week, and I’m hooked! Mostly I love tracking how my pace changes throughout the run, rather than just knowing my average pace that I tediously mapped and calculated on Daily Mile. And I’m looking forward to using it for speed and tempo runs too!
I agree — the Garmin was the best thing ever made for runners. But also the worst thing. Sometimes, I am constantly looking at the damn thing. I make myself deals though — Don’t look down at the time for at least an hour or so. Otherwise, I make myself go loca.
Now, I still love GU. I tried shot blocks but I feel like it takes too damn long to chew. What do you suggest?
I love that bra! It is the best thing ever.
I have always run with a Garmin so that hasn’t really changed anything. I do love my Garmin though!
The more everyone talks about their Garmin the more I am tempted…
I agree about better shorts. I actually don’t remember what I did for my first two marathons but now I have the race ready shorts and love them. I also don’t think I could live without my foam roller and the Stick.
Garmin for sure – I have a love/hate relationship with mine but mostly love. 🙂
I want those shorts!!! They look great. Must try those out – thanks for the rec’s. I’m currently obsessed with my lululemon running skirt, and I love my two colorful nike tops that have two back pockets (cyclist style), and I’ll always love my long 2XU compression tights, which I’ve worn for every marathon and almost every other big race. Definitely need to figure out how I’m carrying all my gels before I resort to going back to a gel belt, which I find annoying. That bra looks awesome.
I used to hide water bottles in the bushes on my running route, and I was all about the cotton t-shirts. I bought my first tech shirt at the expo for my first half marathon. I think I can safely say my Garmin has changed my life.
Kate @ NaturaStride says
Minimalist shoes!!! Changed running entirely for me.
And a Garmin, absolutely.
I also agree, the wide variety of nutrition products is excellent now. It’s just a matter of trying them all and figuring out which ones work best! 🙂
I take Gu like medicine and it tastes awful, but it works the best so I deal. In the grand scheme of things, I care less about my enjoyment and more about my performance. 🙂
Also, Nuun is awful. Gatorade rules. 😛
I love my lulu tanks too!