Repeat after us: running is fun.

The weather’s getting warmer, and that means one thing – here come the runners. They’re everywhere!

You might be like, “who are these weirdos who choose to wake up at 5am, wear unflattering short shorts, voluntarily ‘run through the pain’ and are unable to talk about anything other than running?” I get it. I used to be you. Fast forward a few years, and I’m now one of those crazy runners.

I’m not especially speedy by any means, and I probably have crap form, but I actually enjoy going for a nice run! Numerous studies show that running helps clear the mind, reduces stress, calms anxiety, and is overall an excellent mood booster!

If you set realistic expectations, running for fitness can actually be pretty pleasant! Start small, with slower paces and shorter distances. What else helps get you excited? Some new, fun, colorful gear! Here are some of my tried-and-true favorites.

Hit the streets 

To be fair, you don’t NEED many things to start hitting the pavement. The only thing you really need is a good pair of running shoes (and possibly a supportive sports bra…)

I usually run in Saucony sneaks, and sometimes rotate a pair of Brooks brand into the mix. BUT, I get that running shoes are a very personal matter, and what I like may not be best for you. I can easily write a whole post on running sneaks (and who knows – maybe I will!) but in short, you’ll probably need to do some trial and error to see what feels most comfortable. Different sneakers offer varying levels of support and cushioning. Asics is another brand that is a classic.

Regarding sports bras, I recommend a high level support no matter what your size! There will be bouncing and that is not fun. I like this bra by Nike and the Juno by Moving Comfort.

Pack the basics 

I always run with my SPI-belt. It’s the perfect size for a cell phone, credit card, keys, and some cash – all things I carry on me when I run. It’ll even fit some “fuel” – or snacks you can use as a pick-me-up when you need some quick energy.

Get your fuel

Speaking of fuel, I swear by putting a Nuun tablet in my water bottle (my favorite flavor is grape and some Nuun variations even have caffeine). Can’t say enough great things about Nuun. While on a longer run (at least ~45 min. or so), I strongly suggest eating some jelly beans.

Can’t hear you!

Some runners like music for motivation, some runners don’t. I definitely fall into the former group! I’d say go for Bluetooth/wireless headphones… not having a cord get in the way of your stride makes such a difference. I use these sweat-proof bad boys by Beats by Dre. 100% worth the price.

What time is it?

I would not advise investing in a running watch until you’re sure you’re going to stick with this new running kick you’re on… but they can be super helpful. The Garmin Forerunner 235 is the BEST – it is moderately priced, tracks GPS so you can know how fast you’re running, and also tells a pretty accurate heart rate (without a bothersome, chafing-causing chest-strap!)

Foam Roller

I don’t know about you but I don’t have the money or time to get a professional massage every day. So, my trusty foam roller will have to do. It hurts so good and I should be rollin’ WAY more than I currently do!

There you have it! There is so much gear out there for runners and it can be super overwhelming. But, hopefully this little list helps. I will leave you with my favorite running-related motivational quote. “It’s supposed to be hard… the hard is what makes it great.”

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