When I first started running, this was one of the biggest questions on my mind: what on earth do I “need” when I go running, and what should I carry with me? Through training and experimentation I’ve discovered what works best for me. This, of course, will vary for everyone based on multiple factors: what distance you’re running, where/when you’re running, and what you personally need. I’ve gone through many things and switched it up over the years.
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I know a lot of people like to travel light. I’m not really one of those people. I’d rather “be prepared” than find myself without something that I might need. That’s true for regular traveling, but running as well. So that being said, here’s what I have on hand for my longer races:
Water Bottle Belt
In order to hold the things I need, I need some place to put it! I used to run with a belt and water bottle separately, but I’ve since decided to use a belt that has bottles attached. I’ve experimented with lots of the options out there – FlipBelt, SPI Belt, Armpocket, RooSport, fitletic – and while they all have their pros and cons, I ultimately found that I preferred the belts with bottles attached.
I have this one with 4 bottles. People have laughed at me for carrying “so many” water bottles, but the joke is on them because it works great for me. Overall it holds 32 oz of liquid but because it’s spread out through my waist it doesn’t feel too heavy. I fill three of the bottles with water and one with Nuun for electrolytes. It fits my phone, keys, ID, and fuel. It’s great for my half marathons and we’ll see how it does for the full.
For shorter runs I carry a belt with 2 bottles that hold a total of 20 oz. I don’t always drink it all (if I’m doing a 5k for instance) but I much prefer having water whenever I want it rather than waiting to see if/when the water stops are.
For longer races I need some fuel to keep going. There are tons of types out there, and you should probably try a bunch of them out to see what works best for you! Gu gel is one of the most popular, and on the longer Disney races like the half marathon and the marathon they will actually give out gu. But I really don’t like the texture of the gel, so for me I’ve found that Clif Shot Bloks are best. I’ll be carrying a pack of those in my favorite flavor – fruit punch.
For anything longer than a 10k I also have electrolytes on me in the form of Nuun. I’ve found this works well for me and I like the more natural ingredients as opposed to Gatorade or Powerade. I am enjoying the Strawberry Lemonade flavor lately!
Whenever you’re running anywhere, you really should have some sort of ID on you at all times. So I’ll be slipping my license into my belt. Some runners have ID bracelets, which is a good option as well. In addition, I am going to have either my credit card or some cash in my belt. There is the option to purchase food and/or alcoholic beverages after Disney races, and I like to celebrate with a beer! I have If you have a credit card linked to your magic band that’s the easiest way to do it. Of course everyone will need their magic bands since it’s your hotel room key too (provided you’re staying on property, like I am).
My phone is probably one of the most important things I’ll have. When I run I use the Runkeeper app in addition to my watch to check up on my pace and how far I’ve gone. Plus, I’ll use it for photos with the characters along the way. And then when the race is over and I want to meet up with my friends, I’ll have a way to contact them! Since my phone will be getting a lot of use I need to make sure it’s fully charged.
Garmin Forerunner 235
This is my current running watch and my favorite that I have so far. It tracks a lot of daily things like steps and heart rate, but during a run I use the GPS feature to track my distance, time, and pace. It can do a ton of other things too! The battery lasts for a long time. Definitely worth the investment.
One of my best friends got me these wireless bluetooth earbuds from Otium for Christmas and they have been amazing. It’s been much better to run without having the earbuds plugged into my phone and the sound quality is great. Plus they’re affordable! Highly recommend if you’re looking for a new option.
What will you be carrying during your next RunDisney event?