I got really into running a couple of years ago after the birth of my last baby. My husband ran a half marathon while I was pregnant and I was so jealous of him running miles at a time when I could barely waddle. So after I had Ford, I decided to start training and if you’re interested, you can read all about that first half marathon HERE.

Two years later and running has become my main form of exercise which is still sort of insane to me because I would have sworn I’m NOT A RUNNER. What I ended up loving about it is the challenge. I’m very goal oriented and I can mind-over-matter myself into just about anything. I love pushing myself to run just a little bit more, and even more next time, and all of the sudden I’ve run 6 miles when before I couldn’t have done an eighth of that.  Since I’ve spoken about it so much, tons of readers have asked me to talk about my workout, so here are my running essentials. What I use, what I listen to and what the average week looks like for my running shoes!

Rachel Hollis Running Essentials

1. A Fun Running Tank – A fun tank isn’t really necessary but I need all the joy I can get when I’m pushing myself past mile 8. I like bold colors and funny sayings. I especially like when I pass another runner who has one on too!

2. Lululemon Run Fast Track Short – Can I get real with you guys? I’ve never really liked my legs. I’m 5’2″ and my gams were never my favorite feature. But then I started running, and my legs toned up and quite frankly, I think they look great now. And since they do look so great, I sort of want to show them off. I like Lulu’s track shorts for just this purpose.

3. Two sports bras – Ladies, ladies, ladies some of you just do not have enough support while you run. I don’t mean the loving support of a cheer section, I mean something to hold your girls in place while you jog. It must be virtually impossible to workout well when your chest is going in a different direction than your body. I myself wear two sports bras at one time. Doubling up the bras mean they don’t move an inch, then I just have to worry about the next mile, not whether or not I look like the opening sequence of Baywatch.

4. A Ball Cap – I like to run long distances outside (the treadmill gets too monotonous) so sunglasses would be great. Unfortunately, sunglasses start to slip around when you sweat, er, I mean, glow and it drives me crazy! So I always wear a baseball hat when I run… preferably Dodgers, and preferably one with a mesh back so it’s breathable.

5. B12 – I always take a B12 vitamin before I run, this could be psychosomatic, but I feel like it helps me have more energy.

6. Two Pieces of Gum – Typically one piece is fine for a short jog but for longer workouts I stash an extra piece (in a different flavor) in the little pocket in my shorts. That way I can trade out when the first one loses it’s flavor.

7. No Show Running Socks – Any brand of sock will do, so long as it doesn’t slide down in my shoe and/or climb above the shoe line to create a weirdo ankle tan.

8. Adidas Running Shoes (adidas.com)- I’m a little die-hard about my Adidas Energy Boost shoes… and just so we’re clear, no they didn’t pay me to say that. I found them at a running shoe store and the workers there helped me pick out this pair. My main pre-requisite (ridiculous as it sounds) was that I didn’t want my toe nail to fall off… long distance runners will know what I mean. These shoes have a really soft, almost mesh top so there’s nothing rubbing against the top of your foot which is what causes toe nail loss in the first place. Also, they come in bright neon colors AND the say “ENERGY BOOST” on the side… remember what I said about psychosematic issues? 😉 

9. iPhone – I used to run with my iPod and I like that it’s so light to carry, however I’ve switched over to my iPhone because often times I’m leaving work early to get in a run before heading home. By carrying my iPhone (which has all the same songs as the iPod, thanks Cloud!) I can answer emails or phone calls if I need to.

10. Skullcandy Earbuds – When someone says that they run or workout without music my brain explodes. I truly cannot fathom working out without something upbeat in my ears to motivate me. To that end I never run without Skullcandy earbuds. Their sound is SO much better than any others I’ve found and I love all their bright pretty colors. 

11. Cardio Fantasy – Laugh all you want but this gets me through a run every time. You can read what it is HERE.

12. How I Run – I don’t always get there, but my goal for the week looks like this: Monday 3 Miles, Wednesday: 6 Miles and Saturday: 9 Miles. The track by my house is 3 miles around which is why I use that as a measurement. Create your own version of this even if it’s half a mile, a mile, then two.  It took me two years to work up to this so please don’t feel daunted if those numbers look crazy to you. I’d also suggest you seek out a long distance runner for guidance. My friend Ken has run a ton of marathons and he’s the one who first gave me a running schedule and then helped me adjust it so I could build up to longer distances. Don’t be shy about asking, runners are nerds and love to talk about all the ways they prep themselves… hence the list you just read.

Running Stretches

Last but not least, stretch it out!! These are my go-to stretches because they stretch the front and back of the legs… also, I can look at Facebook on my phone while I do it. ~Rachel