I love hearing/reading about other runners’ seasonal essentials, so, since we’re entering summer running season, I thought I would share a few of my favorites.
What I’ve Been Wearing:
My Instagram friend Ann is an absolutely amazing runner/yogi. If you’re looking for a comprehensive flexibility/injury prevention yoga routine, her DVD is excellent. She also hosts regular Instagram yoga challenges targeting typical runner hot spots (hips, IT band, calves). I’m a huge fan of her running/yoga apparel too. The designs are so bright and cheerful and the pieces are extremely functional. I basically live in this t-shirt during long stretches of writing/editing.
My new singlet is perfect for summer racing. (I wore it to race last weekend!) The fabric is so lightweight and silky; it keeps me feeling cooler than I would ordinarily feel wearing just a sports bra. Watermelon is my absolute favorite fruit (I’ve been known to eat an entire melon in one sitting), so I had to order this singlet as soon as I saw it in stock. (There’s a donut singlet in the Runners Love Yoga store too!)
I usually have to update my running wardrobe once a year because spandex isn’t very durable. Running apparel only lasts so long before it starts to stretch out and/or wear thin. I caught a pretty sweet sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods last weekend, so I picked up these Nike Pro shorts for $18. I love the color and pattern.
“Pro” tip: I almost always buy my running shorts in the girl’s department, for a few reasons. 1: The patterns and colors are virtually the same as they are for women. 2: The fabric is much stretchier, less compressive, and more comfortable than the fabric used to make women’s shorts. 3: Girl’s shorts are cheaper. 4: Girl’s/women’s sizes often overlap (I find a girl’s large fits most like a women’s x-small and a girl’s x-large fits most like a women’s small).
Lately, I’ve been really into Forever 21’s activewear line. Their inventory is constantly being refreshed, so there’s always at least one new piece I want to order each time I visit the website. The extremely low price point is a huge plus (I refuse to pay more than $30 for workout gear). This bra is only $15, which is actually at the higher end of Forever 21’s price range.
I really like longer, “crop top” style bras, which offer more of an athletic cut (also: more coverage) than typical sports bras. I was really excited when I caught this style before it sold out, because the palm tree print is so unique. I took it for a 5 mile run this week and it performed really well. This style is high impact without too much “squeeze,” if you know what I mean.
What I’ve Been Drinking:
I fell in love with this protein shake a few months ago when I tried the chocolate flavor. It’s now one of my refrigerator essentials. The nutritional profile of this drink is so much better than regular milk, plus I think it tastes better too (like melted ice cream). I finally got my hands on the vanilla flavor and I think I like it even better than the chocolate. I look forward to chugging one of these after a hot, sweaty run. They make an excellent liquid lunch when I have a lot of afternoon writing to plow through.
My home’s tap water reeks of chlorine and is pretty undrinkable without filtration. I used to drink a lot of bottled water but that is expensive and terrible for the environment. So I bought this Soma filtration pitcher and it’s pretty much changed my life.
Most home water filtration systems are plastic based, but Soma’s filters are made of carbon derived from burnt coconut shells. The water moves through the filter really quickly so you don’t have to wait long before you can pour a glass. My tap water is instantly transformed from swimming pool fluid to sparkling clean H20. (It’s great for brewing iced coffee too.)
What I’ve Been Eating:
I love Arctic Zero, but Halo Top takes the cake. I’m absolutely addicted to this stuff. My favorite flavor is chocolate, followed by vanilla bean, followed by lemon cake. (I haven’t tried the strawberry yet because I haven’t seen it in stores and I’m not a huge fan of fruity ice cream flavors.)
Each pint of this stuff contains 28 grams of protein and over 30% of your RDA of calcium and iron. The texture is light and fluffy like mousse, not dense and slushy like many other all natural protein ice creams.
I probably don’t have to explain why this is delicious. I tried the regular Oreo flavor and I thought that was the best ice cream I’d ever tasted until I discovered the golden variety (on sale!) a few weeks later. There are serious Oreo chunks in this stuff, people. Not just a few scattered, wimpy crumbs. We’re talking 7/8ths of a whole damn cookie to be excavated every few square inches. And, as if that weren’t scrumptious enough, there’s also sweet cream frosting swirled throughout.
Tech I’m Loving:
I have a feeling this summer running essential will be useful all year round. Since this summer is shaping up to be extremely hot and humid (it’s only June and I’m already sweating buckets), it’s really useful to be able to plan runs (especially long runs and race workouts) according to the forecast. The OutSider app marries a GPS tracking functionality with an algorithmic weather tool that “scores” any hour of any given day based on how favorable the temperature, humidity, and wind speed will be for outdoor running:
I don’t use OutSider’s GPS feature to track my runs (I’m already satisfied with my Garmin watch and NikePlus app), but it’s nice to plan my workouts according to a mix of different weather variables, so I don’t end up scheduling an especially long or fast effort on a day like yesterday:
I’m sure I will have more summer running essentials to report soon! In the meantime, share some of your favorite summer running essentials with me!