Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hi-Tech Running Part 2: Accessories

Continuing my blog about hi-tech running, this time I’ll focus on the accessories, from top to bottom.

Hat – I first wore a hat because I was always running into the sun, which always found its way between my sunglasses and eyebrows. I discovered it also covers bed-head quite nicely! However, a hat became a regular item when I found one that fit me well, was made of a cooling hi-tech fabric, and was machine washable! Now, that’s a hat worth wearing!

Sunglasses – Living in California, we always have our sunglasses. But running on the beach, at the edge of the water, I learned the important, glare-reducing qualities of polarized lenses. Now, my sunglasses always have to be polarized! My newest pair came with interchangeable “low-light” lenses. They are for overcast days, when you still find yourself knitting your brows together. Low-light lenses brighten up a gray day, allowing me to relax my brows and see everything better.

Cell phone & Music -- I remember when Walkmans came out; they were revolutionary! Take your music anywhere?! Wow! I started carrying my cell phone while running when I was pregnant, in case of an emergency. Now, most cell phones play music, so we kill two hi-tech accessory birds with one stone. In addition, I have those special rubber ear buds that don’t pop out of my ears. They have a dual cord, which I put under my shirt, that is longer on the right side because we always carry it on the left side, not in the middle. What engineering genius thought of that?! The dual cord can be shortened to plug into my arm-strap, so there’s not a lot of extra cord bouncing around, or lengthened to wear the phone farther away than my upper arm. Talk about hi-tech! Even my arm-strap is a fancy with 3-parts: (1) protective phone cover, through which I can still use all my phone’s features, (2) arm strap with key pouch, and (3) belt clip, which I never use. I’m sure anyone under the age of 30 thinks all this is perfectly normal, but none of it existed 10 years ago! Lastly, I don’t just listen to music; I listen to Pandora, which is a customized, internet radio station! (

Watch -- I wear a Garmin Forerunner watch ( I bought it before you could log your runs on your Iphone with apps like RunKeeper or iMapMyRun. Like those apps, it tracks your speed, pace, time, distance (using GPS), etc. Mine also has a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, which I’d never wanted to use, but now I realize it’s easier for women than for men because I just tuck it under my bra strap. Men aren’t used to wearing straps around their chests, so it’s uncomfortable for them. It also tracks calories; I’m not sure if the online ones do that. I also like that I can sync it to my computer and track my averages: time, pace, heart rate, etc. so I can see my overall performance and compare that to previous runs.

Chip timing – Is great for races! A little chip attached to your shoe laces marks your time as you cross the electronic finish line. No more estimating most racers’ time. It’s easy, exact and reusable, and hi-tech.

It’s not so simple to leave the house for a run these days. There are so many details to remember to bring! And if I’m gonna bring the cell phone for safety, I might as well bring my arm strap, instead of carrying my phone in my sweaty hand. And then I might as well bring my ear buds and listen to music from my phone, etc., etc., etc. Have a great, hi-tech, run!


  1. Hey Sue.
    I liked this!
    What brand of earbuds do you use? I can't find any that do not fall out (and have tried quite a few)....

  2. They are Philips Premium Sound In-Ear Headphones, #SHE9500. They came with 3 sizes of rubber ear piece to fit to your ear.