I’ve often written posts about spring/summer/winter and fall running things I love for the year. For the last few years I have been more than set for fitness gear so I haven’t discovered many amazing new products. I’ve been doing a lot of organizing and moving projects around the house lately and it got me thinking. There’s a whole lot of not fitness things that I still love for running or biking. So here are a few not quite fitness products you might consider investing in to help you in your active lifestyle.
Electronic door lock
We live on the ocean in an open spot where the real estate ad might read ocean breezes but in reality it’s an ever present persistent wind. In storms our house gets absolutely battered and as such our door locks tend to fail in record time. It doesn’t matter the quality or brand we buy in about 2 years we will be opening it with a sludge hammer when the key breaks off. Quite a few years ago we decided to try one of those electronic door locks just to see.
Even though I bought a cheap one it’s been going strong for 6 or 7 years which is awesome but I really love it for running. Before we switched I would lock the door and hide my keys under the truck which has obvious drawbacks. It’s a past tense habit now, so don’t worry. Specifically, we invested in an electronic deadbolt. Now I just push a button to lock the door and enter a code when I get home. The house is secure and I don’t have to worry about losing my keys along the way.
If you work out from home you need to go get an electronic door lock yesterday. They are actually pretty easy to install yourself with just a screwdriver and lots and lots of patience. It does come with a key but it’s best practice to just change the battery on your birthday every year to precent accidental lock outs.
Tripod and phone mount
I kinda felt like a tool when I started running with a little flexible tripod and phone mount for taking kick ass pictures for the blog and the gram. But my pictures went up so many levels just by having a little lift and a secure place to stand it up.
If you ever take pictures on your runs alone, with friends or at run club consider grabbing a little tripod to up your game and have some fun on the run. I put it into one of the bottle holders on my run belt and put the mount under one of my bra straps so it isn’t cumbersome at all. Plus it does tend to come in handy around the house too.
I’ve always had a bathrobe but I never wore it. It was short, pilled and randomly had a burn hole in it from a campfire. A couple of years ago my sister bought me a long, push, fuzzy one that feels like a wearable hug. For a number of sweat related reasons it’s a best practice to hang out in the nude for a bit after a heavy workout, especially if a shower isn’t in the cards. Lately I’ve been peeling off my running clothes and hanging out in my super luxurious robe while I cool down and dry off for a bit.
It’s worth investing in ‘that robe’ that you are excited to dramatically lounge around in after your workouts. It gets you out of your stinky clothes, gets the moist parts dry faster and you can adopt what ever poorly executed ‘fancy’ accent you like while you wear it.
All of the fun tumblers
A few years ago I made it my new year’s resolution to get my water intake right because coffee for 10 hours every day isn’t enough. At home I picked up 3 big tumblers, one for upstairs, one for downstairs and one for the dishwasher. I have ones with my initials, ones that are sparkly and even one shaped like a pineapple.
I picked mine up at superstore as they went on sale and struck my fancy but there are so many available out there pretty much everywhere you might be shopping. For the first year or so I just resolved to have one full and near me while I was home and wouldn’t you know it suddenly I was drinking more water.
Especially in the heat of the summer your pre-run hydration status is very important in keeping you safe and happy. If you need to get your water intake on point I suggest a similar collection of fun tumblers close at hand.
For me this is a godsend in certain situations but it might not be even a good idea depending on your personal relationships. As long as there are no safety concerns sharing your location with your partner, family or friends can literally be a lifesaver. I always share my location info with my partner, that way he can see me still moving as expected on those long, long marathon training runs. This helps him worry less and if something happens to me he can know my location and call for help on my behalf.
As an occasional mountain biker in the back woods I like to take it a step further though. If I were to run into trouble out of service range Apple’s location tracking capabilities wouldn’t help me much. In this scenario I use a paid subscription service on the Cyclemeter app. The cool thing about this app is that when I start tracking a ride I have it set to automatically send honey an email alert. That email includes a link to a clickable real time map which shows the progress of my ride. That means if something happens where I don’t have service my last known location is still accessible.
I’ve never needed help but it’s comforting to know that it will be easier for me to get it should anything bad ever happen. In practice this makes some of my regular running activities easier too. On some days, like during my virtual marathon, I share my location with my mom and stepdad too. This lets everyone track my progress to bring me water and cheer me on at the right points.
On one occasion many years ago I did suffer a breakdown on my bike about 20 km away from my car one evening. Getting rescued would have meant loading the ATV onto the truck, coming to the trail head, unloading the ATV, coming to get me and then reversing the process. I called home to let honey know this was a possibility but I was able to make as limp out repair and get back to the car shortly after dark. It made the whole situation easier to monitor and way less stressful than it would have been otherwise had my loved ones not been able to see my location.
A running clothes dresser in another room
Hear me out… I highly suggest that ya’ll consider taking over a closet or dresser in a separate room for your running gear apart from your master bedroom. I don’t often get up earlier than my partner to go running but I did two half marathon cycles ago. These days the only time it might be an issue is on the rare occasion the cat is successful in waking me up for treats instead of honey.
During that training cycle I was getting up before honey to go run. Even though I went to bed after midnight the actual weather didn’t seem to match the forecast only hours previous. I got so fed up that I moved a dresser filled with all my options to a spare room. I can not tell you how literally life changing this was compared to just setting out my clothes the night before. It took the weather as an excuse totally out of the equation.
We are blessed and cursed with tons of extra space around here but this is totally worth it. It’s such a good idea that I would plan to store my fitness stuff outside the master if we were ever to build a smaller home. If you are pressed for space elsewhere in your home maybe you could rotate just the gear that is appropriate for that season.
You could use a shelf in a bathroom closet, a small piece of furniture in a hallway or even a storage ottoman in the living room if a full dresser isn’t an option.
Indoor drying rack or line
The most expensive pants, shoes, gloves and skirts I own are all made specifically for running and cycling. You might not know but the dryer is the appliance that really destroys your clothes. The heat and the tumbling cause fading, the material to breakdown and especially degrades the elastic in your clothes. That means over time the clothes that go into the dryer loose their color and their shape.
The clothes we run in have to fit us perfectly, are incredibly expensive and are usually chock full of spandex. In order to preserve the fit and the general condition of your expensive fitness gear your running clothes should never see the inside of the dryer. A regular runner will quickly run out of space over the shower rod in the bathroom to dry all those workout outfits from the week.
Investing in a drying rack or retractable inside line will quickly pay for itself since your most expensive running clothes will last longer. While we’re at it always hang your bras, leggings and sweaters to dry too. We’re not pressed for space and I do my hanging in a spare room. I usually hang almost all of our clothes to dry inside. I use a drying rack and a retractible clothes line which is amazing. I have added three anchors and hooks into the wall opposite a sturdy closet rod so my line makes four trips across the room. When we do have guests it’s easy to just react the line and poof it’s a bedroom again. I do find clothes dry faster on the line than the rack.
I should also note that having a work truck with a long box at my disposal is pretty great for moving paddle boards, kayaks and bikes too! What is your favorite fitness thing that isn’t specifically a fitness thing? What life changing thing regularly makes it easier for you to work out? Leave it in the comments below.
love that….I pretty much never tell anyone where I’m going when I run, I sometimes don’t always know…..even the starting point. But I will use my Facebook and tag my location….and I’ve finally started wearing a wrist band with some info on it (road ID)….it took a fall, a cracked skull and me knocking myself out to scare me into finally doing that……hopefully never need it, but you never know
I love Road ID!!! I call it my “if lost or stolen please return to” tag.I hope you’ve recovered from your injuries thot sounds terrible! I worry more about biking but cyclemeter has a run option built into it too. I could see it being especially important for trail runners.