Essential Running Gear
Tere Zacher

Let’s face it:  running is a sport that shouldn’t require a lot of investment (after all, you only need any kind of shoes to go for a run, Right???), but I am sure if I ask around most of us have invested more than what we want to realize…

I have found that when I began running I ended up spending money (yes, spending, not investing) in gear I didn’t really need or ended up not using, but I have also found that I have made really good investments in gear and products that are pretty much indispensable for me. I want to share with you my thoughts on some gear I have tried and what I think of it.


*Shoes: I will never spend a lot of money in street shoes, make up, a wrinkle cream or clothes. That is something that doesn’t interest me. $100 for a pair of shoes that I can wear to work/school/the mall? Heck no. It just seems silly to me (although my daughter –who is 10- is saving for a $800 pair of Jimmy Choo’s (that I am not sure she will be able to afford on a $5 allowance). But buying cheap running shoes to save money? Not in a million years! Your feet are very important if you want to run and you have to run in shoes that are comfortable to you and that will help you avoid getting injured. I tried a lot of different types of shoes until I found the ones that work for me. I simply can't love without my Skechers. My favorite ones are the Ultra Road but I love all of them. Since I started running with Skechers I haven't been injured again. But jut as I found the best shoes for me, it's important that you find the best fit for you. If you are uncertain about which shoes work better for your feet go to a good running store like Sole Sports (they have locations all around the Valley); they do a free run analysis so you know which shoes would be better for your feet and, even better, they will let you try the shoes on a run so you can make a good investment.

*Socks: Same as shoes. They have to be very comfortable so you are not suffering while you are running. I like the ones that are just above my ankle to run (otherwise I get blisters in the back of my leg) and compression socks to recover after a long run or while traveling. I really like the swiftwick brand.

*Hat: Some girls do headbands and some people wear sunglasses. I have tried them both and I just can’t do it. Headbands fell off my hair (although I looked pretty on them J ) and I can wear sunglasses if I go out for a run when the sun is out but I am always worried I will lose them if I have them on my head while running before the sunrises. What works for me is wearing a breathable cap (and that way I don’t have to do my hair which is great because I don’t like to). Caps are pretty much my signature thing.

2 RECOVERY: Recovery is very important. I have tried all different kinds of foam rollers, yoga classes, creams, gear and you name it and what really works for me is the following: 

*Massage: I get a massage as often as I can. I know it’s expensive but I see it as an investment. Would I rather pay for a massage or for the PT weekly appointments after being injured for not recovering well? Now, this kind of massage is not the “feel good/put me to sleep” massage. It’s the kind that hurts in a good way because it’s getting all your lactic acid out of your body.

*Roller: I really like my trigger point roller and the Orb. I love how easy it is to use them and how easily they fit in my backpack. I tried the typical foam roller, the stick, a foam roller with bumps on it, the roll recovery, and even though they all work well the first two I mentioned are the best ones for my body.

*Yoga: I LOVE Bikram Yoga North Scottsdale. I have gone to other studios and the teachers always pushed me to do more, but here I get a great stretch while working on my focus and concentration at the same time. He only thing is I need to make sure I drink enough water before and after the class.

*Chiropractic care: After spending so much time injured I realized recovery is as important as training. I go as often as possible to see Dr. Moore at AZ Pain Specialists and he helps me to realign my body after hard workouts and before races.

3 TRACKING MILES AND TIME: There are many kinds of watches that track time, miles, speed, calories burned and whatever else you can think of. I really like having a very elementary watch/GPS tracker that tells me the distance I have run and my speed when I need to do tempo. I try not to watch at my Garmin and jus run by feeling since that’s what works best for me and in that way I don’t get too caught up into what I should be doing vs how I feel right now (I got the 610 as a present but I only use the mile tracker/mile split and average time per mile features and the heart rate monitor to make sure I am not working too hard when I need to go easy and vice-versa) so if I have to buy another one I will probably will go for a very basic one). 

NUTRITION: If you are going to run longer than 90 minutes nutrition is essential to keep you going. I can’t digest gels but I have found a great supplement for my water called Rehydrate. It has everything my body needs and I drink it when I race and when I train longer than 12 miles. I also consume a couple of supplements called catalyst and O2 before hard workouts and races. And I make sure to replenish after my workouts. Generally a banana and chocolate milk along with a Perfect Bar make wonders for me.


*Reflective vest: I run before the sun rises. Some people run at night. Either way wearing a reflective vest can be the difference between being safe or being hit by a car. I invested in one when I ran my first Ragnar Relay and I am glad I did it. It is not super flattering but I have been told by people driving that

they were able to see me from a long distance. I have realized when one runs you think people will see you while driving, but unfortunately that is not always true.

* Road Id:T his one is KEY in my life. Is one of those things I paid for hoping I would never use but totally worth it  I am asthmatic and I have had a couple of episodes where I needed to go to the ER and couldn't talk due to  lack of air. my Road ID saved my life. It's also handy if (hopefully never) you have an accident, you faint, or anything happens to you.


And you? What is he gear you can’t live without?

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