So I am training for a 5k. Again. This is either the 3rd or 4th time I’ve done so. You see treadmills make me dizzy and I’m not one of those crazy running in snow types — especially last winter when it averaged 0 degrees. Did I mention it snowed *8 months* in the last 12? Anyway, in my several summers of training for a 5k (from the beginning), I’ve learned that their are 5 things that make training for a 5k easier and more enjoyable.

1. A smartphone or iPod touch

There are a few things I use my smartphone for. I have Ease into 5k, a running app that tells me when to run, when to walk (at the beginning), how far I’ve gone, etc. I also use it for my running music. I have a running playlist set up in iTunes, but Pandora also has some great fitness music stations that I’ve also been using.

2. iPhone armband

Obviously if you have a different phone that you will use for music, get one to fit your phone. Since I have a Lifeproof case for my iphone, I had to get a slightly bigger, fancier armband. TOTALLY. worth. it. I love mine.

3. Headphones

I hate the ear buds that come with my iPhones because they hurt my ears. I bought ones that go over my ears and so I don’t have to put them in so far to get them to stay on. Side note — I only wear one ear so that I can hear what’s going on around me.

4. Clothing

Wear whatever is comfortable for you to be able to run in. I’m…well-endowed and a full support sports bra is a must. I actually find the Danskin ones from Walmart to work pretty well. I also like having capris or run skirt/shorts, a t-shirt, and a light exercise coat.

Are speicial workout clothes essential?

Of course not, but if I’m doing something I only marginally like (like running), I want to look good and have pretty clothes to do it. It’s also that whole clothes make the man thing, right? If you want to be perceived as a professional at work, you wear professional clothes. If I want to feel like I’m an athlete, I wear athletic clothes. Wearing them on days I need to fit a workout, reminds me that I am an athlete and I need to exercise.

5. Good shoes

This is probably the only thing that you need to spend money on. If you are just a casual runner, a pair of running shoes from a sporting goods or department store might be okay. But if you are training for a longer race, it might benefit you to go to a running place and get fitted for shoes that match your fit and/gait. While it probably will make runners cringe, I’m still using my shoes from 7-8 years ago. I only have 200 miles or so on them (Can you say casual runner?), but I can feel them starting to break down from age. I’m still hoping they will make it through the summer :).

So what about you? What things do you use when training for a 5k?

Jen S.

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