Running metronomes, tennis balls, baby oil, magic weight-loss bath salts (knew that’d get your attention) and trainers you design yourself… just some of the essentials found in professional’s kit bags.
Plus, we may not be pros or owt but, we’ve also included our own training must-haves and some of yours too.
Running Technique Specialist Coach, Performance Director at Kinetic Revolution
My essential when coaching runners, and training myself, is a metronome. You’re probably thinking of those big ticking objects from school music lessons, and you’re right, only they’re now available as downloadable tracks. I use them to help runners adapt their cadence – the number of times your foot strikes the floor – by running to a specific beat. A lot of people tend to over-stride when they run. Changing your cadence can reduce stride length, making your running more efficient and reducing impact so you’re less likely to get injured.
To find out your current cadence, run at your usual pace. Count the number of times one of your feet hits the ground in a minute. This will naturally vary so do it three times and work out the average. This is your cadence. I’d usually advise increasing this by no more than 5% at a time.
For free downloadable metronomes and more information about cadence visit: http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/running-metronomes-to-download-free/
Team GB Age Group Triathlete, Sports Coach and Fitness Trainer
For me it’s important to look good when I work out. I love nice lycra – Adidas Stella McCartney, Nike and Lululemon are great because they’re flattering but also functional, comfortable and good for the job. Shoe-wise I love Nike Free because running feels so good in them, they’re light, flexible and super comfortable. Plus they look great and you can even design your own to match your kit!
Personal Trainer and Founder of Fighting Fit Training Systems
The piece of kit that has really revolutionised my attitude to exercise is a set of suspension training straps. You can attach the straps to pretty much any stable object and then use your own body weight to work through a set of exercises. They’re great for building strength and core stability and they’ve taken being portable to a whole new level – my gym can now be a set of goal posts or even a tree. Great if you want independence from the gym club culture and much easier than dragging dumbells to the park.
Owner of Yotopia
I can’t do without my hot yoga towel. It’s specifically designed to improve grip the wetter it (or your hands and feet) gets, which stops you slipping all over your mat when you’re hot and sweaty. It also fits perfectly on a yoga mat so it doesn’t crunch up in the corners and interfere with your downward dog. I think it makes practice more personal – you don’t feel you’re using a mat that someone else has used – and it’s much lighter and easier to carry around than a mat itself. In short, it’s a lifesaver in my hot yoga practice.
Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor
‘The training tool I could not live without is a kettlebell. I have been using kettlebells for five years now and still absolutely love them! They produce great results and are a fantastically efficient workout, whether you’re looking for fat loss, greater strength, power for sports training, rehabilitation or core conditioning. I find the movements fun and, because the weight is offset from the handle, your core has to work harder to keep you balanced. As you don’t need much space, I use kettlebells with clients that I train at home and I have a 16kg bell in my sitting room to pick up whenever I want to train.
Lunges & Lycra
If I’ve been training outdoors, particularly in the winter when it’s cold, wet and generally ming, I have a bath with Epsom salts. A bootcamp trainer told me about them once and I use them all the time now. Available from old-school chemists, they’re great for easing aches and pains because the mineral salts (or magnesium sulfates, which sounds eggy but they’re not) are said to reduce inflammation. While there may not be to be much medical evidence to support this, it definitely works for me. A few years ago, Grazia ran a feature saying that bathing in Epsom salts could soak away 5lbs. While that sounds remarkably like bollocks, they can be used internally as a laxative so, you never know! Don’t drink the bathwater though.
Lunges & Lycra
I can’t get through marathon training without a tennis ball and some baby oil. When post long-run muscle soreness means climbing stairs is problematic I crack out the tennis ball and the baby oil and persuade my mate to rub my legs out. It’s much cheaper than buying a specific massage tool and it’s really effective. You can either do it yourself, applying gentle or not so gentle pressure to rub out any knots or like me, persuade your mates to help (my flatmate Frankie is my sadist of choice!).
Your fitness essentials.
Here are some of the things you said you couldn’t do without on Twitter. Typos your own.Thought chocolate and booze would be in there somewhere!
@ledavies Chocolate milk post run. Mmmmmm protein treat.
@AskBels Minimus Shoes @newbalance! Can’t train without them! & my all time favourite gadget is my Pink GYMBOSS! (interval timer and stopwatch)
@lynds_25 My feet can’t do without my Drymax Anti Blister Socks and the rest of me can’t manage without a good Sports Massage
@setbangpretty my interval timer. Three times a week. Have been known to leave the gym and drive home just to get it.
@lornavoogd fake eye lashes! At least something looks nice while the rest of me dies!!
@SarahSpinsPole compression wear for those achey days
@lafitnessPT My ipod! Keeps me going when my legs feel like tree trunks!
@ceemadz dry shampoo, earphones and facial wipes 🙂
@goldilocksruns my Mizuno running shoes, a good sports bra and chocolate milk for afterwards- sorted!
@kaz_wright running shoes and kettlebells
@LouiseB73 garmin, I-phone for music and lulu lemon !!
@samuel_faster Mates and beer