5. RunLites Gloves
These have come in handy more recently as the days have gotten shorter. Running in the dark is dangerous, especially on long runs when you're more likely to be less vigilant or running through less familiar areas. My RunLites give me plenty of vision in the dark hours, without giving me a headache like my head lamp does. And because they're fingerless, they're not overwhelmingly hot or sweaty on my hands. Functional and comfortable, they're pretty much a necessity for dark runs!
4. JournalMenu Planner
Tracking progress is so important for seeing results and weaknesses (and opportunities for improvement). I've always used Map My Run for distance, time, and splits, but I don't really ever use the data in any way. When I got my hands on a custom JournalMenu, though, I was finally able to connect my recorded data with other important observations and notes, which made both good and bad patterns much more noticeable. By keeping a record of my runs, the gear I use on/around those runs, my cross training, and my nutrition (along with any unexpected side effects), I have been able to make some important tweaks and excel past my goals all along the way.
3. Clif Shot Razz
For a long time, I preferred the Clif Shot Blok chewables as my running fuel, but somewhere along the marathon training line I found myself having difficulty chewing and swallowing them while out on the run. Thankfully, the Shot gels are equally delicious and digestible, while also being easier for me to consume while I'm out on my route. As a big raspberry fan, the Razz flavor is by far my favorite, and I have a huge stockpile of them ready for long runs and race day.
T1. Hydrus Performance Hydration Concentrate
There's no way I would have made it through my summer mileage without an effective hydration solution. Though I've found several hydration options that more or less meet my needs, Hydrus has by far been the most effective for the vast majority of situations. With the liquid-concentrate "bubble" technology, Hydrus works faster and more efficiently to bring much needed electrolytes into my body while also dragging an increased amount of water with it. I am quite certain that without this Miracle Water, it would have been practically impossible for me to stick to my training. You better believe it'll be with me for the final 26.2!
T1. Goldberg Gear Hydration Belt
Honestly, Hydrus probably should be #1, but I've ruled it a tie - because no matter how great Hydrus IS, it's totally ineffective if I don't HAVE it. Without a comfortable hydration transportation system, many of those intensely hot summer runs couldn't have happened. Filling the bottles with the right product was one hurdle, but finding a way to take the bottle with me was something that worried me. I've tried a few different hydration belts, and considered handhelds or backpack options; however, the only real solution I found was my Goldberg Gear belt. It sits properly, accommodates various sizes of bottle while keeping them easily accessible, has a decently spacious pouch for additional fuel, and features fully adjustable elastic around the band. So it's a tie since these two products have worked so perfectly together!
Don't forget to stop by the Friday Five linkup hosted by the DC Trifecta! What gear/fuel has helped you go further/faster/stronger? Do you have go-to items for dealing with specific types of challenges such as intense heat or cold?