What's In Your Running Kit?

There was a time when going out for a run was all about pulling some shoes on and heading out the door. Today, we have access to a plethora of different tools for collecting data about our exercise performance. But what tools are just gimmicks and which are helpful?

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My main exercise activity is running. Over the last few years Nike and Adidas have developed shoe sensors that collect data while running. I'm using the Nike sensor with the Nike+ Sportswatch and a Polar heart rate monitor that works with the watch.

However, if you don’t want to buy any extra kit, you can achieve similar results with a number of apps that allow you to sync data to cloud services that save the data and allow you to compare your performance with others and even set up competitive challenges.

If you decide to use some high-tech gizmos with your running or exercise program it's a good idea to think about what you'll do with the data you collect. Is it all about the technology or is there a training benefit that you'll derive from the hardware?

However, before investing in lots of gadgets and apps, it's worth taking the time to invest in professionally fitted running shoes. Rather than simply buying the best looking, most expensive or cheapest shoes it a good idea to find a specialty running store that can evaluate your gait and foot type and recommend the best show for you. Some stores will even have treadmills in place so they can watch you running and so you can try shoes out.

So – we throw the doors open. What equipment do you consider essential for your exercise regime?


    Shoes (although they are the same ones I normally where everywhere anyway.


    Damn it:

    *wear everywhere anyway)

    One of the good things about running is that the only "essential" thing that you need is well-fitted running shoes and appropriate clothing. The above is good advice; focus on getting decent shoes first, and everything else as you find the need for them.

    I personally also use a Garmin GPS watch with heart sensor. This is good for training for specific goals, but is by no means essential. When I was first running (doing the couch 2 5k program), RunKeeper on the smart phone was good enough, though for me the GPS connection was a bit weak.

    Good shoes, mp3 player and sometimes I use the stopwatch on days when I feel like I have a lot of energy and want to test myself, I used to have a treadmill, it was great on cold/rainy days... miss it heaps.

    Good technical clothing. For me this is a wicking t-shirt, lycra shorts, another pair of shorts to cover the lycra if I'm going to spend any time in the company of anyone I know, decent socks trusted not to cause blisters. Running is uncomfortable enough without adding to it through bad kit.
    Besides this, shoes that fit, headphones that stay in my ears, and an iPhone with RunKeeper and some tunes.

    socks! I used to get a lot of blisters, even after moving to pro fitted shoes which dramatically improved other comfort. My girlfriend got me some running socks that i assume don't bunch and draw moisture away and the issue went away.

    I did find out the (semi) hard way that proper shoes are important. I also use a Polar HRM together with Endomondo app to keep track of my data.
    Call me a nerd, while I run I have a metronome going on my phone to keep my cadence.
    - sports bra
    - old singlet top and fleece (when cold)
    - running socks (Owned them for the last 5 years, I think I could do with a new pair)
    - old short or skins (my singlet tops come over my bum, I prefer not to expose too much)

    Water, clothing, etc.

    Use a Garmin 910XT in training, but not when running half marathons.

    Always, ALWAYS have a roll of Fixomull and Leukotape (and scissors) so I can tape my knees or other parts if there is pain after longer runs.

    Sockwas (sockwa.com) or Vibram Five Fingers - good if you're into minimalist running or transitioning into barefoot running.

    clothes: singlet, shorts, skinz, underwear, socks, shoes and sweatband (maybe 2 - one for each wrist)

    tech: iphone for music & runkeeper, sweat resistant headphones, heart rate monitor plus watch

    in future: energy gel

    blardy garage door remote control.

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