Running a half-marathon is no small feat (just ask any runner out there!). Weeks upon weeks of training are crucial to successfully complete a race injury-free and with a time you’re happy with. Follow YouBeauty staffers Julie Ricevuto and Amy Marturana as we train, interview professionals and address every running concern we can think of to prepare for our very first half-marathon on April 19!
When I started training, I realized if I didn’t have all my bases covered to make long runs more comfortable, I’d never make it through them. So after a little trial and error, I nailed down all the essentials that made the miles go by smoothly. There are even some things I’ve made such a part of my post-run routine, that they’re just as essential to my training as the actual runs themselves.
Check out all of my training essentials, guaranteed to make 10 miles fly by (kind of…). And let us know any ones you’d add yourself in the comments below!
When you’re training for a 13.1-mile race, you’re going to be out running for 90 minutes or more at a time. If you’re like me, you can’t go more than three miles without a sip of water. I honestly don’t think I’d be able to accomplish long runs without the hydration belt. It fits snugly and comfortably around the waist, doesn’t bounce when you run, and if you sip conservatively, it’ll get you nine miles or more.
Keeping up your pace when your energy is tanking is tough. Throw an energy-boosting chew or gel (they even make energy jelly beans, too) in you waistpack or coat pocket for an easy eat-as-you-run snack. These energy chews literally taste like candy, but you don’t have to feel bad about it because you’re running nine miles, damn it. Stick to sugary chews over chocolates — the fat in them can have the opposite effect and slow you down, while sugary carbs literally just amp you up.
Those run-tracking apps are all fine and good, but when you’re training for a race, it’s nice to see your pace and be able to understand what your comfortable pace is and where you’re at when you’re pushing yourself. After doing a ton of research into GPS watches, I landed on this one mostly for its simplicity. It does everything I need: tacks my distance, time, pace, calories, and logs my past runs and keeps track of records (i.e., fastest 5k, longest run). But it isn’t too complicated to use. When I’m running, I don’t want to be fiddling with my gadgets, so the easier and hassle-free, the better.
I’m a baby when it comes to running outside in less than perfect weather, so a reliable pair of gloves is a must-have for me. There’s also nothing more distracting than having a boring song come on, and then having to take off said gloves to fiddle with the touchscreen. The tip of the index finger on these gloves is heat-responsive, so your hands can stay warm while you skip to the next tune.
You may not want to wear makeup when you’re out for a long run, but if you’re running outside, you sure as hell better have SPF on your face. Melanoma and wrinkles are not a good look for anyone, no matter how in shape you are. This Kiehl’s one is my favorite, because it feels almost like a primer it’s so lightweight and non-greasy. It won’t clog your pores, and you can go out and train knowing your skin isn’t going to suffer in the process.
The more miles you run, the more likely you are to experience rubbing, chafing, and just general uncomfortable feelings when it comes to your sweaty skin and fabric. I always run with a tiny tube or tub of something like Vaseline, in case something starts to rub weird. Slather a little petroleum jelly on, and the itching stops. I also use it on my lips throughout my run if they start to feel dry.
My two requirements for a good headband: stops sweat from running into your eyes, and stays put. Any style with silicone bands or beads on the inside will grip onto your hair, lessening the chance it’ll slip off mid run. As an extra bonus, look for one with reflective qualities, especially if your peak running times end up being before the sun rises or after it sets.
Studies have shown that wearing compression material helps increase blood flow and lymphatic flow, delivering more oxygen to the muscles, which can effectively reduce post-workout muscle soreness. There are different grades of compression material recommended for wear during workouts vs. after — these pants are for after. Slip these babies on after a deathly long run to lessen the tenderness you’ll feel over the next few days. Bonus: They also make your ass look great — hello, extra boost of confidence! (Hey, you’re working hard, and anyone walking behind you should be able to see that.)
After every long run, my feet ache more than any other part of my body. So after showering, I soak my feat in epsom salts and warm water. The magnesium helps soothe muscle soreness, and this specific type from Dr. Teal’s also has menthol in it, which is a proven pain reliever. Plus, the lemon and mint scent is refreshing and soothing, especially when you’re sweaty and exhausted.