Meet the runner has been a great success over the past few years with club members of new and old standing getting to know each other better. Have you ever been reading meet the runner and, after a few moments, you’ve said to yourself,

‘This person and I think alike! We’re on the same wavelength!”’

This new column entitled ‘What’s in my running bag’ goes a bit more in-depth in the hope that it will share some good ideas, answer common questions and spark some debate etc. If you would like to contribute seee the links at the bottom on this email or on the club website.

My running bag is the Under Armour SC30 Backpack. It’s an expensive bag which I bought in the USA last year but well worth the investment. I love it because it’s waterproof, has a compartment for wet clothes and has a sleave nnfor a laptop or book when I’m traveling for work.

Under Armour Bag

My running shoes of choice always come from Adidas, particularly their Adizero range. Adizero running shoes tend to be lightweight, responsive, and low to the ground to maximize performance. They suit runners with high arches more as the shoes tend to run a bit narrow.

For track workouts and races up to a Marathon, I use the Adios or the Sub2 shoes. Sub2 is my favorite shoe lately. They are Adidas’s answer to the world’s fastest running shoe the Vapourfly 4% from Nike. They have bounce owing to the boost material in the sole. If you don’t like this bounce then I also recommend the Adizero Takumo or old Adios without the boost material and would recommend them for up to 5K.

For everyday or faster runs, use the Boston for a neutral foot motion or the Tempo for overpronation. I use the Boston for my everyday shoe for the past 7 years but do keep a pair of heavier shoes like the Ultra Boost for days when I’m feeling sore or sensing a possible oncoming injury.

If you are a new runner or have never got a gait analysis done you should. You can go to any specialty running store or most Elvery’s. Just don’t buy into them selling you the most expensive cushioned Asics shoes in stock.

Adizero Boston

The Boston is a fantastic shoe. They bring out new colors and upgrades twice a year. Very few shops in Dublin stock these but a few specialty running stores will have them.

Adizero Adios

The Adios was my racer of choice for 10K and up before the Sub2 was released. They are more rigid and a bit heavier than the Sub2. They are also around €50 cheaper at the time of writing. Neither are the lightest show available for I love the ride.

Adizero Sub 2

Shoes aside the next most important thing is good socks on race day. I’m aghast when people tell me they wore penny’s socks and wonder why they get blisters. My favorite socks are from new balance. They make fantastic clothes in general. The built-in arch offers support, with reinforced heels and toes and built-in cushioning in the front and rear tabs help to absorb impact wins me over. Never had problems racing in these.

When it comes to spikes I stick with Adidas and typically 9″ or 12″ spikes owing to my clumsiness running downhill.

New Balance Tab Socks

As the adage goes: the shorter the short, the faster the runner. Have yourself looking the part and chasing personal bests with the Nike Men’s 2″ Challenger Short for track and field, cross country and club road racing events. No, I haven’t gone to the dark side. I still think Nike is a somewhat dubious corporate giant that glosses over and possibly even encourages doping, but they make the best shorts on the market.

Nike Men’s 2″ Challenger Short

Having spent a good deal of time in America over the past few years for work I have picked up a more running tops than i know what to do with in outlet stores. The prices are far better than you would get in Ireland. If pushed I’d say Under Armour make the best tshirts and singlets when you take into account value, comfort, and style. I’m a fan of cotton type t-shirts as they can be worn casually also. My wish for 2019 is that race t-shirts go away and races are just cheaper or they think of something better to give away.

When it comes to winter running then I look to Ron Hill for their hats and gloves. During the wet winter nights, it helps to have a few pairs on hand and they are good value. They have a nice selection of jackets also.

Ron Hill Beanie (I love this hat)

For serious runners who like bopping along to music and want to have advanced information about their training. The Forerunner 645 Music has the latest Garmin look with a round watch case and face and replaceable 20mm silicon band. I have been using it for more than six months and I really like it. From a design standpoint, it’s really well designed: both functionally and aesthetically.  There are some quirks to be ironed out still, but the amount of information you get about your runs, the extreme customization of the screens, battery life and the fact that it works as a great 24/7 activity tracker justify its price. If the high price is not an issue, buy this watch and a good pair of earphones like the Jaybird runs.

My watch is silver unfortunately

In my bag going to races, I’ll always carry a resistance band, lacrosse ball, small foam roller, and a yoga block if I think I will have space to loosen out before the race starts. These items are particularly important if driving to the race and sitting in the car. A lacrosse ball is a great buy for anyone with tight hips i.e. all runners.

Bag of torture tools

Nutrition is the next thing after your gear. If you haven’t already come across it, Maurten has been making waves in the world of sports nutrition for a little while with their energy drink mixes, which have been used by some of the fastest marathon runners in the world. Last year they brought out a new product – a gel. Maurten was designed to solve a problem that has dogged runners for many years – how to ingest enough carbohydrate to fuel effectively without suffering GI issues.

Murten Gels

For hydration adding a little something to your water goes a long way. Nuun Energy Electrolytes are easy to carry tablets that dissolve in water with caffeine and B Vitamins for a kick of energy, and electrolytes to help fight muscle cramps and keep you hydrated on-the-run.

Low sugar and 10 tabs per tube

Finally for that post race or pre-race snack I’m a fan of a fulfil bar. If I’m more organised I’ll have made my own with protein powder, dark chocolate and almond butter the night before.