John Schrup, manager of Rogue Equipment and thus an absolute expert on the subject, shares his enlightened opinion of the most essential running stuff out there. He can even help you get your very own [insert item here] as soon as you finish this article and go pay him a visit!
A list of things that I have found, in 30 years of running, that I cannot live without, and why. In no particular order:
Shoes (no doi!) The simpler the better. Abebe and Zola didn’t need no stinking shoes, but I don’t want to jack up my pedicure.
Compression socks. Seriously. Never, ever would I have guessed that I’d wear tube socks again, unless I was going to some real classy retro-themed party. Until now. After the first night with the socks on, my legs felt fresher. More fresh? If some lab somewhere tells us later that there is no scientific data to support the use of compression socks, I’ll still wear them, because I believe they work. And, no, I don’t care that I look like I’m running the 50 yard dash at the middle school Field Day.
Chronograph. You know, a running watch. Not a gps, not a heartrate monitor…I know where I am and how I feel. A regular old watch with a chronograph feature and a countdown feature, for fartlek. I want it to tell me when to turn around and go home or when I need to speed up or slow down. I don’t want to have to look at it once it starts. I don’t want to have to charge it, nor strap something on my arm, chest or shoe to make it work.
Trigger Point products. I can’t afford weekly massage any more, since my 14 month old son needs diapers. (Whatever.) So the TP stuff is the next best thing. Even 30 seconds, I swear, is worth it.
Arm warmers. Ok, so only for a few months of the year, round these parts. But because you can freeze your @$$ off in the first half of your morning run, and then an 30 minutes later feel like you’re running directly across the surface of the sun, you need these. They peel off in a second, and you don’t have to tie a jacket or long sleeve around your waist.
Running hat. Because !@#$ the sun is hot!
Sunglasses. Because !@#$ the sun is bright!
Brazillian wa…uh, wait, wrong list.
Reflective vest. Because I’m now older and have a little better understanding of my mortality. Often I run early in the morning, or after dusk, and there are some remarkably stupid people behind the wheels of cars.
Mochi. The best post-run recovery food. Everrrrrrrr.
Strassburg Sock. When I feel that little itch on the bottom of my heel, the itch that tells me a lovely case of PF is around the corner if I don’t take care of things STAT. One or two nights with that bad boy on, and I’m good to go. Sometimes I wear it to the Whole Foods. For the sympathy looks.