Running products review: A newbie’s perspective.

It has been 9 months since I started running, so in that time, I’ve had the opportunity to test out a few running products. While some of these may be working well for me now, I am on the lookout to try new products, so this will be phase I. Phase II of the product review will come as I go further along my running journey and try new things.

Shoes: Asics GT-2000 (duomax)

Before I bought my Asics, I was running in a pair of Power running shoes. This was with the assumption that I would just run one race and never run again (haha! It’s just one run, they said). An accumulated 30kms in races and trainings and lots of aches and pains later, I realized that I needed a new pair of shoes.

These shoes were made for running! Photo Credit: Adrian Lee
These shoes were made for running! Photo Credit: Adrian Lee

Asics was an easy choice – The brand has a pretty strong following and comes highly recommended for beginners, and I could see why the moment I put them on. I have flat feet and I tend to run heel-to-toe, causing injuries to my knees. The moment I put these babies on, I knew that they were the right fit. The cushioning is great. They’re comfortable. They’re light. The Asics GT-2000 has a harder middle arch to cushion flat footers and shapes my feet in a way that it makes it easier for me to land on the balls of my feet. Suffice to say – no more knee pains. The only downside I would say is the price of these shoes. Be prepared to pay a hefty sum for them.

But I’ve run about 100kms in these shoes so far, which means I will have to start thinking about the next pair of shoes, preferably trail running ones since I’m thinking about getting into trail runs. Suggestions, anyone?

Okay from top to bottom, here’s what I’m usually clad in:

They went that way!
They went that way!

Hydration Pack: Karrimor  

I am not overly fond of the karrimor pack for the simple reason that it doesn’t fit my body well, despite its adjustable straps. This hydration pack is great for beginner runners or those of you who don’t require much hydration along the race route. But the way the pack was designed doesn’t accommodate small frames, and the jiggle ratio can be quite annoying when you’re trying to focus on your run. The adjustable straps can only do so much, and I usually have to adjust the pack throughout my run (5/6 times depending on the length of the run). You can see from my picture that I’ve had to push the pack all the way down to my um…pelvic bones. This, I find, is the only place where the pack sits still long enough for at least 5kms.

I have my eyes set on a Camelbak Mini Mule hydration pack- It should arrive in a couple of weeks, so I’ll get to test it out and review it then!

Energy Gels: The Gooey GU! 

A selection of items to use while running
A selection of items to use while running

When it comes to nutrition, it’s pretty much subjective on what works for some runners and what doesn’t- Bear in mind that every runner’s body is different, so you might experience something that’s the exact opposite of what I’m experiencing. In this regard, I just can’t do gel shots.

I’ve tried both the Power Gel and the Hammer gel shot (both taste absolutely horrible. Now I know why my more seasoned runner friends chuckle at me when I told them I was going to try my first gel shot). They weren’t only difficult to swallow – I couldn’t stomach them, literally. On both occasions, two minutes after downing the shots, I found myself making a beeline towards the loo.

Granted, they give you that burst of energy you need to keep you going through your runs, but for me, that burst of energy lasted only for a few minutes, followed by an extreme case of post sugar-rush, and the above-mentioned visit to a runner’s best friend – the porta-loo.  I was better off eating a banana, or a couple of dates for the next leg.

Again, different gel shots may yield different results for other runners. I am going to try another brand, the hammer gel shot shown in the pic above, during my LSD run this weekend. Let’s hope that one fares a lot better than the previous two.

Calf Sleeves: Compressport 

These are my favourite running accessories to-date. The R2 compressport calf-sleeves has dual functionality – Race and Recovery.  The fabric is ultra-light, helps reduce cramping, and is great for post-run use. The fit takes a little getting used to at first (have your calves measured at the shop before you buy them), but you start to feel the effects of it by mile 5. It’s supposed to prevent injury, but I’d say it minimizes them.

The calf sleeves provide more stability while you’re running as well – I’ve found that while initially the tightness of the sleeves will feel a little uncomfortable at the start, after the muscles warm up, you will start to feel the support you’ll need for a longer run.

For more information on compressport, click here

You can get a pair now at the Running Lab in Tropicana Mall for a little less than RM 200.00

Running Top: Amnig Run To The Max 

My other favourite piece of running clothing is the Amnig Run to The Max t-shirt. It has a great design, it fits very well for my small frame, and the breath-ability of its fabric makes it great to run in, especially if you’re out there in the heat. I’ve also run in the rain with this top, and it’s pretty durable. It has gone through many rounds of washings, and it still looks great (the colour doesn’t fade and all the seams stay in place).

I like this top so much that I’m going to start shopping at amnig for the next set of running clothes soon.

To get this top, click here

And that wraps up the first round of my product reviews. I’ll post the next one once I manage to test more products. In the meantime, please feel free to suggest what running products you love and what works for you 😀

Happy running!


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