Once I find gear I love, I tend to stock up on every single color before it’s retired for the next season, or worse, “upgraded” to an updated version. I’m always willing to give a new product a shot and I’ve recently discovered some new loves, but once I find what works, you bet that’s my go-to! [Side note – there are affiliate links here.]
Nuun – I don’t consider this a supplement per say, but I guess you could call it one. It’s how I get myself to drink enough water and to help the fact that I’m a salty ass sweater. Seriously — feel my face after any run longer than 45 minutes, shorter if we’re in the middle of summer. My favorite flavor is cherry limeade. Give me all of it!
Vega Sport Protein Powder – While I’m not a supplement person, I also don’t eat after running which is a combination for disaster. In the heart of my training I like to add this a few times a week to my diet because I’m well aware I don’t get enough protein (I rarely eat meat). Since whey protein makes me instantly ill so I have to opt for a vegan-friendly option and this is my go-to. I enjoy the taste (it’s perfect iced with coffee post-morning workout) and informed-choice certified which is nice, even though I’m not competitive on an elite level.
Vega One All in One Meal Bar – These are my pre-run snacks at work. I start to get hungry around 3pm and it’s tough to find the right food to fuel my run after 5pm, but I lean on these. I like the Chocolate Cherry Almond best. Since they are a little pricey to swing on a regular basis, I stock up when they are on sale at my local cooperative market.
Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer – YUM. This is delicious and the one thing I will make room for in my budget. I don’t take it before every workout, but typically when I need a boost before intervals or on an early morning weekend run that isn’t long enough to need fuel beforehand. Within ten to fifteen minutes I notice a difference in my energy levels. Most importantly, I am able to sleep at night, even if I take it after work. This is so important to me because it’s something I have trouble with when I’ve experimented using other energizers.
Honey Stinger Chews – I never thought I’d be the girl that eats during her race, but here I am. During my Chicago Marathon training, I tried Honey Stinger Chews instead of Gu, which I previously used and loved. It took some getting used to and it’s a little more challenging than whipping out a gel, but the taste is great and I think it offers a bit more of sustained energy. I also think it’s cheaper!
Generation UCan – If I can recommend one thing to runners who need pre-race/mid-race fuel advice, it’s starting using Gen UCAN. I drink it about an hour before my long runs and races of any distance. I like that it curbs any hunger I have and provides sustained energy; it’s saved me a few times for extended track workouts after work when I won’t be eating dinner until 8pm. It can be very chalky, so I mix it up the night before and stick it in the refrigerator which helps. It’s still a little on the thick side, but at least there aren’t weird chunks in it that happens with some powders. I read that you can also use it to create your own gels, which I’m going to experiment with soon. Potentially, I could end up using 2 Gen UCAN gels during an entire marathon! My favorite flavor is the pomegranate blueberry.
Honey Stinger Waffles – I eat these for a snack or if I need something quick before a morning run. I like to keep them at work to munch on during the day, probably way more than I should. Simple, tasty, organic. What more could you want?
SPIbelt – As a woman who often runs alone, I find it important to have my phone on me at all times. I use my SPIbelt for every run to carry my iPhone 6, keys, inhaler, and sometimes cash or credit cards. This thing is small, but mighty! It stretches, lays flat, and honestly — I forget I’m wearing it frequently. In fact I’ve come back from runs, taken off every other piece of running gear and forgotten it was on until I laid down on the couch.
Nathan Handheld Water Bottle – I hate carrying water, but I guzzle it like I’ve been stuck in the Sahara during summer training. This is the best thing I’ve found that works for me (not a fan of vests or belts) when I’m unable to locate water fountains, which is basically every run in Buffalo. I like the little pocket to stuff my chews and keys especially!
CEP Compression Socks – I’ve tried various brands of compression gear — 2XU, Zensah, Saucony, Pro Compression — CEP was the first brand I tried and the one I swear by. I find that it’s the perfect combination of tight and supportive, but it also lasts. Sure it’s more expensive than other brands (you won’t find 40% off every day!) but there’s a reason for that. When you socks come with instructions to assist with putting them on, there’s a reason.
Saucony Zealot Sneaker – Sadly, my favorite sneaker was discontinued by Saucony, the Virrata. I stocked up on the Virrata when I found out, but got a pair of Zealots with the 26 Strong program and realized I love them, too! I was used to running in 0mm drop, but the 4mm with a little stiffer sole actually worked well during marathon training.