the great armband problem

Running is a fantastic sport. Anyone can do it, you don’t need special training, you don’t need special equipment, and it’s a massive calorie-burner.

As I get farther into the sport, though, I have discovered one reasonably significant problem. It’s next to impossible to carry things with me.

On a most basic level, I’d like to carry a house or car key and maybe an mp3 player. It would be nice if I could also carry my wallet, maybe also my cell phone. Plus as I run farther and farther, I also have to consider fuel- water, sports drink, gels, sports bars, something that will help me to maintain my energy and keep running.

In my summer runs, I’ve acquired three tank-style athletic tops that all include a “media pocket”, just the right size for holding my mp3 player.

see the pocket on my right, your left?

Honestly I’ve been surprised by just how useful this pocket has been! I’m now looking into getting “winter” running clothes (with sleeves!), but of course those don’t include this handy pocket!

I’m shopping for an armband to replace this. The best choice I’ve found so far is probably this Case Logic Universal Armband. I’m just not convinced yet that this is the best choice.

If I continue extending my mileage, I also may need to get a belt/waistpack so that I will be able to carry gels or fuel of some sort with me. That would likely be a pretty significant investment and I’m a little concerned that I need to hold off on purchasing until I have a better idea of what I will need. Choices, choices!

What do you carry with you when you run? How do you carry those supplies?

3 thoughts on “the great armband problem”

  1. Not being a runner, I can’t help you specifically on the question.

    But I can comment on the picture – looking good young lady!

    Perhaps a trick would be to use the tank top as the outer layer (since at least this one is a nice bright color – good for visibility since you have less daylight this time of year) and concentrate on having layers underneath that will keep you warm without being bulky.

    It seems to me that when I’ve done 5k walks – which are also 5k runs for other participants – I’ve received a trinket I could hang around my neck for necessities like the house key and ID. Obviously I didn’t use them since I left my wallet and cel phone in the car and only carried my keyring. (It’s a 40 minute walk, for gosh sakes. No one needs to get a hold of me that badly.)

    Anyway, that may or may not be comfortable for you. I tend to find earphones distracting (even though I walk in areas without a lot of traffic I still am walking in a street or on a main highway) so I usually don’t wear them.

  2. the first day I ran outside my dad gave me his armband. It’s like this strip of black material that you can tighten around your arm, and you stick your iPod in between your arm and the band. Of course you would need some sort of iPod cover to protect it from your sweat! But this works really well for me, and didn’t cost me anything. I’m really lucky that I happened to be at my dad’s house the first day I ran outside and also that mentioned the dilemma of what to do with the iPod – otherwise he never would have given it to me! The strap works super well and I don’t think you need something that has a pocket for your iPod (unless you don’t have something to protect your iPod from sweat, and then in that case go with the one you linked to ;)).

    And then I have these old sweats that I used to wear in PE in high school, and they have pockets so I put my cell phone and keys in them. So maybe invest in some running pants that have deep pockets?

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