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  • Writer's pictureActive Gear Life

#GlobalRunningDay Favorites from Active Gear Life

Happy #GlobalRunningDay! Even after two half-marathons and over a year of training, I still didn't consider myself a runner... but with gym closures and quarantine, it's basically all I've done workout wise. (The only other thing I've done is raise a sourdough starter and bake every other day which may be counterproductive to all my running.)

So this is it.

I think I'm finally ready to admit it.

I'm a runner.

Running has been a great way for me to get outside and enjoy the spring weather, mentally decompress, and stay active when all of my normal activity is disrupted. And it's not just me. ASICS recently conducted a survey and found that:

- More than a third (36%) of regular exercisers are more active now than they were before lockdown

- 79% of runners say running is currently helping them feel saner and more in control

- 73% of runners want to keep running as much as they are now after this pandemic ends

- 65% of runners say its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise

Did you pick up running as a new activity recently? Sounds like there's a good chance you did, or someone that you know did. Running has culture all of it's own, and people are fiercely loyal to brands and products they love. Never in my life have I seen a Facebook group have a heated argument over headphones. I wanted to share what's worked for me, and now as a runner, I'm now obligated to tell you about all of my favorite things while I show you splits and routes and hypothesize out-loud whether or not my next race is going to happen. (But for real... is it?)

Pockets - If you haven't had pockets in the your leggings before, you don't know what you're missing. If you've never run with pocket leggings before, you definitely don't know what you're missing.

I'm not generally a fan of running belts or fanny packs while I'm hot and sweaty, so pockets have been essential for having a place for my keys, phone, and fuel during a workout. My personal favorites are the Light n Tight Pocket Capris and the Light n Tight Pocket Hustle Shorts.

Brooks Glycerin Running Shoes - When I first started running, I had a lot of arch pain. I learned the hard way that running in old shoes, or the wrong shoes, can sideline your workout and cause potential injuries down the road. I was recommended to try a neutral shoe with some cushion, and went home with a pair of Brooks Glycerin 17s and it made a HUGE difference!

These shoes are light weight, and have a lot of cushion, which was perfect for my transition to asphalt from the studio floor. Check out your local running store like FleetFeet or Gearhead Outfitters for a gait analysis and to be fitted for a shoe that's right for you.

Supportive Sports Bras - I rave about my ZYIA bras A LOT. And it's because they are the most supportive bras I've found yet. The All Star is my all time favorite. It pulls over your head, but has a zipper back for ease of getting it on and off when it's sweaty. Also the mesh detail at the neck line keeps you covered without being too hot. Second favorite is the Mesh Adjustable Bra.

ZYIA Adjustable Mesh Bra & Turquoise Mesh Capris

I say second favorite, but in actuality, I've worn this bra for both of my halfs. It's also highly supportive, but the back is easily convertible while wearing, so I can hook it into a racer back while running, but then unhook after crossing the finish line and getting on the bus for more comfort.

Crowned Athletics Headband - It's not even really summer yet, and it's already HOT in Arkansas. Nothing is worse than getting sweat in your eyes while you're running, except maybe wearing a headband to keep the sweat out of your eyes that won't stay put. I recently got the Bubble Gum Wall Athletic Headband from Crowned Athletics. I probably, maybe, definitely tried this brand over other headbands because of the Disney-themes and patterns, but I am impressed!

The underside has a textured, sweat wicking material, which means it won't slide around when my hair is pulled back. I tested it out on a run at 5:00 pm in June, and it worked perfectly. It was soaked, but there was no sweat in my eyes!

Underside of Crowned Athletics headband

Sweat Wicking Tanks - I rarely run in just a sports bra, so having a good sweat wicking tank is important to me to help keep me cool. It's just a bonus if it has got other features. I've raved about it before, but the Copper Charged tank has copper thread woven into the tank to keep it anti-microbial and anti-stink.

Havana Tank in Navy

A close second is the Havana tank. The louvered stripes provide ventilation while also doubling as a peek at your super-cute sports bra, which can lead to lots of great mixing and matching.

Luxe Muscle Tank in Sky Blue

I'm also a fan of the brand new Luxe Muscle Tanks for running. They are light weight and stretchy, and do an excellent job of absorbing sweat but drying quickly.

Honey Stinger Chews - Distance running is a mental game just as much as it is physical. So when I hit that 40-45 minute mark, my group-exercise-instructor mind and body are both like "Okay, class is over by now, can we be done yet?" That was a hard hurdle for me when training for my half-marathons. But I found that a quick burst of carbs helped my tired legs power through. I read horror stories online of GI distress and horrid flavors of some fuel gels and gummies, but decided I needed something that was easy to carry, wouldn't cause me any mid-race issues, and most importantly, would work. So I did what any fitness professional would do. I went to Academy Sports and bought one of everything and turned my self into a science experiment.

My favorite by far were the Honey Stinger Energy Chews! Other gels and liquids had an odd texture, tasted very salty, and were pretty gross to choke down where they were hot from being in my pocket for an hour. Blech.

The chews were more like candy, no weird tastes, and actually chewing something probably triggered my brain that I had carbs inbound more effectively that just a gel. I usually carry one pack to take around mile 5, and carry two if I'm going to be running more than 9 miles. Cherry Blossom and Pomegranate Passionfruit are my go-to flavors, but I highly recommend catching this variety pack on Amazon to find your favorite.

What are your favorite running products I need to try out?

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