The Gear Post

TGIF. This week has gone by verrry slowly for me – bring on the weekend! Last night, my coach assigned the “beast” a.k.a. an 8 mile tempo run in Central Park. The run consists of two continuous 4 mile loops – the first loop at marathon pace, the second loop at 10-15 seconds per mile faster than MP. The tough thing about this workout is that it’s easy to go out too fast. Marathon pace even feels comfortable…at first. But then you’ve gotta drop the pace for the second part and run negative splits. That’s when things get difficult. I’ve done this workout 3 other times this year and it’s neat being able to track and compare my performance over the course of several months. I definitely recommend doing the same workout every 3 months or so and tracking your progress!

  • 2.60 warm-up
  • 4.09 @ Marathon Pace (7:38, 7:26, 7:50, 7:34, 0:39)
  • 4.07 @ Faster than MP (7:32, 7:14, 7:18, 6:33, 0:27)
  • —> 8.16 miles in 1 hour, 17 seconds (31:10 1st loop, 29:07 2nd loop)
  • 3.75 mile cool-down
  • Total: 14.5 miles

I took the first loop nice and easy and held a mostly conversational pace with my teammate, Krissy. We picked it up on the second loop and were able to negative split by one minute 2 minutes (edit: just realized I negative splitted by TWO minutes, not one – huzzah!). I didn’t feel 100% for this workout – still fatigued from Saturday’s 22 miler, sore from Tuesday’s flu shot, and a bit full from the pb sandwich I scarfed minutes before my warm-up. I wish my splits were a little more consistent (notice that 7:50 3rd mile?), but when all is said and done, this was a good effort. Today I kind of feel like a truck hit me – me thinks 14.5 miles after work is a wee bit much. I’m rockin’ the compression socks and a second cup of coffee with hopes that I’ll feel more revived later today.

In other news…

I receive a lot of comments asking me about my shoes/running gear. Besides shoes, socks, shorts, and a sports bra – I don’t need much to get me out the door. However, I do have some favorites. Read on for the deets!

*Note: all opinions expressed below are my own. I paid for my shoes, compression socks, Garmin, etc etc with my own money. The companies did NOT send me this stuff to review.

The Basics

Shoes- In high school I trained primarily in New Balance, switched to Asics in college, and more recently became a Brooks convert. I love my Brooks Ghost 3’s! They’re lightweight yet durable, and my toes don’t poke holes in the mesh (this was a big issue with my Asics). I wear the Ghosts for everyday training, but I also have a pair of Nike Lunaracers that I use for shorter races. When it comes to running shoes, I do believe that lighter is better (especially when it comes to racing), but I don’t partake in barefoot running. Evidence suggests forefoot strikers (vs. overstriders/rearfoot strikers) are less prone to injury, so I’m trying to focus on staying “light & quick on my feet” while running.

Bottoms- My “go to” shorts are without a doubt, Nike tempo track shorts. They don’t ride up or chafe and they come in a ton of cool colors. However, I also have a pair of really comfy shorts by Pearl Izumi. The key component – pockets! I like to carry keys, metrocard, and cash with me when I run and a pocket is non-negotiable. I usually wear shorts if it’s above 45 degrees, but in the winter I switch to spandex capris or tights. After the marathon I’m treating myself to a fancy schmancy pair of CWX running tights!

Tops- Fortunately (unfortunately?) I am not well endowed, so having enough support from a sports bra has never been a problem. I really like racer back style sports bras – especially those by Nike. Over my sports bra I either wear a dri-fit tank top (if it’s hot) or a tshirt/zip-up if it’s cold. I love my Nike half-zip hoodie with built in hand mitts!

The Extras

Watches- For many years I relied on my Timex ironman “sleek” stop watch (still love it!). Recently I bought a Garmin 110 and it’s been very useful for long runs and out of town training. However, when I’m in a rush and don’t want to wait for satellites to load or I’m running easy, I skip the Garmin and take along my trusty Timex.

 Compression Socks- Over the summer I invested in a pair of CEP compression socks and I’ve been lovin’ them. Totally worth the $60 price tag! I think that my legs recover faster and feel less sore when I wear them (usually after running, not during).

Gus/Fuel Belts- I’m usually pretty minimalistic when it comes to fueling on the running. I rely mainly on the water fountains in Central Park (or a stashed Gatorade on my route). For runs longer than 2 hours I’ll take along a gel – GU espresso love flavor is my favorite!

Finally – check out this Running Times article about the disparity between Women’s and Men’s BQ standards.

What are your thoughts? Are women’s BQ (Boston Marathon Qualifying) Standards too easy? Just right? How should the Boston registration process be handled?

What’s your go-to running gear? Watch, shoes, sports bra, etc?

  • I’m in love with my Nike capris. I have 2 pairs of them. They are so comfy and they never ride or chafe. I love Nike for other things, too (ie: sports bras and much more).

  • I have become a fan of tights/leggings when running. Shorts started getting in the way! I also just bought a new Garmin, but it’s the FR 60 and it uses a foot pod instead of satellites so no waiting! I love it. The foot pod is 100% accurate and fast to connect.

  • Shirley

    I JUST brought a pair of the Nike Tempo Track shorts yesterday and took them for a test run and I LOVE THEM!! They don’t make me chafe at all. Love, love, love.

    I also started wearing compression socks this week but haven’t been on a long run yet so I’ll see how they hold up this weekend.

    I used to wear Underarmor bra (Im also not well endowed) but they also used to make me chafe so I switched to the Ascis Abby Bra and I love it.

  • Jacqui

    You should check out the marathon expo – I wouldn’t be surprised if they had CWX’s there at a discount! I love my CWX tights – when I was visiting in Canada in the dead of winter I was still able to run in -6 degrees + wind/snow with my extra warm (I think they are lined?) CWX tights 🙂

  • Definitely an interesting article – in a way I understand the point about the gap between M and F BQ standards being a little bit too wide (though from the data presented, it seems at the most it would only be 5-10 minutes too wide). But on the other hand, why is it so wrong to allow 40-something percent of Boston runners to be women? Men and women don’t play each other in any other sport, so why should they need to compete with each other to be able to run Boston? To me, that just doesn’t make sense. I think the BAA is best off choosing qualifying times that seem to create a “fair” balance between males and females in Boston.

  • i’m not going to pretend i have the answer to the registration problem for boston but i think the qualifications (at least for my ag) are too easy. granted i say this as a person who has already qualified and am naturally inclined to distance but i wish it had been harder to qualify for me.

    great workout! that is an intense tempo 🙂

  • I have go to shorts – black mesh-ish type from One More Mile (I love that web site). I am actually getting a new pair of these as the ones I have have become too large.

    Since getting a Garmin 305 for my 49th birthday in Sept, I don’t run without it or the heart rate monitor. I love it!!

    I have yet to find a sports bra that I love but need support so keep trying to get the perfect one.

    Shoes are my nemesis. I finally found a pair I loved – Reeboks EZ Runners. Reebok stopped making them and I have been searching ever since. Went to the local running store and they fitted me into a pair of Nike Vomero 5+ – wore way too quickly. Just got my first pair of ASICS and I like them but they are not as light as I would prefer.

    I also run with my Sansa Clip most times. I have had that for many years and absolutely love it.

  • 1. I have three pairs of CW-X tights. They may crush your fallopian tubes, but they make for awesome running.
    2. MAGIC GLOVES. I am going to write a sonnet to them some day. Best gloves you can get, and usually 2/$1 at Wal-Mart.
    3. Seriously, I can’t say enough about CW-X. Absolutely worth the cash.

  • I just put the CEP compression socks on my Christmas list!! And I LOVE LOVe my pearl izumi shorts with the butt pocket. I have two pairs of the same shorts. They are awesome – nice big pocket.

    On the Boston qualifying question. Right now, I’m going to say that I think the women’s time is spot on because I JUST qualified in MAY! The guys’ times seem insanely fast. That being said, I’m sure after I actually run Boston I’ll be all “ooh they should tighten up the times” b/c I’ll already have run it and feel pretty cool. Hhaha – probably not though. I worked my behind off to get my time and will always give props to anyone who runs a marathon in sub 3:40! no matter what Boston says.

  • Love this post! On my xmas list is a garmen and compression socks! Random but I just got injured and am loving reading your posts about your injury and seeing how well you recovered. It is giving me hope! I’m dying without running and it’s only been since Sunday!
    Have a great weekend 🙂

  • WHOA you have a kick. 6:30 last tempo mile??????? after sooooo many miles before it. HOLLERRRRR 🙂 kick it.

    i have those same compression socks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i get cold easily but i am a minimalist when it comes to gear. whatever is closest clothes + sneakers + watch.

  • ooh, now I want some CW-X tights. Even if they are fallopian tube-squishing (per Sarah, lol). My go-to’s are my Brooks Adrenalines, Nike tempo track shorts, the Garmin and my little shoe pocket for keys (ahem) and cash. For recovery, I would be nothing without my compression socks 🙂 For winter I heart my warm asics gloves too – cold hands are the worst!

    P.S. that is a BEASTLY workout. Nice job 🙂

  • Julia

    I also love my Nike capris and Dri-fit tops (tanks, short sleeves and long sleeves alike), and my new Brooks Ghost 3s too!

    I probably shouldn’t have an opinion about Boston, but I do. While the times seem unreachable to me as a new runner, I think it’s pretty clear that for dedicated female runners they are too soft. If it’s going to be something one has to qualify for, then by its nature it needs to exclude people. It clearly isn’t doing enough excluding, based on criteria other than who can click fastest, at this point.

  • Pingback: I Am The Proud Owner Of… « MarathonMaiden's Blog()

  • “Negative splits”…the term gives me shivers. I haven’t heard it since I swam competitively back in the day!

    My running gear is pretty simple, I don’t even have a sports watch, but I want one. I think knowing my times as I’m running would keep me more motivated and focused.

  • leah

    I made the mistake of switching from my beloved sauconys to asics this year and my toe pokes through too!!! I took the first pair back to the store because it had been only 2 weeks but it has happened again..I def going back to saucony! I’m curious what your marathon goal finish time is with all those speedy miles your putting in?

  • My biggest concern is the sports bra issue (thanks, Mom!)-I’ve tried underwires, super tight, front closure, back closure, doubling up, you name it. And what works the best is ones with a WIDE band at the bust (or bottom elastic for all you guys reading haha)-the Nike Pro Sports Bra, which is $28 versus some out there that are $60+!!
    I’m putting compression socks on my Christmas list, but I sincerely doubt I’ll make it that long without them!
    Lastly, to echo Lindsey@Eat, Read, Run, the butt pocket is ESSENTIAL and my favorite location for a pocket, with a zipper of course. Jacqui and I have been searching endlessly for some on sale, and Adidas makes a capris with a nice zippered middle-of-the-back-of-the-butt pocket.

  • Gear? I’m drawing a big blank, here.

    I tend to wear my clothes until they are absolutely threadbare and have consequently been rocking the same basic running clothes since high school. Yes, that includes my sports bras, which I know violates some kind of cardinal rule of boob care, but since mine are small it doesn’t matter.

    My go-to running shorts are these mesh lacrosse shorts that I’ve had since 7th grade. God only knows how they have managed to retain their elasticity. I think part of the reason I can pull this longevity off is that I never, ever put stretchy-type running clothes in the dryer…

    Thanks for the RT link. I am not sick of the Boston qualifying controversy yet and have enjoyed following all the opinions over the drama!

    Which, wow. Was 5.5 years ago.

  • (The 5.5 years ago was supposed to have a * next to it… for how long ago I was in high school.) Sorry to dominate your comment section with all my babbling!

  • I do think there is a huge difference in the mens and womens qualifying times, but that being said, I like the 3:40 time because I feel like I may actually be able to GET there at some point!

  • I’ve actually picked up most of my workout gear at Old Navy! Mostly shorts and sports bras. I mostly wear my old NYRR long-sleeved shirts for fall runs and layer spandex/cotton blend leggings under my shirts when it’s colder out. Those tights you listed look like they might be a good investment for the “extreme winter” we’re supposedly gonna get here in New York…

  • I am so not that hardcore! I throw on a sports bra, t-shirt (or tank) and hit the road. I’m a barefoot runner so mostly I don’t wear shoes but if I need to wear something (rough road, etc) I wear my vibrams…..

  • Sports bra (I mostly wear Nike Pro or New Balance Crop top), shorts (nike pro 3′ or tempo), and a shirt if it’s not summer. For shoes, I rotate between Asics 2150, Landreth, and Speedstars. I race in Lunar Racers, Nike Zoom Lanangs (steeplechase spikes) and am going to wear my NB 507s (cross country) for the first time this weekend. 🙂

    My gut tells me that the BQ should come down to 3:35 for women. If the changed it, we would just run faster. 3:35 is the new 3:40!

  • Hmmm gear…I tend to wear a running cap(keep the sweat out!) or Tifoso sunglasses, mizuno shorts,drymax socks (best ever!) and a running wickable shirt. Mizuno Inspires or Elixirs for shoes.

    As for Boston, I’m tired of the whining they’ll do what they’ll do and we’ll just run faster, no?

  • Pingback: Carbo loading with coconut | The Runner's Kitchen()

  • J

    Hey I am a new reader! Just thought I would leave a comment. Great job on the tempo run! I was thinking about getting the Brooks Ghost 3s because I heard they were good but I hadn’t decided yet. I have always worn asics! I have yet to buy a Garmin, I love my timex ironman. It just works for me but I know that having a garmin would be so handy for long runs!

  • I love talking about running gear and shoes yay!! 🙂

    I used to be an Asics girl (Cumulus for training, DS-Trainers for speed/racing) but they made their heel units too “busy” and it completely changed the feel of the shoe. Right now I’m not tied down to any certain brand-its Brooks Defyance for training, Adidas Tempos for racing 15K to half-marathon, either Saucony Fastwitch or Nike Lunar racers for speed/short races.

    As for gear, my absolute favorite item is the Sugoi Fizz tank-I have probably 5-6 of them. Great fit and a pocket on the back which holds quite a bit (even the CrackBerry if need be!) I even layer these under warmer tops in the winter in case the tops I’m wearing don’t have pockets. Nike also makes a great style of long tank with 2 pockets in the back-I wore one in Chicago. And I’m also a fan of the Nike Pro sports bra.

    As for Boston-I think I said enough on my blog 🙂 That said, I do have to respectfully disagree with the comment that “no matter what they do, we’ll just run faster.” I’d like to think that is the case, but after being injured during not 1, but 2 marathon training cycles, I have learned the hard way that the human body does have limitations.

  • Pingback: Negative Thought Territory | The Runner's Kitchen()

  • Thanks for a wonderful ws sign blog. I was able to get the information and facts that I had been seeking. Thanks once once more!

  • Wonderful data. I’ve bookmarked this site.