Thursday, May 30, 2013

Favorite Summer Gear

Now that summer is around the corner, the temps are heating up, and there are weekends full of races! I enjoyed putting together my list of favorite winter and spring gear... so why not keep the tradition going with summer, eh?

1. Visor/Baseball hat
This is a carryover from spring but oh so crucial for summer also. When you're running a race in the morning on some closed streets, you may not have the luxury of shade. Therefore, the only shade you've got, is the one you produce on your head. I like hats better than visors because they keep my hair out of my face and out of the way. Plus, I'm just more of a hat person versus a visor person.

2. (sweat proof) Sunscreen 
Yeah, sunscreen is something I CANNOT live without in the summer. My skin has two shades, pasty white or lobster red. There is no in between. It has been that way since I was a kid and I have learned my lesson over the years. Going out there without sunscreen isn't worth it. Unless, of course, it is sunnier than you thought and you completely forgot. Like my runner sunburn? Tank top and bra marks... keeping it classy as always. My preferred brand is Up & Up (available exclusively at Target) and I think they have a really great continuous spray sunscreen that has kept my skin pasty white the past few years. :)

3. Sports Bra (you don't mind everyone else seeing)
Last year I invested in some nice sports bras (of course, the year before I get pregnant and my boobs change forever). I knew I needed an upgrade and I needed to do a better job of keeping "the girls" in place. It took me awhile to find some that I liked, but when I did, it stuck. I won't name brands here, but I will say that a good sports bra is worth the investment.

4. Comfortable Shorts
This seems like something important yet time and time again I've gone out for runs and regretted my shorts decision only a few miles in. Having your favorite brand and type of shorts will really make those longer runs in the heat of the summer (especially if you're marathon training) more enjoyable (if that's at all possible). I have a few brands and types that are my go-tos that are worth doing laundry for. A good pair of shorts really does make a big difference.

5. Handheld water bottle
During my marathon training way back in 2011, my pace leader taught us that you shouldn't depend on the water stops for all of your water during a race. What if they run out? What if you get cut-off and can't easily get across? I started running with a handheld that summer on the solo mid-week long runs. It got me used to running with something in my hand. During one of the hottest summers on record last year, I wasn't shy to carry that water bottle with me. It came in handy more than a few times. I have had problems with water bottles leaking so I suggest you ask around at your local running group or running store to find out what would work for you. Most are available online through Running Warehouse or your local running or sporting goods store.

6. Death stare for race photographers who try to take a photo of you when you're throwing a huge run tantrum mid-race.

Caption: This is what self-destruction looks like.
This reason is more about what you SHOULDN'T do during a summer race. Talk about one sad runner. And that sports bra is AWFUL (see #3, I'm speaking from experience)... I just wanted an excuse to show this horrible photo from the RNR Half Marathon last year. I was in probably the best shape of my life (having hired a coach to help train me for this race) and completely self destructed when the temps were too hot and things weren't going my way. (Um, who plans a goal race in the middle of the summer when their body historically has not done well in the heat?!) HOWEVER, that training cycle taught me a lot about what I'm capable of doing and pushed me outside my comfort zone. When I'm ready to run another marathon, I know Coach Britt will help me get there. :)


  1. I really need to invest in a good running hat/visor/head band! In the summer, i use running shorts with the liners, a handheld water bottle (by amphipod), and sunscreen! i have a hard time getting it on my back though, so I'm always worried I'm going to burn! Plus it needs to be reapplied after 80 minutes, like that happens! And rule 6 is my favorite here! hah

  2. Running shorts with liners are the best and help keep things breezy on those extra hot days!

  3. Amanda - TooTallFritzMay 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I made a list too but the good news is that it's "kinda" different from yours! :o)

  4. Great minds think alike, that's for sure! I struggled so much in the heat last summer, I'm glad that I'm getting the chance to take it easy this time around. :)

  5. I have the same two skin tones! I always go with the sports sunscreens, since they tend to wear a little longer, but I'd also add a good face sunscreen to this list. I have one that doesn't get too sweaty and run into my eyes, which is pretty important. And speaking of sunburn, visors are just an invitation for a scalp burn (which is AWFUL), so I'm with you on full hats!

    A good sports bra is something I'm having a hard time with :( I tried a new brand last night and it didn't feel right at all, but the ones I have leave major chafe marks. How did you find the right one?

  6. I am not a hot weather runner either, ugh! Love the list ;)

  7. Thanks! I love running in the spring and fall. I'm very much looking forward to the spring 2014 racing season! :)