The fitness world loves to share expensive stuff — exotic races, the latest gadget — but the truth is, most of what keeps us running day in and day out isn’t that expensive.

It’s the little items that make us more comfortable on the trail and help fight off injury.

So today I want to focus on a few of those … the un-sexy, un-exotic, inexpensive little things. Here are three of my favorite items, all under $25:

1. A Good Pair of Socks

Socks. The thing we dread getting each Christmas. But socks … they matter.

As someone who has dealt with more foot issues than anything else, I’m the first to admit that if your feet go, so does your run. No matter how good of shape your legs and mind might be in, blistered and bruised toenails can be a goal-ender.

Which is why a good pair of socks that helps prevent blisters instead of causing them can make all the difference in the world.

My go-to? Injinji toe socks, trail midweight. They’re durable and built for the trail, and the individual toe pockets have significantly reduced blistering. But whether you’re into Swiftwick, Balega, or any other company, it’s always worth investing in a good pair of socks.

Get some socks — Injinji, Trail Midweight — $16

2. Running Shoe Gaiters

Along the same, anything-to-save-my-feet line, I’m a big fan of running shoe gaiters. I don’t wear them every day, or even every race, but when I’m expecting a lot of mud, sand, snow, or debris, they’ve proven to be a run-savor.

Just slip a pair over your shoes to help prevent all the junk from creeping it’s way inside your shoe and causing discomfort or blisters.

It’s such a help that some companies like Altra and Inov 8 have built in clips to make it easier, but you can find a pair that will work with just about any shoe.

Get a pair of gaitersAltra Trail Gaiters — $24.95

3. Training Essentials for Ultrarunning by Jason Koop

Want to dive deeper into the science behind your training? Check out Jason Koops training book, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning.

I own just about every ultramarathon manual out there, I’ve even written my own, and most are geared towards beginners. Jason takes a different approach, sharing his know-how for experienced ultrarunners to step it up a notch.

Get the book — Training Essentials for Ultrarunning — $12

Bonus: Next Level Runner

I know, I know … I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a quick plug.

The Next Level Runner program is a membership program devoted to taking your training to the next level by focusing on one specific aspect of running each month. You’ll immediately gain access to a library of training plans, loads of resources, coaching calls, and most importantly, a community of runners.

Join here — Next Level Runner — $24

What I’m Digging this Month: April, 2017

Mendocino Coast 50K

Tomorrow morning I’ll toe the line of the Mendocino Coast 50K. This is my second year running the race, and I’m beyond stoked to get back out on this beautiful course.

Yesterday I helped RD Sid load up the truck with aid station supplies, and today I’m crewing him while he runs the entire course to check for markings.

It’s going to be a blast.

Think You Can Break the Appalachian Trail Speed Record?

Karl Meltzer thought he could, and while it took three attempts, he made it happen.

Red Bull, one of his sponsors, was around to document the effort.

Watch it here.

Rickey’s TransAmericana Run

Running across America is nothing new. In fact, just last year the speed record went down.

But when Rickey Gates announced after last year’s surprise presidential election that he felt called to run cross-country, it stood out as something different. His intention is to better get to know this country, and the people and communities that make it up.

He’s been running (and paddle boarding) for a few months now, and documents the trip on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s unlike any running project I’ve seen before, and look forward to each new mini-story he shares.

Ultrarunner Podcast also just shared a great interview with Rickey.

Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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One thought on “My Top 3 Running Items Under $25 (April 2017 Roundup)

  1. Love Injinji socks, too. My favorite gaiters, though, are Hand-sewn, tons of fabric choices and they are easy to put on. They do the job, even in snow & mud.
    Mendocino is on my bucket list now, thanks to you.

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