It’s that time of the year again! #runCHAARG is takin’ over + we want you to be as ready as possible for everything in store. Today we are bringing you the #runCHAARG Starter Pack. It is filled with our *must-haves* to take on these cold winter runs [if only we were able to bring a pack to each + every one of you physically ; )].
RUNCHAARG STARTER PACK
Between logging your miles + tracking your progress ++ keeping it all organized in one place, running with us may get a lil’ hectic. If you haven’t been using this already, now’s the time to download the Nike+ Running App! Through your Nike+ account, you’ll be able to log every single mile you run, measure parts of your runs you may never have even thought about before [from elevation to individual pace per mile to calories burned], + even sync to your Nike+ gear. It’s free + extremely easy to set up — for me, it fits perfectly with my Nike+ SportWatch GPS [to track my runs] + Nike+ FuelBand [to track all of my movement].
Whether it’s a thick fleece headband from Bandin’ or a thin one from Owl Be Sweatin’, having a reliable headband is a necessity for any given run. Having pesky fly-aways distracting you + constantly pausing your run for a quick hair fix can mess with your overall pace//quality of your run. Taking the time to find the headband that works for you is worth it. Also, be sure to look out for some fuzzy ear warmers that have a dual function as headbands for those cold//wintery runs.
//KICKS THAT FIT
When you’re getting into regular running, putting aside how far//how long each run is, having just any shoes won’t work. You’ve got to find your fit [following our mantra : )] + know your foot type to see what shoes best suit you. If you’re like me + the arches in your feet are flat, shoes with more support//stability are generally the better choice because the arch needs to be supported. Whatever the weather, it is a good idea to get your feet fitted at your local shoe store if you’re in the market for new kicks. You’d be surprised how many girls run in the wrong shoes — don’t let that girl be you!
//SOCKS WITH SUPPORT
I know this probably sounds pretty strange — why should socks matter? Think about those times you’ve used thin socks. How many holes have they gotten? How many blisters have you gotten? Has there ever been enough support? Socks matter! To me, it’ll always be worth it to buy a good quality pack of socks for an extra dollar to avoid cutting up my heels [this always happens to me]. Look for socks with arch support around the middle + a heel tab for your shoes to rub against!
Running jackets. Running tights. RUNNING gloves [to give your hands some love : )]. Anything + absolutely everything to keep you warm. I know a lot of runners will forever run in shorts because they just *never get cold*. Please, never ever take that as an excuse! Even if you aren’t cold, your body is. Stay tuned for a blog post in the next few weeks for where you can find our favorite cold weather gear.
This is definitely something I’ve noticed runners will overlook a lot of times, but it’s extremely important! For those long runs, you should always have something to carry your essentials [ID, keys, power bars]. You never want to be lost without any identification to help you get back or a phone call to make! I stick to my Nike arm band to hold my keys + ID + phone. Plus, it’s perfect for plugging my headphones into when I’m listening to the CHAARG playlists on 8tracks. ; )
This is obviously for pre//post-runs, but I’ve found these to be really helpful. Having a good cup o’ coffee is known around the running community to give you that extra boost you need when you’re feelin’ a lil’ groggy or hungry, but don’t want to fill up too much before a good run. Also, tea [we love Tiesta Tea!] is a great drink post-run to warm your body back up//clear that scratchy throat that comes with those cold runs. Keep in mind, though, that coffee isn’t the best choice of the two when your throat isn’t feeling so hot. It’s known to make a sore throat worse instead of better!
With all of this running on a daily basis, your diet is bound to change a bit whether you want it to or not. Why? Because your body is going to CRAVE the change! A running diet is all about eating more of the right food + worrying less about intake [although, intake still has importance of course]. This is a diet most people either love or struggle with, but focusing on a more protein//carb-based diet is where it should be. Foods like chicken, turkey, hummus//chickpeas, PB [a CHAARG fav — seriously you need to try these PB recipes ; )], beans, + yogurt can be easily added to part of a meal or substituted into a diet. Foods like whole grains, sweet potatoes, + granola [protein + carbs here!] can be paired with a carb + a fruit//veggie for a filling snack that’ll keep you moving!
//PORTABLE WATER BOTTLE
As most people soon to find out come winter, it’s so hard to stay hydrated throughout the day. Add running to the mix + you’ve got an even bigger problem! Investing in a portable water bottle helped do the trick for me. No matter where I’m going, I take this baby with me + force myself to drink water even if I’m not exactly thirsty. Being hydrated is more than just good for your body’s health; you’ll notice a drastic change in the quality of your runs — for the better!
For as long as I’ve been a runner [almost seven full years — eek!], I thought I’d never be able to run with music. As my runs have gotten longer + I’ve moved on from a high school athlete to a girl in college who runs//cross-trains all on her own. That being said, my running buddies aren’t daily anymore + it gets lonely without something buzzing in my ears constantly! Having that KILLA playlist [after finding myself the perfect headphones first ; )] has gotten me to run the biggest + baddest + longest + FASTEST of runs. Whether it’s Timeflies or Andy Grammer or a good #runCHAARG mix on 8tracks [check our brand new GET MOVING playlist here!], having some upbeat tunes can get you through it all!
Here, girls, is the most important part of it all. If you don’t take anything else from what we’ve thrown out here, take this: a good attitude will get you through it all. Don’t get down on yourself when your pace isn’t what you want it to be. Don’t be upset if you feel too tired to get to your run today. Don’t get discouraged if you indulge in dessert or don’t run as far as you wanted or twist your ankle + can’t get back out for a run for a few days. Always remember that it’s ok. You, alone, are doing more than the majority already just by having the desire to make the most out of your health + happiness. YOU are enough + you will get there. We all start somewhere. We all lead different, but similar paths. ++ Remember, you can always ask for encouragement//motivation from your fellow CHAARG girls, we will lift you up! Keep your head up + keep CHAARGin’ on. You got this.
EVERY POSITIVE THOUGHT PROPELS YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
Amber [@amb.inCHAAARG_], Penn State CHAARG Girl