A question I’ve been asked a few times lately has been about some of the running gear I use. So, I thought I’d take some time to post about what helps me get through all the miles.
First up is the shoes. I mean, without a good pair of running shoes, those miles would be a lot more painful and more difficult to maneuver. I started off my running days in Brooks Ravenna 4’s. Now, I’ve been running in the Brooks Ravenna 5’s and love them!
If you’re interested in a full review of the Brooks Ravenna 5, check out the video above. I became a Brooks runner from my first visit to the local running store. The store associate had me walk around for a little bit, went to the back room, and brought our 3 pair of shoes for me to try out. I did not like the fit of the Mizuno’s the associate brought out. The Brooks Ravenna 4 fit me like a glove. However, the Asics shoe I tried on was also feeling good. I told the associate that I was having a hard time deciding. So, he encouraged me to put one shoe on one foot and the other on the other foot and see which liked best. It was great advise. The Brooks Ravenna 4 felt sooooooo good that the choice was obvious. After running with the Ravenna 4’s for several years, I made the decision to try out the Ravenna 5’s in the fall. I think there is a definitive upgrade. I like that there is more room in the toe area of the shoe and it still has that “fits like a glove” feel.
Don’t go out and buy some Brooks Ravenna 5’s because I said I liked them. My advise is to find a good running store in your area. Go in and have one of the workers at the store perform a gait analysis. They should be able to make some suggestions that will help you find the ideal shoe for you.
Because I can’t run without my music, these Yurbuds have an absolute must. I discovered Yurbuds last June and haven’t looked back. I can’t stand the ear pieces that just sit in your ear. I can never get them to stay in place. So, my Yurbuds have a little loop that goes over the ears to hold everything in place. I’ve never had problems with them. The sound is fantastic. They are so light, that I don’t even notice they are in place.
The video above is a pretty good review and one that I agree with mostly. The thing I disagree with the reviewer on is that the Yurbuds have never irritated me. The reviewer says that they get irritating after a couple of hours. I ran the LA Marathon in just under 7 hours. They never bothered me.
The fuel belt I use the most is the Fitletic Ultimate II Running belt. This is perfect for any training run up to 11 or 12 miles for me. With this belt, you can add a holder for water bottles, which I love.
When I race, I can use this belt and never have to worry about having pins to put my bib on. I can also remove the water bottle holders for races. So, it’s pretty flexible to your needs. The pouch in the front has plenty of room to hold what I need for the long runs and my races. I usually carry my ID, Credit Card, some cash, and fuel with me in the pouch. I could put my iPhone in there as well if I wanted to.
This video is pretty brief, but shows off the basic features of the belt.
I wanted to post this video because it’s one that got me thinking about purchasing the belt I got. The iFitness and Fitletic belts with the same name “Ultimate II” have all the same features. So, when I purchased mine at the 2013 Long Beach Marathon/Half Marathon Expo, I thought I was getting the iFitness one. To my eyes, there really isn’t a difference. The reason for this video is that Ashley goes into more detail of all the add-ons that both the iFitness and the Fitletic Ultimate II belts have.
If I’m going more than 11 miles, I prefer to run with the Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Ultra Vest 2.0. I purchased this vest last December because I had noticed that my runs of longer than 11 miles found me running out of water. Apparently, for me 2 eight ounce bottles aren’t enough. So, in my long runs for the marathon, I knew I’d need more. I did the research and this vest had really positive reviews.
I do agree with a lot of what this guy says in his review. Like him, I was worried about how much extra heat would be generated by wearing it. However, it was very breathable. Since I usually run with my phone in my hands, it wasn’t too much of a problem dealing with that. The water bottles are 20 ounces each. So, each bottle holds more liquid than I had combined with my other belt. I’ve finished runs up to 23 miles with is and never ran out of hydration. I have not purchased the bladder you could purchase and put in the back because I haven’t needed the extra hydration. Having the pouch in the back is awesome for those runs where it’s raining at the start of your run, but clears up and gets warm later. You can just stop. Take the jacket off and put it in the back.
The last piece of gear I want to mention is my Nike+ Sportwatch GPS. I bought this back in July 2013 and am still using the same watch. So, it’s very durable. I bought it initially because I knew I’d be training for a full marathon and my phone battery would run out. So, the apps I had been using on my phone wouldn’t help me out. When I bought it, I loved the look of the watch. I know that Garmin watches are hugely popular. However, back in 2013, they weren’t all that attractive. Plus, what I needed was a watch that would track my distance, time, and speed. This watch does all of that. So, it was a good fit.
This video does a pretty good job at telling you about the features of this watch. I will say that using this watch at night is not ideal. Tapping on the face of the watch to get the light to come on doesn’t always work. Fortunately for me, my long runs are done in the daylight. So, I tend to switch back and forth between using the Nike Plus App and the watch to track my runs. For my shorter runs, I’ll rely on the app. Longer runs, the watch. The battery life is something that sold me on the watch. The watch lasted through both of my marathons (and I’m a slow runner). This watch works for me because I have pretty basic needs. I do believe that there are better GPS watches out there with more functionality. However, for the price of this watch, it’s a great watch for the beginner or someone who doesn’t need a whole lot of functionality. If all you need the watch for is to track your distance and speed, this watch works well.
Well, that’s it for this time. I’ve written more extensive reviews on these items in the past. However, if you’re new to this blog and missed those posts, I wanted to at least give you the basics of what I use. The thing about being a runner is that we all are different. What works for me, might not work for you. I learned a lot through some trial and error. I hope that, if you’re trying to figure out what to start with, this post can be some help.