The Unexpected Workout Essential Every Runner Should Own


Fitness trends come and go, but for those out there who love a good old-fashioned heart-pumping workout, going for a run is a tried-and-true option. And while one of running's benefits is the fact that you don't need to visit the gym or use bulky contraptions to get your fix, there are a few pieces to invest in that might just up your game. According to the pros, there are some things to look for if you're in the market for must-have running gear — whether you're prepping for a marathon or just trying to be your strongest, healthiest self.

It's fun to try out some of the latest fitness crazes, like HIIT, boxing, and even trampoline workouts — which can all be great options for a cardio-based burn. But if your preferred method of breaking a sweat is running, you're in good company. Chris Tye-Walker, master trainer at Barry's Bootcamp and host of The Tread Series, is a big fan of this approach in combination with some strength training exercises. That said, he recognizes that just because running is a more independent activity, adding essential fitness products to your routine can make your workout that much more effective and well-rounded. Ahead, find his advice for exactly which pieces to scoop up now.

A Great Running Shoe

"There are tons of shoes for fitness, but if you’re a runner you need to specifically find a running shoe that suits your gate," says Tye-Walker. "My personal favorite brand of running shoe is Saucony Kinvara. It’s a neutral shoe, which also allows for in-soles if needed (for athletes that pronante)."

Exercise Band

Warming up is an essential part of keeping your body limber — which will help you get a better workout and avoid potential injuries. Specifically, Tye-Walker suggests picking up Sling Shot's hip circle. "This exercise band is essential for hips and glute activation during your warm-up," he says. "It increases overall strength and stability and is useful on recovery days, when you need to replenish muscle strength."

Ice Packs/Cryotherapy Device

Icing is a great way to reduce inflammation and help with recovery. Standard ice packs can help you do this, as can trying cryotherapy or similar at-home devices. But if you want a super affordable way to get the same effects, try Tye-Walker's DIY hack. "Take a few small styrofoam drink cups, fill to the top with water, and place in freezer," he says. "Once frozen, peel off styrofoam to expose ice (hold from bottom of cup) and rub against your muscles post workout."

Smart Watch

A smart watch can help the avid runner track time and monitor heart rate, among other things. "Being able to view something like your running pace allows you not to over exert and/or stay on track based on the goal of your session or marathon," says Tye-Walker, who also loves the gadget's ability to let you listen to music without having to carry around a bulkier device."

Athletic Wear You Love

It might at first seem superficial, but shopping for workout wear you'll be excited to put on will not only motive you to get out there and run, but might also help you function better. and "I encourage people not to go somewhere and just buy a cheap workout outfit," Tye-Walker explains. "If you invest in good athletic wear that feels comfortable, that you think you look good in, that has dry-fit material, and is designed for cardio... not only will you feel better during your workout, that feeling good can, in-turn produce, better fitness results."

Running Workout Video/Live Stream

As you may already know, on-demand and video workout options are more popular than ever, plus they're conducive to those who are looking for an accessible, at-home solution. They're also a great addition to your running routine. "It’s important to have a go-to, guided running workout that you can do from home, when you can’t make it to the gym or maybe the weather doesn’t allow for your normal outdoor run," says Tye-Walker. "Having a structured run with a trainer providing speeds, inclines, intervals and other fitness expertise, will push you to improve your race pace, increase your threshold to fatigue and will keep you motivated and disciplined to train regardless of outdoor conditions."