FITNESS // HALF MARATHON TRAINING + RUNNING GEAR

running gear - nike - fitness - meg biram

Another snow storm here in DC today, and it’s already affected a majority of the states in the continental US. All of this snow is not making training for Nike Women Half Marathon in April very easy…

Did I mention I’m running that again? I’m running that again. Yesterday I was able to get in 5.2 miles before the rain really started to bother me. It wasn’t raining when I left my condo and I didn’t realize it was going to start raining. My phone said 52 and cloudy so I left for my run with no hat or waterproof gear and about half way through I was too far away so it didn’t really matter how I felt. Oh well, what’s a little rain? Since it was a mild 52 degrees it wasn’t too cold, but my eyes/contacts by the time I got home weren’t too thrilled with me.

If you are going to train outside (which I personally think you should as much as possible if you’re running a race) then you need the right gear to weather the elements. I used to use the weather as an excuse to not run (at all), but now that I’ve ran two seasons in the cold, snow, rain, you name it, I think it’s all just a matter of gear, clothing, and desire. Although, when it’s below 40 I run on a treadmill or just go to yoga. But no matter how cold it is, there are always people running outside. I’m not that crazy. I don’t like cold weather so I prefer to just wait until it warms up a little to run outside.

I just don’t really like running on treadmills very much. They can be good for doing speed intervals, but I still prefer to do that on a track. I think you get a better workout when you run outside and there are variations in weather, pavement, trails, dodging people, etc. I also find if I’m taking a new route, looking around at the scenery helps me not concentrate on the actual running (or discomfort), and by the time I think to look down at my watch I’m further than I thought.

Yesterday in the rain I really wished I had been wearing a hat, otherwise I was fine in the rain. I just pay extra attention to my footing and watching the ground because I don’t want to hit an oil slick or mud and bite it. I’m always on the lookout for holes or bad sidewalks (what me and the Mr. call career-enders) but in the event of rain or snow, I’m extra careful.

RUNNING GEAR:

TrailHeads Goodbye Girl Ponytail Headband — I really don’t like my ears to be cold. Then you get that pain in the inside of your ears and for me that is terribly distracting and painful, so keeping my ears warm is always on the top of my priority list. I don’t have thick hair so I can put my ponytail just about anywhere, but for gals with thick hair they don’t want on the top of their head, this headband with a hole for your ponytail or bun is great!

Tempo Run Cap — Like I said, yesterday while running in the rain, I really wish I had a hat. And when it’s really sunny and sunglasses just aren’t enough a hat is great to have. I also like it so I don’t burn my scalp.

Running Leggings, Adidas by Stella McCartney — For a chic Stella McCartney design these running leggings are actually not too expensive. I love the marble design of course.

Nike GPS Sportwatch — I have this watch and I love it. I love knowing my pace and distance as I’m running. And you can pause it if you are waiting for a light to change at an intersection (which happens a lot around DC). After your run, you just plus the hidden USB into your computer and you can get the rundown (pun intended) of your run.

Frisky Brisk Running Gloves — When it’s really cold you should definitely make sure your hands and feet are warm. These gloves are water-resistant and have those tech tips so you can still use your phone with the gloves on.

Nike LunarGlide Running Shoes — I personally have the LunarGlide 4, these are the 5 but I assume they are similar. I think for any running shoe you absolutely need to go to a running store that will have you run on a treadmill and determine what type of shoe you need depending on your pronation. Try on shoes until you find a pair that obviously fits your foot. I LOVE my LunarGlides. They are so light and comfy.

Nike Hydration Belt — If you are running long distances you might want to get a hydration belt to carry water and whatever type of energy you like while training (I like these Clif Shot Bloks). The last time I trained for the half, the longest I ran before the actual race was 8 miles and I didn’t drink or eat anything and was fine, but I do think running any longer than that it would be a good idea to have water and energy on hand, or maybe a pit stop at your car or something. During the actual half I drank water and ate 2-3 of the shot bloks. I accidentally drank the nuun drink at the first station and did NOT like it. I didn’t realize there was water right after it. I’m sure it’s good for you, but I wasn’t a fan.

SmartWool Women’s PhD Run Light Micro Sock — This is random, but my husband asked me one day to get him some socks for work that “don’t suck.” You can’t really Google “men’s dress socks that don’t suck” or I mean I guess you can, but I took it to twitter and got the response of SmartWool. I didn’t realize they had women’s socks as well, and for cold-weather running I’m sure they’re great because they come so highly recommended by everyone.

Lululemon Run With Grace 1/2 Zip — Warm and sweat-wicking, pocket for your phone, long. Plus if you forget gloves you can fold the sleeves over your hands — genius!

Nike Aeroloft 800 Running Jacket — This running jacket is perfect for when it’s really cold, plus I just think it’s super chic. I also love the big pocket on the back so I wouldn’t have to wear an armband for my phone.

What are some of your cold-weather running gear recommendations? Are you training for anything right now?