As I’ve discussed here before, I don’t consider myself a runner.  However, since I decided to run a half marathon (then two, three, four, and now five) I’ve learned a lot about running.  And there is always something new to learn… we were recently running in Hawaii for a military 10k when Chad assisted a runner who passed out. The runner had no ID, no phone, nothing for the group to identify him.

This scary story had a happy ending (the runner is going to be ok! yay!), but it got me realizing that there are lots of people who run and don’t plan ahead.  You may be in the peak of health, have run a million marathons, and it doesn’t matter… heat, humidity, even something you ate (or didn’t eat) can get the better of you.  You never know what is going to happen, so you have to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

Here is what I feel are 5 very important things to have on you, or prepare with, when running outdoors on your own or in a race.  Be safe out there 🙂

5 Things You Need to Start Running With


1 Road ID is a metal disc with your important emergency information on it, they have a million options (necklaces, bracelets, shoe pouches, anklets…) and for $15-$20 there is no reason not to get one.  Seriously, if you exercise or race outdoors you NEED to get one of these. Do it. NOW.

2 Proper hydration is so important, you can read about it here, here, and here.  Races usually have water stations – however, if you are training outdoors or racing in unfamiliar heat or humidity it’s always good to have water with you and so the Camelbak 50oz is perfect for me (they also come in larger sizes).

3 saltstick caps aid you in staying hydrated.  I don’t really understand the science behind it – but I can tell you that I can definitely tell the difference in my mental alertness and legs when I use one of these prior to a long race.

4 Proper nutrition is just as important before and after the race – a nut butter pouch before a shorter run (less than an hour) or add a banana before a longer run gives you the energy to see the race through.  There are some really interesting articles about eating and running here, here, and here.

5 During the race I use energy chews (Gatorade Prime or Honey Stinger).  I’d rather not put gatorade in my camelbak and so I chew on one of these right before each water break.  One thing I learned is to not mix gatorade, chews, and goos – that’s sugar overload for your tummy and can cause other issues you’d rather not deal with during a run 🙂

This is not a sponsored post.  As always, all opinions are my own.