Posts Tagged ‘Essentials


Ten Running Essentials 2010 Edition

My first post about the ten running essentials served as my shopping guide when I was just starting with the sport.  Back then I had no experience to rely on so I was dependent on guides like these.  Now, more than a year hence I can say I’ve gained some knowledge to finally update the list based on my own experiences.  And here are my 2010 updates to the list:

  1. The right running shoe
    Your shoe is your best friend whenever you run so picking the right solemates is vital.  “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” as they say and so with picking your pair.  If you know your feet you’ll know which is the best pair for you.

    K-Swiss K-Ona, my ultra-long distance racer

  2. Racing or Training Shoes?
    Racing shoes (“racers”) are the pairs you use during races and as such are usually your most expensive pairs.  Training shoes (“trainers”) are the ones that you use regularly when training or not racing and are usually your cheaper pairs.  Racers are usually your lightest pairs (lighter usually means faster) while trainers are usually heavier (and they should be) because it offers more protection for your feet.  Since racers are expensive you may want to extend its lifespan by using it only during races and for everything else in between, use the cheaper trainers.  If your budget permits it, have both.

    New Balance 681, my trainers

  3. A Watch with a Lap Memory (Updated)
    The purpose of having a watch is for you to monitor your progress both in training and in races.  Just about any digital watch is good for monitoring single laps but for more laps you should consider getting a watch that saves laps.  Expensive GPS watches are the most accurate distance-wise and convenient but are still optional.  Add to that the optional Heart Rate monitoring.  In case you have one you may want to turn on the Auto Lap feature to save your time per lap.

    Bench Pedometer and Garmin Forerunner 405

  4. Technical Shirts
    Technical shirts are just generic terms for shirts made of synthetic fabrics commercially branded as Lycra, Climacool, Dri-Fit, Coolmax, Supplex, Clima360, Spandex, Supplex, etc.  After joining a couple of races chances are you’d have a collection of these (normally in the form of singlets), but if haven’t done so, or those free shirts don’t fit you well, or it gives you a rash it’s better to invest in one.  Avoid anything that absorbs and retain water like cotton.

    adidas King of the Road 2009 singlets

  5. Hydration Equipment (Updated)
    If you run exclusively on well-organized races this is optional, but for those long runs this is a must.  For relatively short distances you may just opt to hand-carry that bottle of sports drink you have, but for convenience consider different hydration solutions (handheld, belt, or bag) that would fit your lifestyle.

    Deuter Nordic Lite, my hydration belt for relatively short runs

  6. Sports Drinks (Updated)
    Sports drinks are generally better than water during water because of its rate of absorption, minerals, etc. but it’s not the exclusive formula that works with the sport.  Note that sports drinks are different than energy drinks and which one works best varies by individual.  Even Oral Rehydration Salts (Oresol) and sodas (softdrinks) are acceptable drinks!

    Just a matter of which one works for you best

  7. Petroleum Jelly and Sun Block
    If you’d be running for a significant distance or time it’s best to apply these beforehand.  Petroleum Jelly reduces chaffing and sun block protects your exposed skin from burning.  You may need to reapply as necessary.
  8. Running ID (Updated)
    For emergency and identification purposes, this item is a must but it need not be those expensive road IDs.  The practical solution is to simply write your name and emergency contact information behind your bibs during races, and for non-races and long runs carry an ID (another reason to get a hydration belt/bag).
  9. Running Socks (Updated)
    By my experience socks are the primary reason for having blisters and not shoes as commonly perceived.  Having socks that don’t fit well is the primary reason and you can only tell if the socks fit you well when you’re already using it so it’s a game of chance.  Aside from blister issues, try to avoid cotton socks (same reasons with technical shirts).  Your feet will most likely be sweating a lot, and cotton tends to keep your feet wet.  Look for synthetic blends which are best at wicking away moisture.

    Nike Run Fast for sprints and medium distances

  10. Ice Bag
    If you’re running long distances chances of injuries are higher so you may want to consider having one not just for your own but also for your group.

To summarize the updates:

  • GPS watches are optional but if you have the means it’s a great motivator to running.
  • Hydration equipment is optional depending on the situation but more likely you’d need one sooner or later, it’s just a matter of which one you’d use more.
  • Sports drinks are a necessity but aren’t the exclusive drinks for the sport.
  • Running IDs are highly recommended but practical solutions abound that won’t break the bank.
  • Finally, running socks are more import than anticipated but you can’t really tell if it’s good beforehand (applying petroleum jelly beforehand may help).

I hope that this list along with my updates gave some added guide to runners out there.  As a final tip, don’t be conscious with looks or brand, stick with what really works for you.  You can’t look good if you don’t feel good, right?


New Gears for New Year

It’s barely halfway into January but I decided to get some additional gears for running for the activities I planned for the year.  It’s one of the best times to buy as there are countless discount sales in various stores and malls—a lot of items aren’t really out of season—just to stimulate sales.

Meet the new gears

First thing I got was the mostly needed: a pair of trail shoes.  My timing was perfect—I got the pair that I like with the colors I love at 40% discount!  I got myself a pair of New Balance 811 (MTK811BK), colored black, and as I earlier stated 40% off the regular retail price.

New Balance 811

New Balance 811

I’ve been craving for a pair of New Balance for quite some time now and finally I got one.  Trail shoes are a new experience for me, and currently I’m putting it on a “break-in” test (so far it’s passing with flying colors on pavement, we’ll see how it fares on real trails on Sunday).  Here are some of its features, courtesy

  • Abzorb® EX heel provides durable cushioning and shock absorption
  • Abzorb® cushioning in the forefoot for exceptional shock absorption
  • C-CAP® midsole provides cushioning and support
  • AT Tread® all-terrain outsole combines a running and trail lug configuration for on- and off-road use
  • N-Durance® rubber compound for maximum outsole durability
  • Synthetic/Mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and support
  • Stability Shank embedded into midsole supports the arch and helps create a smoother gait
  • Shoe Weight: 357 grams (12.6 oz)

The next gear could be considered related to trail running: a light backpack for trails and road runs, a.k.a. runabouts (a term I got from Baldrunner).  I got a red Sandugo Pilot 10+5 (10% off the retail price, bladder not included but has a special discounted price when purchased with a bag) as recommended by a trekker friend.

Sandugo Pilot 10+5

Sandugo Pilot 10+5

Being “self-sufficient” on runabouts I plan on taking soon after I get my next gear (to be featured later when it arrives) is a feat I’d like to achieve.  Getting support on the road could be very difficult so it’s better to be prepared and have the essentials right in your back.  Of course nobody wants to run with a very big bag on their back.

It felt like Christmas again after I got these items which are now part of my new set of running gears.  I’m still eagerly waiting for one more to complete the set.  If you plan on expanding your gears now is a good time to check out the stores while there are still good items on sale.  However, after the euphoria is over, you just feel a bit sore, especially around your wallet!


Welcome to my first running blog!

Welcome to my first running blog!  This is for those that just started running, like me, and those who want to try but are a bit clueless.  Keep checking this spot for running events, guides, and some other stuff about running, and more!

For my first entry I am sharing with you excerpts from a mini-seminar called Running Aid (Part 2) brought to us by our friends from Pinoy Ultra Runners, held at R.O.X. in Bonifacio High Street last September 11, 2008.  These 10 running essentials were part of the presentation made by Neville Manaois, Team Principal of Pinoy Ultra Runners.

My first mini-seminar about running

Continue reading ‘Welcome to my first running blog!’

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