… or at least they enhance my running experience and I think they’d be good for you, too!
I’m still a novice runner; I actually don’t even truly “run”, I am still doing jogging/walking intervals. Today I ran a 5K route with a jog 6 minutes/walk 1 minute interval. And I have to say, I enjoyed it more than I ever have! Here are the things that I’ve done or added recently that made this the best run to date:
1. Professional Shoe Fitting at Jacksonville Running Company
You know how everybody is like an a**hole because they all have opinions and advice (or something like that)? Well, the one piece of advice that I finally took was to get a professional shoe fitting. I’d been using some old cross trainers and while they basically protected my feet from the elements I did find it a little taxing to run in them.
So I went to Jacksonville Running Company and Bobby, the Training/Events Manager, took the time to learn about my running experience and plans, measured my feet, do a couple of computer/video analyses and let me try on and try out (actually jog with) several pairs of shoes until I had one that was just right. Not only did he walk through all the analysis, he explained everything along the way without making me feel ignorant as a new runner or overwhelmed by information.
I love my shoes I (a great pair of Brooks shoes which are highly rated for heavier men)! Wide enough for my feet but not too loose, good support for my high arches and very stable. As I was at the store there were two other customers who each received the same personal attention as I. This is a great store, great staff, and an extremely valuable service. Highly recommended! While there I also picked up…
2. Yurbuds Sport Earphones
These ingenious “twist-lock” earbuds are designed to stay in your ear and pipe the music right where it should go without letting sweat or moisture in.
Not only are Yurbuds fantastic earphones out of the box, the little twist lock earbud covers easily slip off and slip on to other earbuds. I love that feature because I like to use my iPhone’s earbuds with the mic and remote (great to be able to adjust volume, use Siri or take/end a call while on the bike or on the run). I slip the twist-lock piece on and I get the same benefits as the native Yurbuds headset.
Since I’m hell-bent on using my iPhone, might as well use a great app to track and time my runs…
3. Track with the iMapMyFitness App
The iMapMyFitness app is one of the best apps I’ve found to log and record workouts. I used to use the one by the company with the swoosh logo but it had a couple of shortcomings (only for running, voice feedback is buggy, poor GPS responsiveness). The app is great at recording workouts using GPS tracking (includes linear and elevation measurements), and it works for cycling or running. You can also log swimming workouts, gym workouts, adventure workouts, and so on.
Another great feature is the “stats” view. While you’re running or riding you can view your workout map or you can switch to view a screen of 4 stats (time, speed, and a host of others that you can set, including ones that interact with other devices like ANT+ heart rate monitors).
You can also pre-map routes on the website for the app. And you can connect w/ friends who use the app, and then see them while they’re on their workouts. And… you can post your runs to Facebook and twitter, including a link to the map of your run/ride… So many great features and the app is free! (There’s an advanced, ad-free $1.99 version of the app that I’m going to upgrade to, but the free version is really fantastic and the ads are very unobtrusive. )
Listening to music while on the run or ride is great, but you do need to be aware of what’s going on around you. While the Yurbuds still allow ambient noise, you never know who or what might trip you up on a run, so just in case…
4. Get a Road ID (www.roadid.com)
Road ID is a nice little piece of insurance. For less than $30 you can get a wristband (or dog tag, like I have) that has your name, emergency contact info and even a code that First Responders can use to look up a full personal profile in the event that something happens to you on the trail or road or ocean. RoadID is one of the most professional, engaging, quality service organizations I’ve encountered. They are amazing communicators and really know how to anticipate your questions and make sure that when you buy your ID it’s an effortless and satisfying process.
Go to www.roadID.com today and get one for you and/or a runner, cyclist, swimmer or outdoorsy type that you love. It’s the best money you can spend for a little peace of mind while braving the great outdoors.
So there are 4 things that I think can make your running (or cycling or outdoor activity) a little more comfortable, enjoyable, productive and safe. They’re definitely doing the trick for me so far. If you have any experiences with any of the above to share, my readers and I would love to hear them!
Thanks for listening!