Sunday, May 13, 2012

Favorite Running Gear - May 2012

I've been running for 2 1/2 years now and when I started, I thought that running would be an inexpensive sport. Boy was I wrong. I have accumulated a ton of gadgets and gear over the years and I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Road ID - $19.99 - my favorite is the Ankle ID, but the Wrist ID Sport is very convenient, too.
 - I highly recommend carrying some form of ID while doing any outdoor activity, and the Road ID is the easiest way I have found to do just that. It looks great and it's reflective so it adds another way to be seen at night, too.

Petzl Tikka XP2 Headlamp with Core battery - $54.95 for the headlamp and $39.95 for the battery kit
 - I used the Tikka XP2 for most of my winter running. I never had any trouble with it. I loved the different levels of light, including low white, high white, low red, high red, and the ability to strobe the light for additional visibility at dawn and dusk. I picked up the rechargeable core battery just a few weeks ago and even though it adds a little bit to the size, I really appreciate the ability to just leave it plugged in so the battery is always topped off.

Garmin Forerunner 305 - $109-$129 (when I bought mine)
 - For full functionality at an affordable price, the Garmin 305 cannot be beat. It is a little large in size, but I got over that quickly after I took it out for my first few runs. It picks up signal quickly (in most cases, unless you travel often) and is very accurate with distance and speed. There are so many features, including mapping, waypoints, workouts, and overall compatibility with most fitness and mapping software and web sites. You just can't go wrong with this model, but it has been replaced with many newer models so it may be harder to find in the future.

digifit (for iPhone/iPod Touch) - $49.99 for the hardware, $14.99 for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app
 - I use the digifit when on my indoor bike trainer. It has some nice visual cues and can help you with your training by turning your Apple device into a full health computer. I picked up a simple mount for my bike from GPS City (ipod touch mount, bike mount). I like that it can integrate with all of my Garmin accessories that I already own, including the foot pod, heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor for my bike.
 - Note: When I bought mine, it was $10 for the old version of the hardware. The new version of the hardware is smaller.

Zensah Calf Compression Sleeves - $39.99/pair
 - If you do any kind of barefoot or minimalist running, you are probably already familiar with how your calf and lower leg works so much more than when you wear traditional shoes, due to the different form required for running with those techniques. The best way to compensate for this is to wear a compression sleeve before, during and/or after running. I find that these are very comfortable, and do not create excess heat when it is warm, but they do help when it is cool. I also enjoy that they provide an abrasion layer when trail running, so they do serve me multiple purposes. I always wear then when I run and I notice additional pain and/or recovery time when I forget them. I will often keep a second pair handy for use after my run, and will keep that pair on for several hours.

I keep finding new toys and will review more the next time I get a chance. One of these days, I'll talk about some of my favorite running clothing, too.

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