Summer training is in full swing and new runners are lacing up to log those miles. While it’s true that you might “just need a pair of running shoes” to run, these are the must have items for running that you’ll need too. When I run, I need everything that I’m running with to be perfect. If something is causing friction or I’m unprepared for unexpected weather, it can quickly ruin my run. I like to combat any issue before it arises. I carry a running bag with everything I need in it. It doesn’t matter if I’m traveling across the country to a race or just hitting the trail near my house. This bag stays by my side if I’m planning to run.
I’m sharing all of my secret tools that I keep in my bag to stay prepared. This list is the non-negotiable must have items for running. You can thank me later!
10 Must Have Items for Running
- Body Glide
I don’t even consider running without an application of body glide. My feminine curves and running don’t always mix. By applying a generous layer of Body Glide, I’m preventing any friction that causes chafing. Body Glide’s latest product, the Body Glide Lotion, easily blends into my skin and allows full coverage.
I can’t tell you how many runners forget to apply sunscreen. You’d think it would be a no-brainier, but sometimes you remember by the time it’s too late. I like a sport version that’ll stay put while I run.
- Visor or Hat
Sunglasses don’t always work for me and they fog up easily. If I keep a visor or hat on hand, I’ll always have it even if I forget to grab one when I leave the house. Squinting while running totally sucks. I love the Head Sweats brand of visors. They absorb moisture and let me wear a ponytail.
- Disposable Poncho
You may not want to wear a poncho while running due to overheating, but keeping one handy will help when it starts to rain prior to a race. It’s horrible to be stuck outside getting soaked before a race even begins. You can even use it to sit on too. I buy ponchos in bulk and replace them as needed in my bag.
- Emergency Blanket & Hand Warmers
I love having these handy while waiting for a Winter race to start, and it’s another item that I buy in bulk. The emergency mylar blanket is a great layer that holds heat over your running clothes. You can toss it before the race or run a few miles with it since it’s lightweight. The hand warmers can be stuck in your pockets or gloves for a quick source of warmth.
- Mini First Aid Kit
A mini first aid kit will keep any essentials together for you. Look for one that has Acetametaphin, Ibprofen, band aids and antibiotic ointment. You may need it for little blister or for minor post-run pain prevention. Throw some Immodium in your bag too, just in case a run causes GI issues.
Keep a fuel source in your running bag. Granola bars, Gels or sport beans can stay in your bag until you need them. The quick sugar will come in handy during a long distance run. Looking to make you own? Try my award-winning homemade watermelon running chews recipe!
- Small electronics: Charging Source & Headphones
I keep a pair of headphones in my running bag and a pair on my treadmill at home. That way you never forget a pair! Isn’t that the worse? I also like to keep an extra battery source handy for my phone. I use a lipstick-sized charger when I’m low on phone battery. This was so handy when I ran the marathon last year! My phone didn’t die and I was able to keep snapping photos.
- Feminine Hygiene Products
You never know when you’ll need personal items. I’ve been to a race before and seen female runners ask medical stations for a tampon or pad, only to be turned away. Life happens while running… be prepared.
- Flashlight or Reflective Vest
If running in the early morning or nighttime hours is your thing, then you need to be prepared for cars to see you. It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s an easy layer to add. I keep one of these flashlights in my running bag that has a whistle attached to the end. It’s an extra safety precaution to keep on hand in case I need it.
Don’t forget to replenish your running bag when you use something! Buying in bulk will allow you to replenish any items after a race. You’ll feel so much more confident if you start a run with these must have items for running!
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