Essential Running Gear (Giveaway)

I have been getting a lot of questions lately about my favorite running gear and I realized that I have never posted it here!  I have written an entire running survey but never gear focused.  After my awesome long run on Sunday I have been on a runner’s high ever since so I thought this week was as good as any :)


Essential Running Gear


1.  Garmin Forerunner 305

Garmin Forerunner 305


I got my Garmin as a Christmas gift two years ago when I was training for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon after I had Emmie.  I have loved it ever since!  I think it’s super easy to use.  I have realized I am a Garmin “dependent” runner because it keeps me in check.  Without it, I start out too fast and then crash and burn miserably.


2.  Pro Compression Marathon Socks

PRO Compression Marathon Socks


I wrote about my love for my PRO Compression marathon socks.  These have changed my life.  Ok, I am being melodramatic but they have seriously made running a lot easier for me and made my recovery time less and less.  LOVE.  Plus, they run 40% off specials all the time.


3.  Nathan Hand Held

Nathan Hand Held


I bought this Nathan hand held recently and have loved it.  It is a 22ish oz water bottle which is big to a lot of you I know.  However, I am a runner who needs a good amount of hydration while running.  It doesn’t bother me at all while running and the pouch as enough room for my Honey Stingers, iPhone, and key.


4.  Sparkly Soul Inc. Headband

Sparkly Soul Inc.


Last year I won two Sparkly Soul headbands from Victoria and fell in love.  Every headband I had tried before these either slipped or gave me a headache.  I was skeptically when the company said they did neither but the sparkles attracted my attention.  Once I tried them out I was sold.  These headbands have staid put during the Go! St. Louis Half, the Rock’N’Roll Savannah Half, multiple yoga inversions, volunteering at the hospital (hence the above pic) and so much more.  On top of that, the company interacts SO MUCH on social media and is always positive and friendly.  LOVE.  I need one in every color.  Immediately.  You can find Sparkly Soul on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too.


AND because I love Sparkly Soul so much and they love the readers of Food, Fitness, and Family they are giving away a headband of the winner’s choosing to one lucky reader!  WEE!!  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Sparkly on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What is your “go to” favorite piece of running gear?

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Disclaimer: I did receive a free Sparkly Soul Inc. headband to review.  However, I LOVE these headbands and all opinions are 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided.

Picking Running Shoes

Training for a half-marathon means logging quite a few miles per week either on the road or the treadmill.  Choosing gear that is right for you is an important part of the training process.  Choosing proper gear can make your runs more enjoyable as well as decrease your chances of injury.  A solid pair of running shoes tops my list of important gear 😉



There are several different kinds of running shoes to choose from, but some of the main ones are:

  • Cushioning
  • Stability
  • Motion Control
  • Minimalist


The kind of shoe you choose depends on a couple of things.  First, you need to know your foot shape in terms of your foot arch.  Personally, I have semi-high arches.  You should also know how you run.  Common ways your foot lands/moves are neutral, under-pronation, and over-pronation.  There are simple tests you can do at home to determine both of these things, however, my advice is to go to a specialty running store and get fitted properly for your shoes.


Back in September, Chris and I went to the Texas Running Company store in Austin, TX to both get fitted for new running shoes.  It was by far one of the coolest things ever.


They put us both on treadmills and had us run (well I jogged since I was 8 months pregnant) while they recorded how our feet moved.  They were able to determine that both Chris and I land neutrally on our right feet but pronate our left.  Therefore, a stability running shoe was recommended for both of us.  We settled with the Brooks Adrenalines.


Hers and His (notice the size difference …)

I honestly have never been happier with running shoes!  I am on my second pair of Adrenalines and ran my last 1/2 marathon in them and will do so again for the Go! St. Louis!  I will be on the look-out for my newest pair as soon as I finish the race because I will have put enough wear and tear on this pair!  It is often recommended that you replace your shoes every 300-500 miles or every 6 months.  I totally agree with this … but I also think you should listen to your body!  My knees tell me when it’s to start breaking in a new pair 😉  Happy running!

Edited to add: For anyone who doesn’t have a specialty running store near them, Runner’s World has an awesome online shoe finder to help you try to find the right pair for you.  You can find it here.

How often do you replace your running shoes?  Have you ever had how you run analyzed?