6 Training Essentials From Walmart A Running Coach Actually Swears By
As a running coach, I get a lot of questions about the best gear options available for runners. While a good pair of running shoes is all you need to begin a regime, you won’t get very far without the right accessories or a place to keep your smartphone safe from imminent sweat during a workout (and, yes, there will be a lot of it!). Once you’ve got the right sneakers on your feet, there are so many ways to elevate your practice — from hiring a great coach (hi!) and monitoring your daily progress with a fitness tracker to accelerating recovery by using a foam roller.
Since the health and fitness market is literally flooded with products brands swear you need, it can be hard to find the right running gear options for you. And even more difficult to find them at affordable prices.
To help cut through the clutter and find the best running gear available, I’m sharing a few training essentials that all runners can benefit from — whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or training for your first 5k! Here are 6 training essentials from Walmart that won’t break the bank.
Keep Your Phone Safe & Secure On Solo Runs
One thing I always wear during a run and recommend to other runners is my running belt. While running is a great way to check out, take a break from social media, and quit staring at your smartphone, that doesn’t mean I leave my phone at home when I venture out alone. This EpicGadget™ waterproof running belt can hold any personal items you may need on the go — like your phone, extra hair ties, and a credit card (you can never be too prepared!). With a waterproof zip-up compartment and reflective elements, it’s one thousand times better than stashing your personal items in your sports bra and hoping they don’t fall out.
Monitor Heart Rate & Track GPS
While it’s possible to use alternative methods for tracking your mileage, one gear item on the pricier side that I recommend is an activity monitor with GPS tracking capabilities. This Garmin Vivoactive HR Heart Rate Monitor GPS Smartwatch can monitor your heart rate without a pesky chest trap, and its GPS-enabled built-in sports app can track your mileage and other important running stats like pace and calories burned. It can even measure certain cross training activities like cycling! With up to eight days of battery life and an alert system that keeps you updated with smartphone notifications when paired with your phone, it’s definitely worth the splurge.
Recover Faster Post-Run & Improve Flexibility
Recovery has always been important, but its crucial integration into any running or workout regime is only recently being more widely recognized. This Reehut 2-in-1 Foam Roller can help you recover faster by breaking up scar tissue and removing lactic acid from your muscles to ease tension and soreness. By focusing on recovery, you'll improve your mobility and flexibility, bettering yourself as an athlete in the process.
Fuel Your Run With Sweat-Proof Earbuds
There’s a lot of debate within the running community about whether or not being "plugged" in (listening to music with headphones) during a run is okay. On one hand, music can distract you, preventing you from hearing upcoming cars or traffic around you. On the other, music is a great motivator during a workout. Here’s my take: As long as you are aware of your surroundings and don’t have the volume at an unreasonable level (so that you can hear a car, person, or something else approaching behind you), fueling your run with a little music isn’t a crime. These JVC HAEB75B Ear-Clip Earbuds are engineered for runners and gym-goers, so they’re immune to sweat and won’t slip out of your ears and mess up your pace during a run.
These Socks Let Toes Splay Naturally During Run
Arguably more important than your running sneakers are the socks you wear with them. Cotton socks leave you prone to blisters and uncomfortable bunching, which is why I recommend these lightweight, no-show toe socks by Injinji. The five-toe sleeve design provides a natural fit, making it easier for your toes to splay naturally for more stability comfort during your run. Plus, the sock's flexible and breathable fibers will keep your toes dry and protect you from painful blisters.
A Bright Moisture-Wicking Hat Shields Your Face From Sun
Hats are often an afterthought or simple accessory meant to compliment an outfit, but for runners, hats are an essential piece of equipment. I always wear a hat during a run, both to shield my face from the sun and to protect me from a bad case of runner’s hair— which, believe me, is very real. This bright pink lightweight TrailHeads Women’s Race Day Running Cap will help you stand out to spectators during a race while also keeping the sun and sweat out of your eyes and face. With moisture-wicking material and quick drying mesh construction, you’ll not only stay cool, calm, and collected, but you’ll feel stylish enough to take #alltherunningselfies you desire!
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