Kelli, our resident running guru was nice enough to enlighten us with tips on running safety and running gear. In this first post, we talk about running gear for beginners and pros alike. Starting a run with the right gear is important. Not only can the right gear make you look cool, it can also help you stay safe and provide the mental support to help you with those uphill battles.
Kelli grew up in New York and moved to North Carolina by way of Ohio 10 years ago. She moved here to work in Minor League Baseball but has since changed jobs to have a more “normal” work schedule. She likely would not have taken up running had she not changed careers. For Kelli, it has been a pleasant and unexpected side-effect of having more free time. She completed her first half marathon last fall, the Cannonball Half in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is planning two more half marathons at the end of this year (October & December) with a goal of running a full marathon next year. She has also completed several five and ten kilometer runs.
The Comfort Sock: How did you start running?
Kelli: I started seriously running about two and a half years ago. Before that, I basically got on the treadmill to clock my 30 minutes and check that task off my list. There was no enjoyment AT ALL. My mindset changed when I ran a 5K in November of 2015 and I have been hooked ever since! Now I run three times a week when I’m not training for a race, and four to five times a week during training cycles.
Kelli uses earbuds to listen to music while she runs. It makes the experience more enjoyable for her, but she says that runners should always be mindful of their surroundings. She will go into more detail about safety in our next blog post with Kelli.
Kelli uses a running app installed on her smartphone to track her running progress. She says there are lots of great apps available and most are free to use. She also uses a smartphone case that straps to her arm. It keeps her from having to carry her phone and provides protection in inclement weather.
The Comfort Sock: One big hurdle runners have to overcome, metaphorically speaking, is hydration. What do you do to stay hydrated?
Kelli: “I don’t go on a run without some form of hydration, whether that be a handheld water bottle, a hydration belt that can hold up to (4) 7oz water bottles, or a backpack that can hold a few liters of water. All of my hydration options also have a little zipper pouch or pocket that can hold my keys and/or any fuel necessary.”
To stay hydrated, Kelli uses a Nathan Quick Shot Plus Handheld Hydration Pack. The hydration pack with flask and zipper pouch straps easily and comfortably onto your wrist. What Kellie means by fuel is energy in the form of sugar usually to provide additional carbs when needed. Keeping a balanced blood sugar while running is important for your health as well as your performance. Kelli typically uses Jelly Belly Sport Beans. The packs are small and can be easily stored in a zippered pouch for convenience.
The Comfort Sock: What shoes and socks do you recommend for running?
Kelli: “I would suggest that anyone who is taking up running, whether seriously or recreationally, go get fit for sneakers at their local running store. I had been running races for over a year before I got fit and discovered that I was wearing sneakers that were a whole size too small! No wonder I was having foot pain during a training cycle. 😊 Running is a lot more comfortable now!”
Kelli is trying out a new pair of shoes from “On”, an up and coming shoe company, so far she really enjoys her On Cloudsurfer running shoes. But for socks, she almost exclusively wears tab silhouettes like Prince Women’s Tab Athletic Socks, because she likes the extra protection on the heel. These socks also come with a cushioned sole and a comfort toe seam for added comfort.
The Comfort Sock: Kelli, do you have any additional suggestions for runners that are looking for the right gear?
Kelli: “Try different things to see what works for you and your body – whether it’s clothing/equipment, mid-run snacks, or hydration. There are certain socks I wear when running long distances (6+ mi) versus socks I wear on shorter runs.”
Special thanks to Kelli for her advice on running gear. We’ll get some safety tips from her if she can sit down long enough for more questions!