Yes, this is all true. But at the same time, there are some little “investments” you can make to improve your running experience.
Here are some accessories that we have tested through the years that we can confidently recommend.
Shoelaces that never get undone
Lock laces are a replacement for your normal shoe laces.
They are better in every way and I cannot believe they are not a standard issue on premium running shoes.
Given the $7.99 list price (and the fact you can get them for cheaper if you get a 2-pack for example) I see no reason for you (or anybody) not trying a pair.
Sunglasses that are stylish, made specifically for running and are ridiculously affordable
We first stumbled upon Goodr sunglasses a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with their quality and value (did I mention they are $25?) that I decided to give a pair as a gift to all the reviewers on the team, that Christmas. They are that good.
What makes the Goodr running-specific sunglasses are things like:
- No Slip construction (they won’t slip off your face, even when sweaty)
- No Bounce (they are snug and light so they won’t bounce with your running)
- All Polarized (all lenses prevent glare, are 100% UVA and UVB resistant)
If this wasn’t enough – and I can’t stop mentioning the $25 price – they come in literally dozens of colours and styles, from a very neutral black, to some outrageous color combinations.
Heart-rate strap that works with everything
We won’t get into the reason why it is important to train with heart rate measurements – just trust us that it is.
You might want a chest heart-rate strap in one of these two situations:
- You run with your phone. It’s great at tracking you with GPS and letting you listen to your favourite podcast, but it can’t track your heart rate
- You run with a GPS running watch and either it does not have wrist-based heart rate tracking or it does, and you don’t find it accurate enough
Your phone uses bluetooth to talk to accessories wirelessly.
Your GPS running watch uses a standard called ANT+.
The Wahoo Tickr can connect both with Bluetooth and ANT+, meaning that you will be able to connect it to your phone and – the day you decide to buy a GPS running watch – it will be able to connect to that too.
Add to this the fact that it costs less than what a strap from Garmin or Polar costs and you have a winner in your hands (or around your chest).
The phone armband strap that is just better
This is another item that I have been using literally for years and I still believe is the absolute best in its category.
The Quad Lock system is comprised of two main parts: a phone case with a special attachment in the back and a lightweight armband to which the phone attaches too.
Why is this better?
First of all, the locking mechanism is easy to put on and off, but is damn tough when locked. Your phone won’t jump up and down. It will be there ready to be used if you need to.
Second – the Quad Lock system is more than an armband: you can find every kind of attachment to then use your phone with your bike, motorbike, car…
The GPS Running Watch that is great for Running
When you start looking into GPS Running Watches, you can get caught up in a race to the latest technology and can end up spending close to $1,000.
This – to me – is frankly absurd. There is a tiny number of athletes that do REALLY need that kind of information – but most of the people that buy these extremely expensive watches do so because they are fascinated with the gadget itself.
Here comes the Garmin Forerunner 45, introduced in 2019 and packing a punch while managing to stay under $200.
The Forerunner 45 will excel at one thing: tracking your running workouts, both in terms of GPS (therefore speed, distances, pace…) and heart-rate (therefore effort, recovery, HR zone training…).
It won’t store your music locally, it won’t track a multi-sport event (see triathlons). Its screen is not comparable to an Apple Watch – but it is legible, clear, and meant to maximise battery life, which is 7 days of stand-by and 14 hours of GPS tracking. Which is a lot.
If you are undecided about what GPS Running Watch to buy, but you want something that you can use for Running Training – get the Forerunner 45. Or you can read up the differences between the forerunner 45 and its siblings in this article.
And you? What are your favourite running accessories? Anything we forgot?