So apart from a post about the gear that I use, which will eventually follow this post at some point I figured I wanted to share about some items that I can't do a workout without them. Obviously, we all have our bikes, goggles, helmets, etc for workouts, but I'm sure there are some things that everyone of us needs for their individual workouts.
I have been chewing this gum during my workouts since my first year of high school track in 1994. Right before I start a training run or bike workout I pop a piece in my mouth. It all started in 1994 for some strange reason when I was running track and I needed something in my mouth. During track meets, I would change the piece of gum before each individual race, so as the season went on and the more qualifying rounds for an event increased, there would be meets where I would go through a full pack of gum on a particular night.
As the years have gone on, I have continued to chew gum during all my workouts. There have actually been days where I have cancelled workouts because I didnt have a piece of gum. Strange, yes. But it works for me. Even during long runs/races, I keep the same piece of gum in my mouth for the entire race. Everyone asks me how I can do that or why I chew gum, and I honestly have no idea. I think it keeps the saliva forming in my mouth, but more importantly, I think it just keeps my mind off of it. Either way, if you see me on the roads, I can guarantee Ill have a piece of Wrigley's in my mouth.
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0
Much like my gum, I cant workout without sunglasses. Even during days when its raining outside or low light, I still need sunglasses. Its not because of the sun or because I think its cool or anything like that, but I just need glasses on my face. I think its because I dont want to make eye contact with anyone while I'm running or I dont want anyone to know if Im struggling on my run. People cant see my eyes hurting if I pass them and so they wont know how I'm doing and I can hide behind my shades. Its definitely a mental thing
Over the years, I have had so many different pairs of glasses. I usually buy a new pair every year. And dont get impressed or anything like that the majority of the time my sunglasses, they are the good old cheapies that I buy at a flea market or street fair. Only recently did I make the splurge and buy 2 pairs of Oakleys, which I now wear on all of my workouts. However, during triathlons, I still use the old cheapies because I dont want them getting scratched in transition or if they fall off somehow
Asics Thermoplois Arm Sleeves XP- these things are sweet
In the winter, these arm sleeves are life saviors. I hate. No, let me say that again, I HATE, sleeves. I cant stand them. I hate long sleeve shirts, jackets, anything. Even in the cold weather, I always roll my sleeves on. Its horrible since I get cold, but I just cant stand sleeves. So these arm sleeves are life saviors. I love them. They have built in mittens in case I want to flip the hand pieces over if my hands get too cold. I dont find them uncomfortable at all and I cant even notice they are on. So I tend to throw on a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt and these arm sleeves. They even have a pocket for gels or keys or anything. They are made of the moisture wicking material so they are great for cold days, but can be worn up to about 50 degrees. I ran my past 2 marathons with these sleeves. They are amazing.
A few months ago, I wouldnt have included shoes on a must have gear list. I've run in most type of shoes and have changed shoes 3 times over the past 24 months so I was never really married to one design. But since I've been running in the Skora Bases for a few months, I realized running in anything else would be a miserably uncomfortable. You can view my post on the Skora's from last month to get a better understanding of how great the shoes are. These shoes are a definite must in my gear
I'm addicted to training with music. Forget the scientific studies that have proven that working out to music boosts athletic performance. I just need something to distract me. I need sound to drown on the pounding of the road or the whistle of my wheels.
Need my tunes-
Most people throw their ipods on and train. I love my mp3 player because it has an FM tuner in it. I think thats so much better than listening to the same music over and over again. I even dont mind listening to radio commercials since it is something different. Granted, I cant listen to commercials for a while, but typical radio commercials only last for about 5 minutes or so, so I can run a little less than a mile in that time so I dont mind that. I highly recommend the Creative Zen mp3 player. Ive used Creative for years so I'm a fan and have some loyalty there. I think the newer ipods have a FM tuner on it, so I might be forced to make a change soon
Regular earbuds dont fit my ears. I have some weird shaped ears and have always used the over the ear headphones. Every type of earbuds always fell out of my ears and it would be so annoying that I would always be fidgeting plugging buds back into my ears.
These are the only buds that stay in my ears
About 3 years ago, I was introduced to Yurbuds. These things are great. They stay in my ears regardless of how sweaty I get. Since I started using Yurbuds, they have come out with some newer versions which definitely help. The cords are now made of Kevlar so they dont get messed up in the rain or sweat, and dont break as easily as other earbuds. So far, these are definitely the earbuds that work best for made. They say they were developed by a triathlete designed to keep from falling out, and I have about 4-5 unopened boxes just in case I lose a pair.
Thats probably the gear that I use the most and cant live without. Most of it is pretty self explanatory, but I definitely see how weird the gum thing is.