Before we know it, the Spring running season will be here and those of us who have been chased inside by the cold will venture back into real world training, all squinty and happy. Our forward-looking Spring Fever Checklist series will give you some things to think about between now and then.
As we start to get outside more and more, now is as good a time as any to make sure you have a few essentials on hand for the inevitable small annoyances and minor emergencies that come up during training. Unless you’re a serious distance runner or are trekking through the wilderness someplace, these aren’t things you’ll need to have on your body while you run.
Sometimes the difference between a good run and a lousy one (or no run at all) is something simple like a band-aid or a pair of tweezers. Make sure you have whatever you need on hand by tossing some good-to-haves into a small bag and putting it someplace that you’ll know where it is.
With any luck, you’ll never need them. But if you do, you’ll be glad they’re close at hand. Here’s the list:
Band-aids. Have a bunch of sizes and shapes handy. You’ll have one if you ever have a run-of-the mill scrape or injury, but perhaps more importantly, you’ll have what you need if you’ve got a blister or a cut on your foot that’s going to make it uncomfortable to run. Having something to put between your skin and your sock can save you from tons of discomfort. (Speaking of which, they’re also handy for guys if your shirt is irritating your nipples. Just saying.)
Antiseptic. Your mom always had this around and you should, too. Especially for runners, who are likely to come into contact with all manner of sweat and dirt, it’s important to be able to clean out any injuries before things get funky in there. Don’t blow it off…keeping some of this around goes a long way towards actually using it.
Sunscreen. You’re outside a lot, right? It’s really a good idea to get into the habit of applying sunscreen regularly, even if it isn’t blatantly sunny outside. If you’re logging a lot of hours in the sun from week to week, you could be taking a toll on your skin without even knowing it.
Lip balm. See above on sun protection. Plus, this will reduce dry, cracked lips which can be uncomfortable during a run. Between losing fluids through sweat, breathing heavily, and exposure to the wind, it’s easy to end up dry and a little gross. Use something with built-in SPF.
Traditional first aid stuff. We’ve been sticking so far to stuff that’ll help keep you running comfortably, but as long as you’re getting a bag together, you might as well pick up an inexpensive first aid kit to keep with it. Don’t get into it unless it’s an emergency, though. Have a separate supply of the things above, so you aren’t digging into the kit when you need things here and there. Your first aid kit should be like new if you ever actually do need it for an emergency. Here’s a breakdown from the American Red Cross.
So gear up runners, and be ready for action. Let us know if we missed any must-haves!