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Whoever said running was free, was a liar.

I mean it is if you want to run around town with your boobs bouncing around, with sore feet and no clue of how you are doing. Yeah then sure it’s FREE

I don’t know about you but I enjoy buying things which are going to aid my running. A new pair of running leggings can make all the difference to my motivation to get out the door. But it is the technology that is found its way in to my life that I really can’t live without.

When I first started running I didn’t use anything to track my progress. I mean there wasn’t much progress if truth be known. Then Nike came out with this thing that went in your shoe and connected to your mobile phone and I was hooked on tracking my mileage and speed etc. It wasn’t until after my first marathon in 2012 though that I bite the bullet and invested in a sports watch…and that is where the true progress started to happen.

So in this post I am going to reveal the technology I use and how it has helped me become a stronger and more confident runner.

1. My Sports Watch – I have been the proud owner of 4 different sports watches over the past 5 years. The first one was a Garmin which was just too advanced for me, I did use it and it did help me improve but I didn’t use all the functions, so in the end I sold it for £50 to a friend who I believe is still using it up until now. I then downgraded and got a much simpler model (not too dissimilar to this one) and it lasted me a good two years or so before dying a death. I then dabbled with this multisport Tom Tom which I just didn’t get on with, so sold this to a friend too, before coming back to Garmin to a watch which I can not fault.

448748b2-6af3-4dac-bbc1-aa6866c7f7db_1.f88b1c4144d543a46a1d815fd858ad4c-1The Garmin Vivo Active. I was looking for a watch that I could use not only for running, but also to monitor my activity levels and to use for activities such as swimming and cycling. This does it all. I love the fact the watch is waterproof which means it can come in the shower with me, and in the pool on holidays…like on my retreat….did I mention I run a retreat each year in Greece?

But most of all I love the stats which this watch gives me. During my runs I can set the watch to show me all kinds of live time data…my current pace is a brilliant prompt to get a move on, and being able to see my progress when I get home and upload the data to my phone, the GPS routes, the stats which show my fastest mile, and the hills I’ve just tackled.

I can’t see a different watch replacing this one (maybe a new one when this one breaks) but I’ve had this for almost two years now and I love everything about it.

2. My Wireless Headphones – I have tested heaps of headphones over the years (one of the perks of being a fitness blogger) I used to be a bit dismissive thinking my apple headphones do the job good enough, but the problem was I was ruining them all the time and I do have issues with wires getting tangled up and earbuds falling out because the wire isn’t slightly long enough.

So this is where wireless headphones came into my life.

My first pair were a cheap pair from Amazon (a bit like these ones) they were OK and convinced me that wireless were the way, but the quality wasn’t great and they only lasted a few months. Then I go the chance to test these badboys…AFTERSHOCKS!!!! Now these sit on the space behind your ear, and someone the sound gets to you…but it also means you can hear traffic and have a chat with someone. They were bloody brilliant, but for £100+ they would have to be right? They lasted me a whole heap of big races and just over a year…I couldn’t quite bring myself to stump up the cash for a second pair and went back to my apple headphones again.

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Until last month that is when I was sent another pair to try (I know, I know) and these ones I love again. Sudio Vasa Bluetooth Wireless Earphones They are from a Swedish company and the quality is epic, they come in a little pink leather case, are easy to set up and the charge lasts forever. At under £70 I think they are reasonable too…and I think they on sale today on Amazon.

I can run without headphones but I often choose to listen to podcasts or audiobooks over longer distances. This stops me from listening to the negative voices in my own head and also is a good way of multitasking in my view. I mean who has time to read right?

3. My GymBoss – Whats a GymBoss I hear you say? Well, I didn’t know until a few months back. I saw this woman in the park one time working out, doing like circuits and I kept hearing this beeping sound, but she didn’t have a sports watch on. When she finished her workout she unclipped this little gadget and I went over and asked her what it was. Its a GymBoss.

download-2It’s a simple bit of kit really, an interval timer. You set it to timed intervals and then it beeps at you to let you know the time has passed. This is great for when you are building up to running because you can do like 1 minute running 1 minute walking and then increase the intervals, but also it is wonderful for High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT). It is a great little motivator, like having a PT in your pocket.

So there you have it.

Yes, you can run without all this stuff, but I really do think that treating yourself to the right equipment shows you are serious about your running and it can really help you to see progress with your training. These are the 3 bits of kit I seriously can’t imagine running without, but you may have your own “Must Haves” like night time lights or a FitBit.

Remember, Christmas is coming, so don’t end up with gifts you don’t want…send some hints to the ones you love…in fact send them this blog if you like.

Or do what I do…buy my own gift!!!!

Look out next week for information about our 2017 Countdown to Christmas Challenge…this will be the 3rd year we have run it and it is always great fun, and a cheap and easy way to test out how my online programmes work. Plus we have prizes…lots of prizes!!!

Please note the links through to Amazon are affiliate links, if you decide to buy any of the items using these links I may get a small fee for recommending them to you. As ever, I always review products honestly and only ever recommend kit or services that I actually love and use. I have not been paid a fee for this blog post

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