I actually got to make this decision this morning, as I stood in my hotel room, not quite awake, trying to decide what I need to take downstairs with me for my run (nailed it! 4 X 1 mile strength intervals – only a little ache in the knee every once in a while). Treadmill runs are of course different from outdoor runs and both are different from races, so I found myself wondering what all runs, regardless of setting, had in common.
- My shoes: I never intentionally head out for a run without my running shoes. I put a lot of miles on my feet and my joints and I know if I don’t take care of them, I’ll get hurt – possibly seriously. I always have two pairs available, so I can rotate them and also so I have a back up pair in case one gets too wet or muddy.
- My phone: My phone serves lots of purposes. It can track my time and my mileage (although I don’t always use that option). I keep my workouts stored on my calendar in the phone and in a Google spreadsheet on the phone. It has mapping ability to help me when I get lost (happens more often than you’d think!). It holds my podcasts and music. It takes pictures of random things I see along the way for the blog. Most importantly, it helps keep me safe. I can call for help. I have my health info in the Emergency section in case something happens and I’m found unresponsive. It has the Road ID app so my husband can track where I’m running. I literally never run without it.
Situationally, there are a couple of other must haves:
- Sunscreen if I’m running outside (I’ve really gotten much better about this!)
- Something to read if I’m on the treadmill. I have the Kindle app on all of my electronics (iPad, both iPhones, Surface) so I always have a way to read with me. Yes, I’ve progressed to the point where I can even read a book on the iPhone in a pinch. 🙂 It really makes the time go so much faster!
- My little clip on blinky light when it’s dark – gotta stay visible!
That’s it. I have a ton of other stuff, but I can actually make do without any of it if I have to.
- I’ve run without a sports bra in a bind, including a memorable 7 miles on the treadmill at the gym in my normal bra when I’d forgotten a sports bra and didn’t have time to go home. Ouch! I would not recommend this, but I also wouldn’t cancel the run if I forgot it again. Ditto for socks and any of my other running clothes – lovely and definitely what I’d prefer, but I could do without them if I had to.
- I actually did almost all of my runs in May without a Garmin and it was actually really nice! I just enjoyed myself and ran as much and as fast as I wanted. I’m definitely going to make that tech break a regular part of my year.
- Most runs I do without my pepper spray, but I’m definitely glad I have it for when I run in certain areas (although I generally just try to avoid places where I might need it!).
I’m sure my husband is wondering why I have so much running stuff when I only have two must haves. 🙂 All of that other stuff just makes life easier (and cuter).
What are your fitness “must-haves”? Thanks as always to April, Patty and Erika for hosting the Tuesdays on the Run link up! Be sure to go check out everyone else’s lists. It may give you ideas for your upcoming Christmas list. 🙂