Garmin Forerunner 220
I trained for and ran 4 marathons with my Garmin Forerunner 305 and I LOVED it. Sadly, it didn’t love running anymore and would take ages to find satellites, became slightly erratic and had a terrible battery life. I actually threw it in the bin in Berlin after the Berlin Marathon.
When Watch Shop got in touch asking if I’d like to choose a watch from their vast collection, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to replace my Grandpa Garmin with a snazzy new purple one- the Garmin Forerunner 220. It seems to have signal all the time which is an absolute revelation (I can actually start running as soon as I leave the house).
This lightweight beauty is easy to use (even for this technophobe) with proper buttons (touch screen watches and I do not get on!), with options to see pace, time, distance (both miles & kilometres) lap time (you set the lap distance- great for speedwork) it does everything I need it to. Plus you can hook up a heart rate monitor or foot pod if you’re using stride or heart rate training. There’s also the option to set workouts using your Garmin Connect or a manual training plan with prompts for pre-determined targets such as pace, heart rate or distance! Pretty cool.
There’s a 10 hour GPS battery according to the manufacturers, however the watch goes into sleep mode if you stop for a certain amount of time to save battery- perfect for people who get back from a run, throw their watch off and forget about it until their next run!
For the most in-depth review of the Garmin Forerunner 220 you will EVER read- check out DC rainmaker’s blog. Seriously, any watch you’re thinking about, he has a review.
They’re currently on sale for £143 on watchshop.com – highly recommended.
Adidas Ultra Boosts
Another tried and tested old favourite, my Adidas Boost have got an upgrade in the form of purple Ultra Boost (I can see a colour theme emerging for the Chicago Marathon!). To avoid over wearing the colourful pair I’ll be wearing on race day, I’ve also got a pair in black to wear for a number of training runs, especially muddy ones.
I love the springiness and comfort of Adidas Ultra boost but know they aren’t supportive enough for everyone to run long distances in. The knitted upper provides a sock like fit, moving as your foot moves, with the support sitting outside of the shoe on the mid-foot and back.
The waffle tread, and signature ‘boost’ bounce creates a comfortable, stable shoe that I can wear for miles and miles.
If you do need a more supportive shoe for long runs, I really recommend an Ultra Boost for your shorter distance training runs.
I hate my hair sometimes- and keeping it out of my way while I run is a constant battle. Pony, plait, bun, down… I was recently sent some new hairbands to try out, and much to my surprise, really liked them. They come in a variety of widths, and have a non-slip band underneath them to prevent them falling backwards. I have a weird issue with ears and always wear hairbands over my ears to prevent them sticking out, which can be quite painful- these were comfortable laying on top of my ears even for a 13 mile run. They run quite big for my small head which was actually a bonus as I didn’t get a post-run headache of any sort.
I’m obsessed with mesh right now. I bought some amazing crop leggings from Fabletics that have mesh cut out bits over the upper thighs.
I also got some pretty awesome long leggings from Lululemon where the whole back panel from thigh down is mesh. Perfect for this weather providing breathability but coverage- I actually wore these during my very wet 13 miler on Sunday. (I can’t find these online yet, but similar here!)
Strategic Water Breaks
For some reason I am not loving running with my hydration pack at the moment, I feel so slow and clunky with it on. During my runs I am taking a water bottle with me for my warm up mile, hiding it somewhere sneaky, then lapping back past it after a few miles. On Sunday’s run I made a pit stop at Sainsbury’s for water and Haribo around mile 8! I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do for Chicago but with water stops every mile, I may just rely on the aid stations or give Tom a bottle filled with water incase I change my mind!
What are your running essentials? Do you have a favourite watch type or trainer that you rely on?