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Between early mornings, long runs and sore muscles, training for a race is challenging enough. In addition to the physical and mental prep for race day, loading up with the right gear can help you enjoy the process. Whether you’re an experienced marathoner or preparing for your first 5K, check out these products to make training for a running race easier.
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1. Des baskets pour garder vos pieds heureux
First things first—you gotta have good running shoes. Above all else, they should be comfortable, and the easiest way to get a pair you know are comfy on your feet is to try them on in person.
Your best bet is to head to a specialty running store such as Fleet Feet or Road Runner Sports, and have a professional help you get a feel for different styles of running shoes. It can help to have someone knowledgeable explain how the shoes should feel on your feet, and some of the more technical differences between sneakers.
Short of that, you can order a few pairs from retailers that offer free shipping and returns, such as Zappos, REI and the aforementioned Road Runner Sports. Pro tip: Go up a half size from your usual shoe to make room for inevitable foot swelling during your workouts (and hopefully save your toenails). Some popular models to consider include the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus and Brooks Ghost. The Air Zoom Pegasus come in a regular and extra-wide fit, and reviewers say they offer great support. The Brooks Ghost sneakers are a longtime favorite for many runners, and reviewers say these shoes are ultra comfortable and cushioned.
2. Des chaussettes pour protéger vos pieds
You may not immediately think to wear specialty socks while putting in the miles, but you’ll soon learn that ill-fitting fabric slipping or bunching around your feet can lead to serious discomfort, and even chafing or blisters.
We love the Under Armour Unisex Run Cushion No Show Tab socks for comfort and support while running. Their silky soft fabric makes for a luxurious feel on the feet, and these socks are thicker under the toes, balls of the feet and heels to provide a cushioned but not overly sweaty experience.
Get the Under Armour Unisex Run Cushion No Show Tab socks for $13
3. Traitement des ampoules pour vous aider à guérir sans douleur
Speaking of your feet, it’s possible you’ll experience a blister or two during your training, even with great shoes and socks. But treating blisters quickly and efficiently will let you get back to pounding the pavement in no time.
The Band-Aid Hydro Seal blister bandages are highly reviewed on Amazon with an average of 4.6 stars from more than 8,000 reviews. These bandages come in multiple shapes and sizes so they can comfortably fit on various parts of the feet, and reviewers say they work quickly, within as little as one day, to help ease any pain.
4. Une application pour faciliter l’entraînement croisé
Race plans don’t only consist of putting miles in week after week—cross-training is an important part of the program. Including other workouts such as strength training, yoga or swimming can help increase your strength, mobility and endurance and even protect you from getting injured.
Our favorite workout app, Nike Training Club, gives you access to strength sessions, HIIT workouts, yoga flows and more for free, with structured programs available should you prefer more guidance.
Get the Nike Training Club app for free
5. Des écouteurs pour vous aider à vous amplifier
Most running coaches will tell you it’s best to focus on your form, breathing and surroundings while logging your miles. But for many people, the right playlist (or podcast) is essential when exercising. And a comfortable pair of workout headphones can make all the difference while getting your sweat on. The Jabra Elite Active 75t are our favorite wireless earbuds for running. Their sound quality, intuitive playback controls and sweatproofing make them great for workouts, and in addition to noise cancellation, these earbuds have a “transparency » mode, which allows you to tune into the world around you.
For a less pricey option, try the JLab Go Air Pop. They may not have as many fancy features as the Elite Active 75t, but for only $20, these earbuds have good sound quality, batteries that last about eight hours and are comfortable to wear—plus, at this price, you won’t care too much if you lose one.
6. Une montre de course pour suivre vos progrès
A watch designed for running can make it easy to track your distance, pace and duration on runs. The Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is our running watch of choice. It’s easy to set up and use, comfortable to wear and has some smartwatch features such as text and phone notifications. With this watch, you can track and sync your workouts, download music right to your wrist and record other workouts such as swims or bike rides with ease. For basic running features only, we named the Garmin Forerunner 55 as our best value pick, thanks to its comfortability, ease of use and versatility at a lower price. Both Garmin watches offer free race plans, too, and the ability to load workouts on the watch to follow along.
A word of advice for race day: If you’re trying to meet or beat a goal time, turn off your watch’s automatic mile function and push the manual lap button at each race mile marker—that way, if your GPS signal drops, you’ll still know that you’re on track (well, assuming the race organizers put the markers in the right spots).
7. Un rouleau en mousse pour soulager les muscles endoloris
When you’re ramping up your mileage, it’s essential to properly recover between efforts. Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial rolling, can improve muscle recovery, enhance muscle and joint performance and prevent injury.
The best foam roller we’ve tested is the LuxFit Premium High-Density roller. It’s firm enough to get you the benefits of foam rolling, but not to the point where using it is painful.
For another option to help roll your way to recovery, try a roller stick. These handheld devices are smaller and denser than traditional foam rollers, making them easy to take on the go, and are used by manually rolling them over your muscles (like a rolling pin). One highly rated option is the Idson muscle roller stick on Amazon, which has a 4.5-star rating and more than 21,000 reviews. Reviewers say this roller is easy to use and even improved their recovery times.
8. Un pistolet de massage pour améliorer votre récupération
Take your self-myofascial release to the next level with a massage gun. Not only does using one feel amazing, but like foam rolling, a massage gun can help improve your muscle recovery. The best massage gun you can get is the Therabody Theragun Elite. It features an ergonomic handle and five attachments and five speed settings, so you can customize your massage however you see fit. Optionally, it can connect with the Therabody app, which offers guided sessions synced to your massage gun for those who need some direction.
We also named the Vybe Pro Percussion Massage Gun our best value pick. It comes with eight attachments and nine speed settings to get you any sensation you crave. It’s also larger and heavier than the Theragun, so take that into consideration before you make your purchase.
9. Un sac de taille pour contenir vos affaires essentielles
When you get up there in terms of distance, getting a running belt to hold your phone, food or other necessary items can keep you comfortable on your trek. The SPIbelt running pack is a highly rated option. This slim pack stretches to fit your phone, keys and more, and is water-resistant to keep your belongings dry on drizzly days (and from your own sweat).
For a pack that doubles as a hydration station, check out the Nathan Peak Trail Mix Plus 2 Waistpack. It includes two 10-ounce water bottles that fit snugly in the pack’s pockets to help you stay hydrated.
10. Chaussettes de compression pour améliorer la circulation sanguine
Take your sock game a step further with a pair of compression socks. These tight, knee-high socks provide gentle pressure that can boost circulation, which may reduce swelling and cramps during long runs or for better recovery. We’ve tested compression socks at Reviewed and love Figs for their comfortable fit while providing 20 to 30 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) of pressure.
11. Sels d’Epsom pour soulager les muscles endoloris
For some relaxation with your recovery, try an Epsom salt bath. A warm bath in general is great for relaxing muscles, and some believe the magnesium in Epsom salt can help improve athletic performance (though this hasn’t been proven to be true).
Get a highly rated Epsom soaking salt and pair it with a bubble bath with the Dr Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt Soaking Solution and Foaming Bath combo pack. This pack has a 4.8-star rating with nearly 4,000 reviews, and satisfied customers say it smells amazing and helps soothe sore muscles instantly.
Get the Dr Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt Soaking Solution and Foaming Bath combo pack from Amazon for $15.99
12. Baume anti-chaleur pour protéger votre peau
One lesser known side effect of upping your running game: chafing from clothes or skin rubbing against itself with every footfall. Protect sensitive spots such as under your arms or between your thighs with Body Glide. It acts as a lubricant to reduce friction on skin. The Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with more than 27,000 reviews. Reviewers say this product works amazingly well, with many runners—including our own staffer—writing they haven’t experienced any chafing since they started using this balm before runs, even in high humidity.
Get the Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm from Amazon starting at $7.99
13. Du carburant pour garder votre énergie
On long runs, you’ll need to pack some snacks to stay properly fueled—typically, you’ll need a calorie boost for every hour of effort. But if busting out a snack pack sounds like a bit much, try an energy gel. These are quick and easy snacks that deliver the calories you need with minimal fumbling during your run.
The GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel is a highly rated option with 4.8 stars and more than 8,000 reviews on Amazon. It comes in flavors such as chocolate, salted caramel, tri-berry and vanilla, or you can get a variety pack with multiple flavors. Reviewers say these gels have helped propel them through races, without any sugar highs or subsequent crashes.
Get the GU Energy Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel, 24-count from Amazon starting at $29.95
14. Un bandeau absorbant la transpiration
Another unexpected complaint you may discover as a new runner: sweat dripping into your eyes, only to make it worse by attempting to wipe it away with an equally sweaty hand. A headband or sweatband may become your new best friend.
The Dasuta Athletic Headbands are a popular option among runners. They’re thick enough to keep sweat off your face while also holding down hair flyaways. Happy reviewers gave them a 4.4-star rating from more than 9,000 reviews, saying these headbands are comfortable and great for wicking away moisture, and their lightweight fabric keeps the head cool during hot workouts.
Get the Dasuta Women’s Yoga Sport Athletic Headband, 10-count from Amazon for $15.99
15. Des vêtements pour vous garder au sec et à l’aise
When it comes to workout clothes, you want sweat-wicking fabrics to keep you comfortable—think lightweight clothes made of spandex and nylon. Not only will this material keep you from feeling swampy, it can also cut way down on the potential for chafing.
For tops, one popular option is the Under Armour Tech 2.0 tee, available in men’s sizes XS to 5XL and women’s sizes XS to 2XL. Reviewers say this shirt is lightweight and keeps you dry during sweaty workouts—a great basic that will last.
For those who need a supportive sports bra to get you through your runs, consider the Athleta Ultimate Bra. This bra comes in two cup sizes to fit from A to DD+ and sizes XXS to 3X for bands sizes from 30 to 44. Reviewers say they love this bra for running and HIIT workouts, finding it supportive and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.