In our tech-saturated culture it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the new gadgets that seem to pop up daily. But there are some runners’ accessories that really rise above the rest – and technology doesn’t always have to mean computerized gear. Check out our list of the top runners’ equipment that technology has made possible.
1. Hydration vests. If you need your hands free and also don’t like the feel of a belt around your waist, hydration vests are a godsend. Lightweight and breathable, they allow you to carry as much as 2 liters of water with you for races without chafing or struggling with bottles. They are also designed to hold snacks, gels and other small supplies you’ll need during long distance running so that you have everything you need for fuel.
2. Compression garments. Compression sleeves can help legs feel fresher over the course of a run by allowing for enhanced circulation throughout blood vessels. Many runners experience improved performance with compression sleeves – they can also support the calf and relieve shin splints.
3. Headlamps. While you might not think about these until you need one, runners’ headlamps make life a lot easier in winter months when daylight is scarce or when starting a race before dawn. Imagine having to carry a flashlight for your whole run, even when you no longer need it – or worse, just not running without daylight. Instead you can use a running headlamp that’s lightweight and can be stored in your pack when not in use.
4. Running watch. A running watch takes the guesswork out of training. You can track your heart rate, measure steps per minute, calories burned and more information, all from a tiny device strapped to your wrist. This can give you valuable insights into the way you train and race and can help you decide on adjustments you need to make for your body and running style.
5. Shoe insoles. Running shoes in general have come a long way, but for those of us who suffer foot pain due to plantar fasciitis or other conditions, extra support is required for a safe and comfortable run. Insoles for running provide the stability and cushioning you need to avoid injury and relieve foot pain.
These are just a few of our top picks for ways technology has developed to enhance the sport of running and make it more comfortable, enjoyable and safe for runners of all types. What are some other kinds of runners’ equipment you find especially helpful for your routine?