Really. Think about it. Runners really are suckers for “stuff”. Think about it: if it’s supposed to make you faster, stronger, injury-free, more entertained, etc; runners will try it.
And it’s not just high tech devices, either (like the newest Garmin Data-collector awesome, but I’ll come back to it). We like tech everything. Technical fabric shirts and shorts. I mean, who wears cotton anymore? Speaking of cotton, do I even need to go there on socks? That could be a whole topic on its own….compression socks, toe socks to match VFF’s and the like, socks that wick sweat away, socks that are thinner and lighter, socks that are thicker for winter but still have wicking properties, it goes on and on…
Shoes that fix any ailment from overpronation, under pronation, cushion shoes, shoes that simulate running with the bare foot.
To refuel, we don’t just drink water. We don’t even just drink Gatorade. We’ve got a three step system to Gatorade (Prime, Perform, Recover…or something like that.) We have Nuun tablets, GU energy gels (which by the way now offer an electrolyte tablet to their lineup I just saw adding the link).
Speaking of hydration and fueling on the go: you have options here too. Google “running water bottle” under the shopping category and you get 5,290 results back. “Running fuel belt” gets you 2800 results. Pick your poison.
It doesn’t stop there: worried about falling out while on the run, get a RoadID. That way EMS knows who to call when you keel over. Needless to say my wife promptly purchase one for me after the broken hip incident.
Wanna know how far and how fast and how hard? There’s a tech gadget for that too. Garmin makes GPS watches, Nike makes an attachment for your iPod, there’s heart rate monitors, foot pods for running treadmills, there are special scales and such to hook up directly with certain devices to let you know body fat %, help figure calories burned, etc.
Running seem like drudgery? Listen to music. In the day of the mp3 and the iPod, never has it been easier to load up a couple hours worth of music and head out on a long run. Then comes the question-what headphones? In the ear, over the ear, or this one-eared option. Have trouble keeping earbuds in? Try these.
Doing a few searches while writing this, I’ve discovered a few new running tech gear items I never knew I needed, such as sport laundry detergent–marketed as the detergent that “keeps high tech fabrics high tech”.
Now; don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying any of this stuff is bad. I use 90% of the things on this list. But for a sport that requires no equipment, there sure is a lot of equipment. Take me for example: no matter how long, far, short, or fast my run is; I have a few requirements.
1. the Garmin. Absolute must have for me. Otherwise I never have a clue how far, long, or fast I was. 2. RoadID. This is a must-use piece of equipment for me came into play after I broke my hip. 3. Ipod + inner ear ear buds. 4. Tech shorts. (or long pants, depending on temparture) Additional Race day requirements: 5. GU gel 6. Racing flats
Curiosity: what can’t you run without?