How was your weekend running?

Well I have little to report of my weekend running. Supposed to do 23 miles yesterday, didn’t happen, managed 8 instead. 23 still looming. So that’s quite enough of that. Instead, I thought today I would take up a subject I’ve been discussing a lot on Twitter recently. No, not the ethics of allowing people who’ve served drug bans running in competitions, but unexpectedly useful running kit.

I have, thanks to the day job, been sent a fair amount of random running kit over the years. By kit I don’t actually mean clothes – but the sort of extra stuff that none of us probably really need, day to day, but which may just turn out to be really rather useful anyway. Most of it doesn’t, mind, and much of it is just downright pointless.

I loathe carrying anything with me for a run that isn’t 100% necessary. I’ve never even taken water. But sometimes practicalities dictate that you need to take your phone, or keys, or both. For this, or other misc small items, I cannot recommend the Flipbelt highly enough. It’s essentially a pocket disguised as an extra waistband. You can opt for a smaller size, to sit more at waist level, or bigger for hips. The great thing about it is that, unlike every other waist-belt type thing I’ve tried, it actually stays put. It’s handy for gels too (I hate those elastic loop-style gel belts) – or just an Oyster card/ £1 coin for emergency water supplies.

Then there’s my other favourite random item, which I got given in a post-event goodie bag – the Haglofs dry bag. Ridiculously simple idea – it’s just a bag after all – but really well executed. Though it’s designed to keep stuff dry it’s actually perfect for the reverse – putting your wet/sweaty kit in to stop everything else getting damp. Ideal, for instance, for bringing home your running gear after a lunch run at work (sorry, I refuse to call it “runch”). Yeah, you could use a plastic bag but you can’t seal them, they often have or develop holes and your whole bag ends up wet/smelly/disgusting as result.

So, what strange or unlikely items do you find useful? I was sent info the other day on a Kickstarter campaign for this rather clever looking ‘key ring’ which could be rather handy to stop jingling keys on a run …

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