It seems that every time we settle into a running groove and begin to feel unstoppable, something always brings us back to reality. Whether it’s a pain, blister, miserable weather or improper fueling, the most everyday things can bring us to a halt.
Sometimes it’s even the smallest issues that can be the biggest annoyances. Small irritants that seem so insignificant in the beginning gradually build and build, until they become a problem that is very significant. Fortunately, many of the most common running problems can be fixed with just a few changes.
Related: 36 Amazing Resources for Runners
This fourth post in the overcoming running obstacles series is dedicated to solving those small, seemingly insignificant problems before they turn into something larger. Why avoid the issue when there is usually a simple solution? That simple solution is usually as easy as making one small change.
A running accessory or piece of running gear.
Below is your guide to finding the best running gear and accessories to help you overcome obstacles on the run. Whether you’re suffering from blisters, thirst, or pain – we’ve got you covered. These running gear reviews will guide you in finding a product to eliminate your problem!
It’s unrealistic to think that running will always be pain and problem free, but why not do our part to prolong the endorphin bliss on every run. Here is all the essential running gear and equipment you need to know about.
Finding the Right Running Gear and Accessories
Common running problem: Chafing
Any runner who has experienced chafing remembers their first shower afterwards. The burning and stinging of the water on raw skin will forever be engrained in your memory. While chafing seems like a fairly small problem in comparison to injuries or physical danger, it can still be awfully annoying. Here’s what you need to fix it.
Running gear solution: Loose clothing
These loose tank tops are life changing. Rather than sweating away as fabric rubs against your skin, try on of these flowing tops to prevent chafing and overheating.
Common running problem: Dehydration
Hydration is SO important on the run. Whether you’re a new runner or just trying to find the best hydration strategy possible, getting the right gear is essential. Fuel belts may bounce or feel uncomfortable on the run, while some handheld water bottles are too heavy to hold or too small to carry enough water. Here is what you need to fix it.
Running accessory solution: Handheld water bottle
This handheld water bottle has a loop that slips around your hand, allowing it to stay in place while you do absolutely nothing. This water bottle is the perfect size – not too heavy, but not too small either.
Common running problem: Joint pain
Ahhh, joint pain. It’s no surprise that the most common running aches and pains are in the joints, considering all the pounding that goes along with the sport. While there are actually many ways to prevent joint pain, trying to cover it up once you’re already experiencing it can be frustrating. Here’s what you need to know.
Running accessory solution: KT tape
KT Tape can ease nearly any pain. It can be used on your shoulders, back, arms, wrists, knees, IT band, ankles, and so much more. Each box comes with a handy guide that shows you the correct way to tape each joint. Your joints will feel like they’re floating on a cloud with this tape.
Common running problem: Snow or ice
Runner’s sure are tough. We run through wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and ridiculous heat. However, despite our strength, running on slippery surfaces presents a challenge we are unable to conquer without assistance. Lucky for us – there are some running accessories out there to help. Here’s what you need to know.
Running accessory solution: Yaktrax
This is a creative accessory that you strap on to the bottom of your running shoe to provide extra traction on slippery surfaces. It is conveniently designed to prevent changes in your stride, and will allow you to run through any winter weather.
Common running problem: Aching legs
Aching legs are common in new runners and seasoned runners alike. Completing your first mile or your peak week of marathon training can both leave you on the couch attempting to soothe your throbbing muscles. If this is the case for you, check out this piece of running gear that will decrease the pain in your aching legs – without any added work. Here’s what you need to know.
Running gear solution: Compression socks
Compression socks can be worn before, during or after a run. These socks are fitted tightly, in order to slightly compress the calf to promote blood flow to the area. This increased blood flow prevents lactic acid buildup, which may be causing your achiness.
Common running problem: Foot pain
While the legs seem to get most of the attention when we stretch or strength train, our feet are actually the ones taking the brunt of impact on the run. Regardless of whether you’re slow or fast, your feet need to be supported throughout those miles. Unsupportive foot wear will eventually lead to foot pain that could sideline you for good. Here’s what you need to know to prevent it.
Running gear solution: Running shoes
Head to a running store and get fitted for running shoes. It’s so important to find the right style and fit for your feet, as everyone is different. These shoes are a few of the most popular.
Common running problem: GI distress
The fact that runners have no shame in discussing their most personal problems with each other is really a testament to how much the sport brings us together. Nothing is more unsettling than GI distress. When it occurs, there’s often not much you can do to stop it. Preventing GI distress is the key, and everyone’s bodies respond differently. It’ll take some experimenting to discover the types of fuel to which your body responds best – but it’s worth the time. Here are a few options you need to know about.
Running fuel solution: Clif Shot Bloks, Honey Stinger Waffles, Gu Gels
These three options are some of the most popular types of running fuel for good reason. They are very easy to digest, easy to eat on the move, and have a pleasant taste. Experiment with some of these types of running fuel to find what works best for your body.
Common running problem: Feeling unsafe
The sad truth is that you can never be too careful. More and more incidents are occurring to runners alone on the roads than ever before. Regardless of whether you’re male or female, taking preventative measures to ensure you are protected is a must. Luckily, these two accessories can greatly aid in your safety and allow you to run confidently and worry free. Here’s what you need to know.
Running accessory solution: Pepper spray & personal alarm
Both the pepper spray and a personal alarm are small and convenient to carry, yet could save your life. The pepper spray is easy to spray at an intruder if they get too close, and the personal alarm will draw attention to yourself from miles away – and probably scare off your intruder while doing so. Take one or both of these accessories on your run to stay safe and prepared.
Take the time to complete the necessary research and do a little experimenting when you are experiencing a running problem. More often than not, this obstacle can be overcome with just a slight change.