Running Gear: Indispensable Running Tools for Novice and Expert Runners

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Running gear enhances my running experience.  Though running is pretty simple, having the right gear makes it easier and more fun to track stats and routes.  Over the past several years I’ve collected a set of tools I continue to use on each run.  These items help me plan and track my progress.  From planning a running route, to tracking up-to-date pace information, to logging my run, I find this set of equipment very easy to use, accessible during my run, and handy to use on my iPhone or laptop.

 Smart Phone Apps

Running Gear

RunKeeper – I use this program to track my runs.  This is a smartphone app for Android and iPhone to use the phone’s GPS to track pace and route.  This is my favorite piece of running gear.  I really the like ability to log my time and distance knowing it is automatically saved on their website.  If you don’t have smart phone, you can also directly log information on the website.  The site has free access and you’re able to track miles ran by day, week, or month.  A premium membership brings along perks, but I have yet to try them.

 

Running Gear

MapMyRun – This is an indispensable application to make running routes and calculate their distances.  You no longer have to guess nor drive around the neighborhood in your car to figure out a route!  The “automatically follow roads” feature makes it really easy to build a route.  Routes can be saved on their site for future reference.

As far a running gear goes, this software saves me the most time in planning routes.

 

Running GearLoose It! – This website and smart phone app make it easy to monitor the calories you eat and burn during exercise.  Though not strictly a running app, this application makes it really easy to manage your weight.  I really like the fact I can see how exercise impact my diet, and more importantly, the cost of splurging.  It is a big dose of reality to see that eating a candy bar undoes a mile or two or running!  I use this running gear every day to log my dietary decisions and workouts.

 

 

Running Gear

SmartCoach – I’ve used the SmartCoach program to train for three half marathons, three  full marathons and some 5K races.  The Runner’s World program is pretty basic, but it incorporates common training elements such as interval, tempo, and long runs into your training regime.  This is the one app I wish I would have know about when I first started running.

I’m one of those people that feels like he has to run with some sort of plan, even when I don’t have a race on the docket, so using SmartCoach is handy for me to whip a series of runs without too much fuss.

 

 

 Equipment

Running GearRunning GearGPS Watch –  I have Garmin Forerunner 210, which is a pretty basic watch as far as GPS watches go.  I mainly use the watch to monitor my pace and to record distance run.  I find this GPS to be much more accurate than my RunKeeper iPhone application.

 

 

 

 

Running Gear

 Smart Phone – I use an iPhone, but any smart phone is will work.  I consider this an essential part of my gear because of its versatility.  Baring the obvious fact that a Smart Phone is needed for my Smart Phone apps, it come in handy to make calls.  I’ve had to use the phone when I got stranded in a snow storm on a long run.  Also, it make a great music player.  Too bad you can’t get an app to repel dogs…

 

 

 

Favorite Websites

Races in the USA – I like to use this site to find races.  I placed it in my list of running gear because, though it is a relatively simple site, it is comprehensive and I’ve found it to contain a very complete list of races.  You can search for races by State, Type (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, etc), and date.

Runner’s World – I love their magazine and their website is chocked full of great topics.  I like to read the forums as well as some of the blogs.  When I first started running, I learned quite a bit from their excellent articles, including their reviews on running gear.  They are definitely the running authority in the USA.

I’m always on the look-out for new running gear to make my runs more productive and intersting.  Leave a comment and me know about your favorites!

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