The three things I take on a run

For runs of an hour or less, I don’t take water. Yes, hydration is important, but it can become something of a neurosis, and most people should be able to easily be out for this length of time without needing a drink. Plus, carrying a water bottle is a pain in the arse!

I normally have a glass of water when I get back though, and either a chocolate milkshake (this is always being recommended as a recovery drink in Runner’s World) or a home-made smoothie. (I have a frozen smoothie mix from the supermarket, which I blend with apple juice. It has kale, spinach, mango and kiwi fruits in it. I like it because it has fruits but the kale and the spinach balance it out so that it produces less of a whopping sugar spike!)

So coming back to my three items, number one is my door key, handily detached from the other keys so that it doesn’t jangle with every step.

The second is a five pound note; this is my emergency money. I like this because it is the new plastic style note, and is therefore more sweat resistant than the older notes. (Yes, I really do sweat so much that even the stuff in my pockets isn’t safe!) I know that this won’t help anyone who is not from the UK, but having a contactless card will also help to avoid carrying coins, which, again, will jangle incessantly as you run, attracting all sorts of unwanted attention from people in the park. I prefer the note though because you can spend it in shops that haven’t yet joined the contactless revolution.

(Funnily enough, the only thing I have ever had to buy with my emergency fiver was a drink.)

And that brings me to my third item, which is a bit of a cheat because it’s my mobile (+headphones). This is for emergencies and music, and Zombies, Run!

The Zombies running app tracks my stats, just like any other running app, but it also immerses you in a post-apocalyptic story, set to your own music, as you run. I turn on “chasers”, which means that occasionally I get a warning that zombies are closing in on me, and unless I temporarily increase my speed by a given percentage (adjustable in the settings), they will catch me. This is good for HIIT training, but a bit of a pain when I am waiting at the traffic lights.

(It even has a groaning zombie sound effect which is very disturbing on a deserted early morning run.)

For runs that are longer than an hour, I do need to take my mobile hydration system! This is a running pack with a “bladder” and a tube (ok, a straw) so you can sip little and often. My bladder has a one litre capacity, which is good for about a two hour distance.

It looks really cool.*

The little backpack it comes with can also carry a few extra items, including a light rain jacket (a must on long runs, because in England, the weather will switch from pleasant to chucking it down in twenty minutes or so), and you can use the side pockets for energy gels and hand wipes (the salt content of your sweat really starts to build up at this distance).

Apart from that it’s just a hyper-awareness of how silly I look, a nagging sense of self-doubt and a general awareness of my own inadequacy as a human being. (Whoops, I meant a positive attitude, and a sense of wonder at the ever-changing landscape around me.)

*It really, really doesn’t look cool.

(This post was written in response to the word prompt, “jangle”.)

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I love running, but don't always train in the way that I should. I started my blog in between my first successful completion of a marathon (although I wrote the first post a few days prior to that) and my first ultra marathon, which was the first half of the 100k "Race to the Stones". Maybe part of my reason was to publicly call myself out on my own stated goals. I chose the name "half arsed runner" because I wanted to show that my motivation levels are far from perfect, and that it's OK to be human.

10 thoughts on “The three things I take on a run”

  1. I had not heard about your polymer, thin, flexible plastic money which is stronger, safer and more resistant to counterfeiters till I read your post. I think it is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost didn’t mention it actually because I don’t want to go down the product endorsement/gear review path with this blog but it’s the app I most enjoy using for running so it’s a genuine recommendation! The ad-version of the app is free but I have subscribed for something like £15 ($20-$25) a year so that I don’t have to listen to ads on my run.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The zombie app would totally freak me out! Hah! I can’t even set up my watch so that it beeps when I need to pick up the pace to stay in a zone. Intervals on my watch I can do! I do know someone who might like it though!!!😆

    Liked by 1 person

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