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Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

I got a great birthday package from Sara with an awesome workout gift…and after a month of half-iron training, I could use a little boost! Sara sent me an awesome SweatyBand for my hair. She included a sticky note telling me it would not budge, even on ‘our’ super fine hair. I tried it out while I was on my bike trainer and it really didn’t move. Then I sported the orange, yellow, and red band during a run; again, no slipping at all.

Zoe thinks I'm beautiful in my SweatyBand!

The bands are made of ribbon with a velvet-y backing and elastic that goes under the base of your head for a comfortable fit. I’m going to have to stock up on these, because I love wearing headbands during workouts to keep my hair off my face. Testimonials on the SweatyBands.com website include a girl whose band stayed in place even when she took a helmet on and off! Amazing.

– albledsoe

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Stick it to me

Since I got into endurance sports a few years ago, I’ve heard lots of praise for a gadget called “The Stick.” It was supposed to work wonders for sore, tight areas, especially IT bands, where I’ve had some trouble. So I was super excited this Christmas when Santa Clause brought me one of my very own (well, it was actually from my mother-in-law, but you get the idea).The Stick comes in various sizes, and is a flexible, plastic…well, stick, with spindles that roll independently to stretch and apply pressure to problem zones.

the stick

The Stick

I tested out my stick this afternoon after returning from a run of just over 9 miles. I followed the instructions, which include about 10 recommended exercises for arms, back, neck, and legs, and then added a couple of my own. The verdict? My muscles don’t feel nearly as sore as they did after last week’s run. Plus, using The Stick forced me to take the time to stretch following my workout, which I admit I don’t always do. I think I could use this almost every night and it will help with my general well-being. It’s super easy to use, and small enough to tuck away in a corner or on a shelf (as opposed to the foam rollers which are often recommended for similar use).

If you’re like me and can’t afford weekly massages during training, I would recommend grabbing a Stick of your own. Your body will thank you!

– albledsoe

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For years I’ve struggled to find a sports bra that was supportive and comfortable. I’ve been able to find one or the other, but not one that fit both requirements. I’ve tried a lot of solutions to limit the bounce: two different sports bras at once, the regular bra/sports bra combo and tops with built-in bras. You name it, I’ve tried it in the name of getting the support I needed.

A few weeks ago my most supportive (aka – uncomfortable) sports bras did me wrong for the last time. After a long run on the treadmill I ended up with a blister in the middle of my chest. So, I went in search of a new solution. That’s when I found Fiona by Moving Comfort. She’s great – lots of support and lots of comfort.

I was skeptical at first because the Fiona doesn’t have an underwire, but believe me when I say that the Fiona offers even more support than her underwired peers and is much more comfortable. The adjustable back closure lays flat and doesn’t rub where the hooks connect and the straps adjust in the front so you can actually adjust the fit once you have the bra on. What a novel idea! The straps have a velcro strip to make it very easy to get the perfect fit, and the closure doesn’t scratch or rub at all. The Fiona has made it through three weeks of workouts, and she’s quickly made it to the top of my list of favorite gear to pack in my gym bag. This sports bra gets a 5 out of 5 on fit, comfort and functionality.

Next on the list of undergarment essentials for a focused, fantastic workout is a good pair of undies. Granny panties give you the dreaded line, and who can really stand to wear a thong during an intense work out? My no fail, stay put option is a pair of drawers that come from Soma. This is the only pair of undies that I can wear to the office all day and know they will still stay in place for an hour-long Zumba class after work. They are laser cut so you don’t see a line AND they have silicone coating on the edge so they stay put. Fantastic!

Number One Shoe
Hip-hip-hooray for the Saucony Pro-Grid Guide 2. My new running shoes were voted the number one running shoes for 2009. I have loved mine since day one, so I was very pleased to hear everyone else loves theirs too!

What are your favorite undergarments that make your workout easier?

-Sara

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