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What's Worth It?

As I delve deeper and deeper into the world of running, I'm discovering more products than I ever thought possible. Two years ago if you asked me what I need for running, I would have said..."um, sneakers?" (Not even knowing about what kind of support I needed for my over-pronation, gasp!)
I'm learning about the newest items constantly and I find myself wondering what products/ideas are worth the investment. So, I decided to write a post about it and ask you all to give me your input, please! I'll list some items I'm curious about, explain them a bit and give you what I have experienced so far. That's where you come in..if you have experience with any/all of the things mentioned, comment and let me know!

Without further ado....
1) Compression Socks: I have to admit I am most interested in these. The idea is that they can boost blood flow and increase circulation, which helps you to recover faster after you run. Sounds good to me! they work? I've read mixed reviews...some people say wear them running, some suggest wearing them after running. What have you heard? Have you tried them with success?

2) Foam Rolling/"The Stick": It's no secret I'm entangled in a crazy love affair with my foam roller. My arms ache from holding myself up for ages rolling my legs, but I just can't give it up. I credit my roller for eliminating A LOT of pain in my legs. I hear some great things about "The Stick" too--is it only good for  travel or worth it to use in addition to a roller? Thoughts?

3) Road ID: Obviously, this is a great and practical item. Keeping your name and address on you is important in case you have an injury and need help. But has anyone paid the $20 for it? Is there a cheaper way to stay safe that some of you use?

4) Anti-Chafe Gel: Does anything need to be said about the benefits of NOT having your thighs rub together like crazy when you run? After an hour, I definitely need this. Less than that and I never really have any problems. The brand I bought was $9 a stick, though. Do you need to buy a speciality kind for running or have you used things like vaseline as a cheaper alternative?

5) Running Socks: Unless you're an awesome barefoot runner (seriously, I have muchos respect for you guys) you need to run in socks. I had blisters repeatedly until I finally bit the bullet and purchased some more expensive running socks. Ta-da! Problem solved. I really wish I had done this sooner. What are your experiences? Do you wear normal socks with no problems? Or any kind of non-cotton ones? Or did you splurge on special running socks?

My favorite--Pink Under Armour
6) Arm warmers: I'm having a hard time getting behind this idea. If it's cold enough for your arms to be covered...wear a long sleeved shirt. Right? I know conditions can change during a long run/race and so these could be helpful then. me understand, please! Do you put them on at the start of a run and then roll them down afterwards? So they are around your wrists? Betcha didn't know this post was just me being confused, did you?!
Good enough for Kara!

7) Massages after a race: I really want to like this idea. Mostly because I need some proof to give my hubby so I can sign up for a bunch of 1-mile races and start getting massages weekly. However, I have read that massages IMMEDIATELY after a race can be a bad thing. Thoughts? Have you ever had one straight away at the end of a race? Do you think they help you recover faster?

8) Sweat Bands: Not to go all retro on you, but summer is approaching here in Georgia. It's getting hot, and I'm getting sweaty. In the gym I have a towel, I wipe my face, it's all good. Outside? I lift up my shirt and try to wipe my forehead without flashing anyone. Clearly I need to adjust my routine. What do you do? Wrist sweatbands, forehead ones (please someone send me a picture of you wearing one of these) visors, carrying a towel?

So there you have it. I assume you have learned nothing but now have lots of information to give me, right? Please? I'm so excited to get your input so I know what is worth the investment. Also, if there are any running gadgets like this I have left out, tell me! 

There is an awesome Giveaway going on over at Jenn's Adventures so check it out! And one over at Island Style Running too. Hurry over and get your Hawaiian treats from both of them. They're fantastic!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  :)


  1. I bought a stick because my arms were sore from foam rolling, too. I never use it. I don't think it gets as "deep" as the foam roller.

    I got the road ID that's also a shoe pocket. I hope it helps me if there's ever an emergency, but really I just like having a pocket for my key when I'm wearing my pants with no pockets :)

    I always run in Thorlo socks, and my blisters have been all but eliminated since I got them. Socks are WAY more important than people give them credit for!

  2. 1. I've been dying to get compression socks but since they cost an arm and a leg, I have to wait.
    2. I love my Stick, but I don't use it as much as I should to get the full benefits from it. Although it is long, it should be easy to travel with. (It was really hard not making TWSS jokes!)
    3. I WANT!
    4. I used this for a bit, but it never worked long enough on my thighs to last for a 30 min run. I switched to long compression shorts and couldn't be happier!
    5. LOVE Balega socks! Heaven for my feet!
    6. Yeah I don't understand these either.
    7. I think you're supposed to wait like 20 mins or so and then massage. But I could be wrong.
    8. Bondi Bands are supposed to work better. I wear a Brooks visor that I love to pieces and get annoyed when I can't wear it at the gym (well, I could but then I'd get more weird looks than I already receive).

  3. ahhhhhhhh! I just wrote the longest comment ever and it rejected me and then deleted was the idea of it though:

    CEP socks...LOVE
    Sport shield anti chafing stuff: LOVE but may be more expensive? maybe not online though.
    Don't understand the arm sleeves. Massages are ALWAYS important to me but I am not an expert on when they should or should not happen.
    Sunglasses normally are sufficient to help keep the sweat out of my eyes but I have not run in a humid environment in forever!
    I love these Reebok athletic socks and Wright double layer socks that I have!! I think good socks are so important to help take care of our feet :)

  4. Super interesting! If you end up getting compression socks, you'll have to let me know your thoughts...I've seen them pop up a LOT, but I just don't know if they're worth it!

    Also, I'm totally with you on expensive running socks! They're totally, totally worth it!

  5. I have dry-fit socks that I wear for running and I love them, they help with the sweating of your feets lol
    I have been interested in getting a foam roller because I have some knee pain I had overcome and I have been told foam-rolling would help tremendously, how much do they run price-wise? I'm thinking you definitely recommend it!

  6. I have compression socks and shorts and LOVE them, totally worth it. Same with the RoadID, you're really not going to get a better product for cheaper.

    I just started using a foam roller and I'm not entirely convinced about it yet, but we'll see.

    AntiChafe gel is SO worth it. It's good for before and after running. I use Mission Skincare variety and it's saved me from many an uncomfortable experiences.

  7. 1. I don't have compression socks because I'm too cheap, I would love them though...
    2. I have a love affair with my foam roller.
    3. My hubs and I are buying road ids soon- the last race we ran gave us a $2 off coupon.
    4. We use Body Glide (I think it's like $5 or $6)
    5. Only socks I wear are Wright socks- and I've had some for about 10 years- I know that's gross, but they last!
    6. No arm warmers for me...
    7. I got my first massage after my 1/2 this last weekend...actually it wasn't a massage, it was stretching and I LOVED it so much I called the doc (he's a chiropractor) and asked for a reference to someone close to me 9he's too far away) and I'm going to that doc TODAY! i'll let you know how it goes.
    8. no to sweatbands ;) (for me that is)

  8. Great post!!! Here are my thoughts/opinions:
    1. Never tried them but I'd really like to. I've heard great things!
    2. I have "The Stick" and I use it religiously after running. My muscles have been feeling much better since I started.
    3. YES for Road ID. I have one and I will always have one. I've gotten them for my parents too. It's worth the $20 IMO because first responders look first at your wrists. So worth it.
    4. Body Glide is top!
    5. I love running socks. I use the C9 ones from Target though. They seem to work best for me.
    6. I LOVE my arm warmers. I used them at a half in October and it worked so great with the temps. Definitely worth it.
    7. Never gotten a massage after a race... although it'd be awesome!
    8. No sweat band for me!!!

  9. LOL! This is funny, but so true! Luckily since I have been running I already owned arm warmers from bike riding and a foam roller. I love my compression socks because thanks to my dad I have terrible circulation. I don't have a road id, nor do I run with a regular id or a cell phone...sometimes I am so bad a$$. I haven't ever struggled with chaffing to much and my running socks are always in my stocking at Christmas from both my inlaws and my parents! Things I hardly ever need are an ipod and a garmin. Although I own both I rarely use them. Also I need trail running shoes and road shoes...its crazy how much this sport costs us!

  10. Compression socks - I have wondered about this too. I know they're supposed to increase circulation but doesn't it make your legs HOTTT?

    Definitely splurge on running socks.

    And I refuse to wear sweat bands. I'm also in GA and I just use towels or let it fly. :)

  11. 1. I have compression socks that I use for recovery, but I don't really like them for running. Unless you are actually having problems, I think they're just a fun accessory.
    2. Foam rollers are awesome.
    3. You would think that my personal safety would be worth more than $20, but I guess not. Its so stupid not to get one, though!
    4. I would pay any amount for body glide. Its a definite lifesaver (erm, more than #3?)
    5. I will only wear good running socks. I don't even own cotton anymore.
    6. Yeah... I don't really get them either. Maybe if your elbows get really cold when you run?
    7. You should wait at least two hours after a run for a massage. Otherwise the toxins are just moving around your body even more. After 2 hours they are aweseom!
    8. I totally ran my first few races with a sweatband. Loved it. Function + Fashion = Win!

  12. 1. I LOVE my compression socks! So much, that I also bought compression tights! I only wear them after a run and find that my recovery time is greatly improved!
    2. I have a foam roller and the stick. I like both, but find that the foam roller (although more painful!) gives me far greater benefits.
    3. I had a ROAD ID that I bought about 6 years ago. If you divide the $20 over 6 years, it's only about $3/year - not much to pay for my piece of mind!
    4. I use Body Glide & love it! I have used Vaseline which seems to work well but stains my running clothes. And since I pay more for my running clothes then regular clothes, this is not cool!
    5. I will only use double layer running socks. Anything else gives me blisters!
    6. I have arm warmers and like them when it's cool at the start but warms up. Yes, I just push them down.
    7. I prefer a massage a couple days after a race. I find it too painful immediately after.
    6. I have no experience with sweat bands, but I do wear Bondi Bands and find that they not only keep my hair out of my face, but also the sweat.

  13. Lots of new ideas for me to consider. Currently I am a Stick lover and I believe good quality socks are key to foot comfort. The arm sleeves are cute but I dont think I would wear thoughts align with yours on that one for sure. Keep saying I will try the Body Glide...but do we have anything for butt sweat? LOL

  14. This is a phenomenal post--and I'm loving the comments!! I DEFINITELY need to invest in better socks..I've been dealing w/blisters & honestly didn't know there were "special" socks out there!

    Also.. huge THANK YOU for the shout outs and comment love--you're simply faaaaabulous:)

  15. I've been wanting to try compression socks too. I think they'd be great to wear after a long run. Luckily I don't have an issue with chafing, but my hubby uses Body Glide and for sweat I wear a visor with built in sweat-wicking abilities and then just toss it in the wash with my other running gear.

  16. Hey cute girl! Okay... here are my thoughts...
    -The Stick- you need it. It is NOT the same as a roller. It is easier to target certain areas and you have more control over the pressure and basically it is just a different feel. I got both as gifts, worried I wouldn't use one, but I totally use the both. AND love them both. Get it!
    -Compression socks- I want them too. Trying to find a way to justify them currently.
    -Body Glide- don't mess around. It is the BEST. It lasts forever and you will thank yourself later. I always put in on my feet too, all over, before a race and I never get blisters.

  17. Arm warmers- a must have for me. I live in Wisconsin and it is C-O-L-D in the winter. And in the spring, and the fall and sometimes in the summer too. I use them underneath my long sleeve shirts when it is around thirty. They are a godsend because if I get hot (like I know I will) on my run I can always take them off and only have one layer.
    It is also good when it's not chilly enough for long sleeves but you still need to warm up. I like to pair them with short sleeves so when I get hot I don't have to worry about carrying a jacket. They are helpful if you sweat a lot. You cant get sweaty armpit marks if you don't have any fabric there!

    And the number one reason why I like them is because they are cheap and easy to make. I buy cute knee high socks and cut the feet off.
    Voila! Arm warmers, poor college student style!

    I'll be reading about your experiences with compression socks as they have been on my mind too.

  18. Great post!
    1. I have them and use them on long runs. I like them but i can't tell if the benefits are real or in my head.
    2. Omg, a necessity.
    3. Good tool, but I just wear a wrist band pocket thing and put my i.d. in there.
    4. I always wear spandex pants or capris b/c my thighs chaffe so bad, but the summer is coming so i'll have to try it with shorts!
    5. So worth it.
    6. Pretty sure you can just use tube socks that cost like $2
    7. No idea, but I want one.
    8. Bondi Bands or lululemon head band.

  19. i swear by Vaseline for anti-chafe. It works just fine for me!

    Good running socks (as expensive as they may be) are just as important as having proper running shoes. WORTH EVERY PENNY!

  20. Would you be so kind to share any info you have or what you do to help with over pronation? I'm pretty sure I've got it and it's causing my foot problem (that and my bad choice in shoes). Do I just need the gait testing and get new running shoes? Thanks. :)


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