When it comes to must-have running accessories there are a few obvious items: comfy clothes, a GPS tracker, and your favorite running sneakers, just to name a few. And although we agree these (and a solid training schedule like those featured on Aaptiv!) are total necessities, there are a few other key products that don’t spend a ton of time in the running spotlight.
Before you head out for your next long run or race, take a peek at some of the unsung heroes that can make your run a total piece of cake—or at least a little easier!
It’s not ideal to run with sunnies bouncing up and down on the bridge of your nose. To keep any obtrusive reflections out of your eyes, try one often-overlooked running accessory—the visor. Temperature-wise, visors are cooler than full hats, which can get bulky and sweaty, and they’re usually adjustable to fit comfortably around female runners’ heads and ponytails.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: trust us on the sunscreen! Not only will SPF keep your skin protected from painful sunburn, but it will also keep it healthy and protected from signs of aging. (Hey, running already helps keep your body young, so why not use a sunscreen that keeps your skin young?) Opt for a SPF of at least 30 and if possible, choose one that also protects against environmental stressors like pollution.
Ah the running belt. You either love it or you hate it. But we’d caution every fitness junkie not to forget this essential running accessory. It might look a bit silly and fanny pack-like, but when you’re prepping for a long race where you need more than just your tracker and headphones, having a lightweight carryall is incredibly convenient. Look for a close-fitting belt that sits comfortably over or under your top. We’re partial to ones that can easily fit a gel pack or two, an ID, and a few bills.
The hardest part of your run should be the training not the gear you wear. Unfortunately, not all running accessories are created equal and some pieces can rub more than others. Keep rubbing and chafing at bay with one of the most undervalued products in the running aisle: anti-chafing balm. Look for a balm that’s sweat, friction, and water resistant and can keep skin hydrated in warm or cool weather.
We venture to say that socks should be as near and dear to a runner as the shoes they wear. Finding your perfect sole mate (we had to) is essential, so it’s best to go to your running shop to find the right one for your training method. For general training, opt for pairs made from fabrics like polyester for stretch and durability. Thicker tabs at the heel for comfort and protection from blisters also score high in our book!
Now we know what you’re thinking, duh, as running accessories go, hair ties are a no-brainer. But, are yours up to the challenge of a long, hard run? Trust us, if you have any length at all to your hair, there’s nothing worse than feeling your hair gradually loosen with each pound of the pavement. To avoid any pesky obstacles a.k.a. loose locks, opt for a zero-budge hair tie that won’t tug or pull. (Heck, take a second one with you just in case.)
The next time you go for a run, don’t forget to bring Aaptiv along with you!