Since I’m not personally able to test out any new running gear these days, I thought this was the perfect time to do a series of posts featuring your favorite running gear. A crowd-sourced series of the best running gear from voices other than just mine!
I’m reaching out to all the runners that I know to share their most favorite running gear; it’s interesting because I’m already starting to see repeats (hat tip to Oiselle- ladies love their stuff!)
After I’ve shared all the posts, I hope to do one summary of the most popular items from my most “unscientific” survey. You can read part 1 here; I’m also turning this into a link-up for other bloggers to share their favorites on their blogs, see below to add your post to the link-up!
If you don’t have a blog and are interested in being featured to share your favorites, please let me know!
Today’s post features two awesome runners from the Calhoun Beach Running Club, Sarah and Klara.
“My name is Sarah. I am 22 years old, and I started running in high school. I ran my first marathon nearly three years ago during my junior year of college. I’m about to start training to (hopefully) PR and snag a BQ during my 7th marathon in Chicago in the fall.I have really sensitive skin, and any seam will leave me with painful chafing scars, so it has always been difficult to find gear that looks good and doesn’t chafe.”
Sarah’s Favorite Tank:
Sarah’s favorite running top is the Asics Emma Racerback.
“This tank is light and breathable; the fabric is mesh so it is really efficient at keeping me cool. The bottom half doesn’t ride up, and the top half stays put and doesn’t slip below my sports bra even when it’s soaking wet (I ran the Boston Marathon in a monsoon in this tank, so it’s really been put the test in this regard!)”
Sarah’s favorite sports bra is the Brooks JustRight Racer Sports Bra
“I still haven’t found a sports bra that is ideal for me, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It essentially doesn’t have any seams, so it doesn’t chafe as much as other sports bras I have tried. It’s not very supportive, so this wouldn’t be a good option for women with larger breasts.”
Other favorite running gear of Sarah’s?
“I love the Camelbak Circuit Vest.”
I spent way too long fighting with fuel belts before switching to a vest. The vest holds more water with less bouncing, swooshing, and chafing. Before I moved to Minneapolis almost a year ago, I did all of my long runs in places where there was no or minimal water, so I needed to carry it myself. The vest can hold way more water than a fuel belt (mine can hold 2 liters, enough for a 20 mile run on a hot day). It also has a ton of pockets that can hold many GUs, keys, cards, iPods, headphones, and it even has a waterproof phone pocket to prevent your phone from getting drenched in sweat.
Though I almost never fill it up all the way, there is some bouncing when the bladder is completely full, but after a few big sips I don’t even notice it. You can also suck out all of the air from the bladder so there is no swooshing.
My favorite trick?
On hot days, you can fill it up with ice water to keep your back cool. The vest was a game changer for me back then, and it’s still useful now. I really like it if I’m doing a long run workout and don’t want to stop every few miles for water or if it’s so hot that I need water more often than it’s available. I have found that the straps need frequent readjustment as the pack gets lighter and smaller as I drink the water, which can be annoying.
One last recommendation from Sarah?
I actually bought these during the winter because I was getting migraines and snow blindness from sunlight reflecting off of the snow. They have ended up being perfect for summer as well. They don’t bounce or fall down at all (which I can’t even say for my daily prescription glasses). They also come in tons of fun colors.
I’m Klara, I’m 24 years old and I’ve been running for the past 6 years. I work in marketing for a Total Rewards Consulting Practice during the day, and enjoy running, cooking and teaching fitness classes on the side.I started running in college with the help of one of my best friends, and I impulsively signed up for my first half marathon in 2013 after 2 weeks in Italy while studying abroad. I took the University of Minnesota’s marathon training course (PE 1262) in 2014 and from then on, I was hooked!I’m currently training for a half iron man at the end of July and the California International Marathon in December.When I’m purchasing gear, I usually ask myself if it will work and be comfortable for 20 miles. Not that all my gear makes it to this threshold (and it’s certainly not like I run 20 miles every weekend!), but if the gear fits this criteria, it will be comfortable for virtually all runs and any other activities. I also look for a secure key pocket and space for fuel.
Klara’s Favorite Running Top:
My favorite standard tank is the Lululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback. I’m not nearly as picky about tops as I am about bottoms, but I’ve been lucky to find a few of these off the sale rack over the years. The material is light and wicking, and I like the way that this top fits. It’s not too short or too long, and I like where the neckline falls on me. I have a short torso and many tops are too long or hang too low.
Klara’s Favorite Running Shorts:
Lululemon’s Train Times shorts are my favorite long distance running short for the heat. As someone with thick muscular thighs and knees that turn in (and horribly sensitive skin), inner thigh chafing keeps me out of most running shorts for more than a few miles. The 6” inseam (surprisingly) looks less grannyish than you’d think. The longer length combined with tight fit does not ride up and does not chafe! I wore these for Grandma’s Marathon last year and had no chafing on my lower half. I like the mesh detail on the side, and there is ample pocket space! The fabric is thick enough to be flattering but still wicks sweat and keeps you cool.
My runner up for tight shorts is the Saucony Bullet Tight Short. These have a 4” inseam and hardly ever ride up. I’ve worn them for a couple half marathons. The seams feel bulkier than the Train Times, but I really like the side pockets and zippered pocket on the back.
If shorts aren’t your thing, and inner thigh chafing has been an issue, I’d highly recommend the Lululemon Final Lap Crop. They removed the inner thigh seam altogether! Their Nulux fabric is designed to feel like you aren’t wearing anything and it is smoother than butter. I wore these for last year’s Twin Cities Marathon and had no chafing whatsoever, even with the rain!
I realize that these are a longer pair of crops, but since the fabric is so light, you could wear them on the hottest days of summer and still be fairly comfortable (given the conditions ☺).
Another great pair is the Fast and Free Nulux 7/8 length, but maybe wait until September for these.