Here are some running gadgets & toys I use/have sued that I really like! None of them are really necessary for running but some help with training, others make it more fun and convenient and still others aid in fast recovery.
Gaiam 18-Inch Muscle Therapy Foam Roller: Foam rollers really help in speeding up recovering, in my experience. I use mine after runs to help loosen tight muscles and massage out knots. It hurts so good!
Garmin Forerunner 305: Helps track heart rate, distance, pace, calories burned, time elapsed, etc. I love it for runs and wear it for all of mine (hey, it comes with a hefty price tag so I gotta get my money’s worth ;)). I’ve used it for bike rides, hikes, walks and swims as well though it does have restrictions on how deep you can submerge it for it to still work. I also have a Polar HRM that I originally bought when I first started running to see my heart rate throughout my workouts. I sprang for the Garmin when I really got into training because of the GPS component. It’s bulkier and takes some getting used to but overall I’m happy with the purchase. Before it I’d just use the Polar and then map my runs on Mapmyrun.com. Not precise but close enough!
Body Glide: I finally bought this when I was pregnant and my thighs would rub together between the extra baby weight and the summer heat. It’s awesome! I wear it still when I wear shorts for runs, put it between my toes on long runs so they don’t rub calluses or blisters onto each other, etc. Bry uses it too!
SpiBelt: I haven’t used this in awhile simply because we run with our jogging stroller and have the handlebar console attached to it. So we put all our stuff in it instead of the SpiBelt. But we do plan to use it for our half marathon and whenever we train without little man (which we don’t plan to do for a very long time since he enjoys it so much!) It’s great to keep fuel, keys, a cell phone, etc. without bulking up pockets or your hands.
Non-Slip hair ties: These are the ONLY hair ties I’ve ever found that actually live up to their non-slip name. They don’t come lose at all and hold my ponytail for hour+ runs. And I have long hair!
*We have personally purchased and used all items listed above and personally recommend them based on our own experiences*