“It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” ~ Coco Chanel
Running is probably the only sport out there that doesn't require a whole bunch of expensive "stuff." You need shoes, yes, but other than that you can just hit the road! However, there are a TON of awesome accessories, gadgets and gear that can take your running experiences up a notch.* These are a few of my favorite "must haves" when I hit the road for a run.
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1) RaceReady shorts - I have both regular and compression shorts in this brand and I can't say enough great things about them. The regular shorts are very light weight and don't ride. I do choose to wear the compression shorts if I'm doing distances over 6 miles (that's when the chaffing starts to become a problem). The BEST part about the RaceReady's are the pockets. You can stuff yourself like a pack mule with these things and you hardly notice anything is catching a ride on your bum. I had 6 Gu's, my cellphone (in a plastic baggie), chapstick, and a stick of Body Glide packed into mine for 26.2 miles and didn't feel a thing. Seriously, you could stick a Tea Cup Poodle in a pouch and give him a nice tour of your home town if you fancied. You can get these at www.raceready.com or most local running stores carry them. (psst they come in skirts, too, if that's your thing)

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2) Nathan Shadow Pak - This pak, that non-runners will mock and call a fanny pack, was my first running accesory purchase. I needed to carry my cellphone with me and it wasn't feeling great rubbing against my boob stuffed into my bra. Don't judge, you know you've all done it, too. This pak is small, but it will hold a cellphone and 1 or 2 Gu's. You can also stick your car key in it. I mainly use this on short runs when I'm not wearing a pair of RaceReady's. It feels best for me around my natural waist with the pouch in the small of my back. You can get these at www.nathansports.com or your local running store. 

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3) Nathan Fuel Belt - I just recently bought this because I can't stand carrying a drink in my hand. This belt has been a life saver for runs on a hot day. It took a good bit of getting used to but I don't mind wearing it now. Each bottle holds 10 oz which is plenty of fluids for a short or a long run. I only take in a few ounces every 3 miles, so I could easily do a 20 miler with this belt. Odds are, if you're running more than 20 miles, you'll pass by a store where you can refill the flasks. (Unless you're running in farm land, then just find a generous cow.) I put water in one flask and rum, I mean, Gatorade or nuun, in the other. You can also get the belt with 4 flasks but I wasn't a fan of having bottles surrounding me and jabbing my ribs. Just a warning; non-runners will also mock this item. You can get this at www.nathansports.com or your local running store, as well. 

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4) T2M2R Tech Tee - This one isn't just because I drink the T2M2R "kool-aid." I honestly LOVE this shirt. Most of the time it's dirty from me lounging around in  so I don't get to wear it on my runs. However, when I do wear it, it absorbs sweat, keeps me feeling nice and cool, and it has a bright green logo that makes me feel very visible out on the street! Get this here; right on this page, under the "store" link. You'll not only be stylish, you'll be donating to an awesome cause! 

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5) Garmin 305 - I literally feel naked if I go on a run without my watch. The 305 is one of Garmin's bulkier watches, though I wouldn't say I have large wrists and it fits me just fine. For the price, it's a great watch, easy to use, and it allows me to brag about my runs on the interwebz! My Garmin came from Amazon, they had the best price.

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6) Go Sport ID - OK, I don't HAVE this particular item yet, but I NEED it. No really, I do. Wearing ID is probably the 2nd most important accessory to running (shoes being the first) that you should wear. Currently I have a cheap shoe tag that I got from Team in Training. I have heard far too many stories of people getting hit by cars and literally being knocked out of their shoes. Also, paramedics generally look at arms and wrists before heading south to your feet. Since I'm a mom on a budget (and I've blown it on running gear this year) I have shamlessly been trying to win a Go Sport ID in their online contests, but it's on my Christmas list, too. Please, people, wear some form of ID. You can get your ID bracelet at www.gosportid.com. They have a ton of pretty colors, too!

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7) Body Glide - If you've ever chaffed while running, you know it isn't a good time. I don't care how skinny you are, you're going to chafe at some point. I chaffed in places I didn't even know I had while I was out on my long runs. Invest in Body Glide. It's cheap and doesn't leave you feeling greasy, like Vaseline or other products. I lather it on anywhere a piece of clothing ends or begins. It's also not a bad idea to carry it with you, if you can. Sometimes you need an extra layer! www.bodyglide.com has a store listing of where you can buy their products.

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8) Hat/Bondi Band - There is nothing worse than sweat dripping down your face and into your eyes while you run. I LOVE my moisture wicking hat that I got from TNT, but I also wear a Bondi Band a lot, too. They don't ride up the back of my head ( I have a misshaped head, I think) and they are light weight so you don't even know they are there. For short haired girls, like myself, they keep hair out of your face, too! I even wore mine in the winter and pulled it down over my ears to keep them warm. They have really fun sayings, too. If you're looking for a Bondi Band you can get them at www.bondiband.com. They also sell hats, ponytail hats and more. Or you can contact me for information on how to get one where the proceeds go towards the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (P.S. T2M2R has their very own Bondi Band, too!) **Special thanks to my son, Zachary, for modeling for me and for not being able to read, yet.**

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9) Food - Anytime I can incorporate food into something it makes me happy. My favorite running fuel is Jelly Belly Sport Beans in any flavor, and Gu Chocolate Outrage and Espresso Love. I like to eat the beans before an evening run to give me an extra jolt of energy. The Gu's I take along with me on long runs. I did experiment with the Espresso Love one morning and ate that with a little orange juice and water before a 5 miler and it did the trick! You can get both of these products at pretty much any running store or sports retailer. 

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10) nuun - This is another new product that I just learned about. I got a sample at an Expo and fell in love with it. Gatorade is a little too sugary sweet for me and tends to mess up my stomach, especially on long runs. nuun is very light and refreshing. It has all of the electrolytes in it, without the sugar. All you have to do is add 1 tab to 16oz of water, too! Check them out at www.nuun.com for more info! 

*You do not NEED any of these products to be a runner. These are just some products that I have found to make running more fun, enjoyable and well, fashionable in some cases. Hey, anything to get you out the door, right? 

Leave a comment and tell me about your must have running accessories! 

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,

Holly
Carrie
8/31/2011

My favorite running accesory is a FRIEND! So friend, when we gonna get out there??

If I can't have a friend, I love to have my iphone. I feel safe knowing that I have the ability to call home if need-be, but really I just use it for my tunes!

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Holly
8/31/2011

Carrie - You're supposed to send me your schedule!!! You know I'm always ready to run :)

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nicole
8/31/2011

thanks for the reviews. :)

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Chrissie
8/31/2011

Now I have a new "must have" list!!

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Cristin
8/31/2011

I am with you on the Garmin and the T2M2R tech tee! I also really heart my Under Armour compression shorts. And for a long solo run, I don't leave the house without my iPod Touch.

Awesome reviews sir! Also, I don't know how to tell you this but, you're wrists are looking a little fat lately... :)

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12/14/2012

Ditto on the Garmin 305. That has completely changed the way I run -- it is an amazing tool. I think that after running shoes, shorts, and a shirt, it should the first thing a runner buys. You can know exactly how far you ran and how fast.

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