Trying to be a better runner – my essential kit list.

As I keep banging on about, I’m trying to get back into regular running and be better at it in general – in terms of pace, technique, endurance, the whole shebang, and I’ve convinced myself that this can’t possibly happen without the following items, all of which I’m happy to say are now in my possession:

Garmin Forerunner

My what a big watch you have

Despite having a passionate love affair with MapMyRun, after having used it for a good couple of years, I can no longer stand having to strap my phone to my arm, faffing about with tangled earphone wires whilst trying to settle into my pace and nursing post-run-sores left by the unforgiving velcro on the armband. So, I decided to get a GPS watch and do things properly. As sexy and sleek as it may be, I couldn’t afford the Garmin Forerunner 610 so looked for the older models, and came across the 405cx for a bargain price on eBay.

What I didn’t think about was the fact that it would look ridiculous on my puny wrists (there’s a reason they do a women’s range), but after testing it out it’s not as uncomfortable as I thought so I’m gonna keep it for a while. (That translates to ‘until someone lovely buys me the 610 for Christmas/birthday/just-for-being-me’).

I’m a patient person, I can wait.

Below is my first proper run with it, I ran10k on Sunday along the beautiful undercliff path of Brighton seafront. As you can see, a little work to do to get under an hour for the Brooks 10k in November, but plenty of time, so I’m not too worried.

iPod Shuffle 

If I don’t have to rely on my phone for GPS there’s no point taking it out for music either – so I found an iPod Shuffle on Gumtree for the grand total of a fiver. It’s tiny, it’s pretty and I love it. Why did I never have one before?

Protein supplement

Ever since getting some proper nutritional advice back in February I knew I needed to up my protein intake and be better with carbs if I was to fuel my body better for running and other sports. It’s actually pretty difficult sometimes to get all of the recommended portions in, so a protein supplement is perfect for when you just need to get that last portion in, or to refuel after a tough workout. The lovely people at the Supplement Centre sent me a big bucket of Vanilla whey protein to try, so I’m hoping it will help improve my muscle growth and recovery over the next few weeks. (Review to follow soon). 

New kit

Before you say anything, yes, I do need new kit. Of course I do. It needs to be colour coordinated and beautiful and comfortable. And cheap, as I’m not meant to be spending money (some of us have a wedding to pay for!)

Anyway, the point is, I accidentally fell into Sports Direct and came out with new shorts, a new sports bra and a new Nike top. All for £30. Job done.

One thing I haven’t got yet is new trainers (can’t really cut corners on those). I’ve realised that even though my current trainers are only a few months old, I really should have one pair for running and one for bootcamp, as they’ve already lost their support and need replacing.

I skipped down to Sweatshop Brighton last weekend to get my gait analysed (again, just to make sure I was definitely neutral), and found two potentials, so counting the days until payday to make one of these babies mine (I’m hoping the Adidas are still there as they’re half the price!):

Left: Brooks Ghost 6 – £105 at Sweatshop      Right: Adidas Supernova Glide 4 – £54 in the sale at Sweatshop

I also ended up talking to a random customer about running and marathon training for over  two hours. TWO BLOODY HOURS. Just stood there amongst the technical tees and running shoes chatting pace, training, long runs, short runs, run clubs, injuries, ice baths, bad runs, good runs, the lot. The poor shop assistant gave up trying to sell me the trainers and buggered off a long time before we left. This was the weekend of Brighton Pride, when the city was buzzing and everyone was outside having a great time, and there I was talking minutes per mile.

Oh how I love talking about running. Just need to bloody do some now!

Do you have an essential kit list? What’s on your shopping list for your training? 

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