Since I started running late last year, I slowly ended up putting together a drawstring sports bag filled with my running essentials. You can find a lot of these items at any store or pharmacy but I got most of my stuff from Wesley’s Wholesale because I work there. I’ve recommended the products I’ve tested and liked. I’ll admit being the product guinea pig is the funnest part about working in FMCG retail. Bring on the goodies!
…and then run off the calories.
Living in Lebanon means we are blessed with sunshine 7-8 months out of the year, if not more. This means you have to protect that face (and those shoulders, arms, neck, and lips) when out on the road after 6am. The key is to get a sunscreen that is waterproof or made for activity so that it doesn’t irritate your eyes when you sweat. Factor of at least 30.
Stop giggling. There’s a lot of friction that comes with running as a sport and it’s not just between the ground and your shoe soles. You need to apply a thin layer between your skin and your gear to avoid discomfort, chafing, and blisters. Hotspots: top of your toes, sides of your feet, under the sports bra lining, under your phone armband, edges of your shirt, and in between them thighs if you lack a thigh gap. Ain’t no shame, ladies do yo thang. And dudes, you need it (or pasties) on your nipples.
Bambi Recommends: Vaseline, any generic petroleum jelly
You don’t need to suffocate your friends just because you’re breaking a sweat. We all get funky after a 9K but let’s try to keep it to a minimum. No one wants to smell like wet laundry that was left in the machine for 2 days. Consider it a favor to humanity. You will also feel less self-conscious about your stench when you run into that hot bartender as you charge down the corniche.
Bambi Recommends: Secret Outlast Clear Gel. It leaves no residue, has no frilly flowery scent, and lasts all day.
Just get everything absorbent. Absorbent socks, headbands, and clothing that will soak it all up and keep you dry. Shorts with compression lining help avoid chafing, a well-fitted sports bra keep the girls perky, and comfortable running shoes enhance your form.
Bambi Recommends: Nike dri-fit anything and everything. But seriously, don’t even think about wearing regular socks.
Depending on when you’re running, you’ll need to properly fuel beforehand. Morning runs require some carbs like a few tablespoons of nut butter on toast/crackers, dates, or half a banana. Afternoon runs mean you should have a snack a few hours before: dates, applesauce, dark chocolate, or some trail mix.
SPARE HAIR TIES
These stupid things always snap in the middle of a run and you’re stuck tying a knot in a string that rips out your hair when removed. Keep a spare on your wrist for these moments or you’ll be forced to ask for one from an Olympian with a man bun. Please don’t run with your hair down, life’s not a Pantene commercial.
Bambi Recommends: Goody Ouchless pack of 10. None of that rubber band nonsense.
You may still suffer from cuts, blisters, or rashes after a run so it’s always good to have alcohol pads & band-aids on hand.
Bambi Recommends: Western Family has a tube of rubbing alcohol wipes and a pack of individually wrapped pads which are portable and do the trick.
Sweating, running in the sunshine, blisters. Moisturize with coconut oil. Slather that ooze everywhere. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, and sunscreen that has a light consistency. It’s not sticky and you can use it on your hair too. Vitamin E skin oil speeds up healing of blisters or rough spots because it prevents water loss in the skin.
Bambi Recommends: Any coconut oil would do but choose one you like based on smell. Some brands make you smell like macarons which is fine if you dig it. I prefer not smelling like La Duree. And JASON Vitamin E 32,000 I.U. Skin Oil.
A small snack after a tough run helps to restore muscles and your low glycogen levels. No need to inhale a bucket of chicken though. You can out-eat any workout with the wrong diet so stick to string cheese, dates, yogurt, a protein bar, or coconut water. These will replenish energy and hydration levels until you have a proper meal.
Bambi Recommends: Dark Chocolate Nut & Sea Salt Kind Bar
If you’re not hopping into a shower nearby, bring an extra shirt and socks or a pair of flip flops to change into. Air conditioners are a bad mix when you’re walking around in smelly wet clothes. And have a spare bag to put your gross gear in because that stuff is going to be drenched so it’s best to keep it separated from your other belongings. Makes laundry easier too.
See you on the streets!