I think once you find a certain sport that you truly love, no matter what life’s distractions come your way you always want to return to it as quickly as possible! My love for running is exactly the same albeit perhaps I’m a ‘fair-weather runner’ because as soon as the weather starts to slightly improve with lighter evenings and milder temperatures, I am out there!
So this post is all about my return to running for the 2023 season and what accessories and equipment I’ve been using that I’ve found to be most helpful.
It does sound unusual but for those that are fairly new to running, you’d think it’s a case of putting on a pair of shorts, a top, some trainers and you’re off! Well that is the short, simple answer, but quite quickly you start to buy and accrue items and additional accessories. Not because you’re a shopaholic, but because you feel a particular pair of shorts or shoes is going to help you become a faster and more-rounded runner (despite what your spouse thinks!).
One of the earliest items that helped me was a waist belt with a zip. Before buying one I’d wear one of those arm/shoulder phone-holders with the velcro strap that would slowly start to slip forwards (especially when my arm would get sweaty during the hot season!). But the solution of the waist belt changed everything for me. I wear it on my hip and have my phone, key and some energy gels inside, and completely forget it’s even there!
Typically you don’t buy everything at once! You go on your runs, then go on more runs (because you love it so much), then before you know it you’re going four times a week and that one trusty pair of shorts and running top you always wear, needs either replacing or adding to.
This year my goal is to beat my 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon personal bests.
It’s not an easy task but that’s always been my preferred choice of objectives when it’s come to my running. Not seeing if I can place at a certain point in a race and beat the competition, but have myself as my main competition and try to get fitter than in previous years.
I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with adidasUK who have provided me with access to their online store and allowed me to choose certain products from their range. One of the items that has really helped me already this year was their Terrex COLD.RDY Crew Wool socks. It sounds strange to attribute so much praise for a pair of running socks but I can honestly speak first-hand about not choosing the right socks to run in.
A few years ago I ran the Chester Half Marathon in socks that did not properly cover my ankle, which I was unfortunate enough to notice around mile 5 when they started to rub against it and cause me pain and discomfort. Not what you need when you know you have to keep running in them for a further 8.1 miles!
So when I picked these adidas socks out it was because I wanted a reliable pair that I would use during my training sessions. They were comfortable, non-slip and kept the sweat well-contained! I think having a sock that I can just forget about that allows me to focus on the run itself, is crucial to making progress and allowing me to hit my goals. It’s so good it’s now become my dedicated race day sock!
Another crucial item that I picked out, particularly as the weather is getting hotter and hotter, was the Lightweight Metal Badge Baseball Cap. I never used to run in hats and would solely rely on sweatbands to deal with the sweat on hot days. However wearing a running cap can make all the difference to your overall temperature. I’ve found that this particular one has kept me that few degrees cooler, and so when it came to training, it was these small details that made the difference to my heart-rate and how much more intense I could train and therefore improve.
So I’d strongly recommend checking out their store. Not only for runners but for so many other sports as well. It is packed with quality items at a reasonable price point that can really add to your training and allow you to improve your overall performance.
Finally I want to say that whatever your goals are, just keep going! I know what it’s like when you get home from work, make dinner, eat dinner and then the last thing you want is to go out and run, or go to the gym. Push beyond that and remember why you’d made that plan earlier that day. It’s the training you don’t do that you regret, so ignore those thoughts of ‘I’ll go another day’ and just get out there, you’ll be grateful you did!