As a detail-oriented runner, I can be counted on to have pretty much any running supply in my running bag. Need a bandaid? I have four sizes. Hungry? I have a veritable smorgasbord tucked into the pockets of my running bag. I often get questions about my running bag essentials – what do I pack and why? Here it is…the lowdown on what’s in the bag.
Starting from the top, folded pink item, and clockwise:
- Pink Saucony Run Lux I shorts – I always have a spare pair of shorts with me. You never know when you might have an incident or might find the shorts you’re wearing unsatisfactory. In the winter I carry a spare pair of tights.
- Old race shirt – I keep a spare shirt in my bag for much the same reason as I keep spare shorts. You just never know. I also like to be able to switch shirts after a long, sweaty run. Having a clean shirt, even if it doesn’t match my outfit, makes me feel a bit more presentable at the bagel shop or grocery store post-run.
- Nike Element Half Zip – The weather, and air conditioning, in Connecticut can be unpredictable. Sometimes the bagel shop, my favorite post-long run location, is polar ice cap cold. Sweat + high A/C = freezing runner. I’m prepared with a long sleeve shirt. I love the Nike Element Half Zip so much that I reviewed it in a gear review. Check it out.
- Super special little flower bag, described in detail below.
- PowerBar Energy Bites in the oatmeal cookie flavor – I am hungry pretty much all the time and anyone who has raced with me will testify that if I don’t get food about 3 minutes after crossing the finish line of a long race I get super cranky. It’s best to have food on hand at all times. I love these little bites. They are tasty, they aren’t harmed by high heat or freezing cold, and they stay fresh for a long time. I don’t like chocolate (I know, I know) or peanut butter, so it’s hard for me to find something I like. When I do, I get a lot of it. I can be found with my PowerBar bites in my running bag. There are also some Sport Beans in there somewhere – at least two flavors.
- Band-Aid brand blister band aids – Best thing ever! I love these band aids. They are specially made for blisters with a cushy pad and super sticky adhesive. The bandage stays on for days of normal use, or about 10 miles in really sweaty conditions. They really seem to heal blisters faster. I love them. I keep the finger/toe variety, the regular variety, a safety pin, alcohol wipes, and a nail trimmer on hand at all times. You never know when a blister might turn ugly, or when a rock might jump in front of a toenail. I like to be prepared with my foot care staples.
In the pockets:
- Car key
- Burt’s Bees lip balm - I like the mango variety.
- Trusty levalbuterol inhaler
- Reflective items, Saucony flashing lights, reflective ankle strap, and Cyclops headlamp – You never know when it might be unexpectedly dark. It’s better to have reflective gear on hand than to need it and not have it. It’s worth note that I really love my Cyclops headlamp. The light is bright, the sharp is comfortable, and the lamp is adjustable in terms of direction, so runners can adjust the light to just the right location.
Note: The bag is the Lululemon Flow and Go Tote.
Little flower bag:
In my little flower bag, I keep most of my cosmetic items. It holds the following:
- Neutrogena Deep Clean Sport individual face wipes – Great for cleaning up after sweaty runs. They also work great for removing mud from the legs after trail runs.
- BodyGlide – Just say no to chafing!
- No Ad sport sunscreen SPF 30 – No Ad is my favorite sunscreen brand. It’s cheap, it lasts a long time, it smells nice, and it doesn’t make me itch like many other sunscreens.
- Tiny bag with bobby pins, pony tail holders, and the like
- Mini spray on Neosporin – You never know when you’ll need it. I routinely scratch up my legs with sticks and rocks on trail runs. For particularly nasty ones, a spritz of this makes me feel better.
- Immodium caplets – Self explanatory. I also have cold medicine and ibuprofen.
- More band aids
These are the items I consider essential enough to carry with me to every run. They’re my favorites, and the products I trust in my times of need. Consider your curiosity satisfied.