Where my running ladies?! Wuh wuhhhh. ;) Ok, that was weird. ha. But you’re used to that by now right?!
Running is my favorite form of physical activity, and my favorite distance race to train for is the half marathon (13.1 miles… for anyone who doesn’t know ;) ).
I’ve trained for more than 7 different half marathon races at all different times of the year in Iowa, and I’ve figured out my MUST HAVES for the distance running training and race day.
1. Chamois Butter
Let’s get real for a second. Folks, my butt cheeks and thighs are BFFs. I’m basically a mermaid. But when I run, all the places on my lower body chaffe…It’s unpleasant to say the least.
So before I head out on a run, I slather on some Chamois Butter. This is particularly necessary for the hotter runs (May-September in Iowa…or MOST of the running months). I don’t leave on a long run without it.
If your legs are pals, get yourself some Chamois Butter.
2. Lemon Essential Oil from Young Living
Second thing I can’t live without in my distance running life is Lemon EO.
I only use the BEST essential oils the world has to offer, and that is Young Living EOs. Check out my post “Why Young Living?” for all the reasons why Young Living is the best.
Every time I fill up my camelbak for a long run, I put a couple drops of Lemon EO in the water. There is nothing worse than getting out on the trail on a hot run and sipping water that is plain and luke warm. Lemon EO gives me a little taste of tart and fresh and makes me so much more excited about water than I should be.
Lemon EO can help promote your energy levels, and it keeps me going strong throughout my long miles.
3. Life 9 Probiotic Supplement by Young Living
Let’s get weird again: Raise your hand if you get the runner’s shitz. I see you, boo. Running + My Digestion = hershey squirts, especially in the summertime. I know I’m not the only one. ;)
Well all that changed when I started taking the Life9 Probiotic Supplement from Young Living. Here’s what YL says about Life 9:
Life 9™ is a proprietary, high-potency probiotic that combines 17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains that promotes healthy digestion, supports gut health, and helps maintain normal intestinal function for overall support of a healthy immune system.
I take Life9 every night before I go to bed, and in combination with a healthy diet, I can run easy knowing I won’t have to stop in the weeds every few miles.
4. My CamelBak Hydration Pack
I have a 8-year-old, well used CamelBak Hydration Pack that looks something like this one. It has a 2L bladder (water holder thingy, for those who don’t know the terminology and can’t figure it out using common sense ;) ) and two zippered pockets for holding the essentials.
I can carry my phone, keys, extra chafe cream (I can’t overemphasize how much my legs love each other), peppermint oil, a Ningxia Nitro shot, extra toilet paper (I still plan for the worst even though it’s gotten better thanks to Life 9), and anything else I might need. I can also slip a small rain jacket (one of those that packs into it’s own pocket) under the bottom pocket.
While I wouldn’t necessarily need to carry water for a half-marathon or for any of the distance runs leading up to the race itself, I always feel much more confident and comfortable carrying water with me anytime I get over 5 miles. And in my opinion, anything that can help you feel more confident on a run will only improve your run in general. :)
5. Bluetooth Headphones
I have a cheap pair of bluetooth headphones that I connect to my phone when I’m out on a long run so I can listen to Podcasts and distract myself from how much my legs are tiring or how much sweat has soaked into my headband.
I recommend getting some with hooks that go around your ears so they don’t slip out all the time.
I don’t have a particular brand I recommend, but if I find some I love, I’ll let y’all know.
6. My TomTom Spark 3 GPS Watch
I’ve had my TomTom for over 3 years, and I wear it every day. I wear it as my normal watch, but it’s essential that I have it when I’m out on a run. I love to see how far I go, how fast, how much elevation, my heart rate, etc.
It gives me such a sense of accomplishment to be able to download my race course and stats and see the trends in my pace, distance, or recovery time.
I know there are a ton of GPS watches out there, but I picked TomTom because I can put music on it. I don’t normally use the music on it (mostly because I haven’t found a good pair of bluetooth headphones to connect to my watch), but it’s super nice to have the option to run music from there instead of from my phone.
Of course, I also require a good pair of running shoes and decent socks (I like to use running toe socks so my toes don’t rub together and blister…have I mentioned that many parts of my body are obsessed with each other ;) ), but those 6 things are vital to my distance running success.
What can’t you live without on the run??