This $20 Accessory Helped Me Become a Better Runner
How a running belt transformed one woman's workouts by enabling her to run faster and for longer.
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I used to be one of those people who truly believed that I "wasn't a runner" and would never be one. But then I did the Couch to 5K program and finally realized that you have to train to run. In the past, I would simply go outside and attempt to run a mile, only to fail miserably. Now, I understand that you don't just wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon; you work at it and build up your endurance over time. Today, I'm happy to call myself a runner. You'll often find me cruising the streets of New York City in running shoes, wireless headphones, and, most importantly, my trusty running belt.
To say I love my SPIbelt ($20; dickssportingoods.com and amazon.com) would be an understatement. It may seem strange to profess love for something that resembles a glorified fanny pack, but I credit this little accessory with helping me become the runner I am today.
Before I discovered the SPIbelt, I would carry my small personal items (which is what "SPI" stands for) in an arm band while I ran, but I hated the feeling of tight plastic around my bare skin. I then tried holding my phone and tucking my keys into my sports bra, an uncomfortable technique that I'm sure many female runners are familiar with. Or I'd attempt to stuff everything into the small pockets of my leggings, but there never seemed to be enough room. Finally, I stumbled across a recommendation for running belts in an online runner's forum, and the rest is history.
The stretchy spandex pouch expands to comfortably fit your keys, phone, and a credit card, and somehow it doesn't bounce around your waist while you run. After you remove items from the pouch, it magically snaps back to its original size and shape. The elastic belt is soft, and won't chafe skin if you choose to wear it underneath your shirt.
Most importantly, a running belt helps me run harder, longer, and more comfortably. I love running, but I need some type of entertainment to keep me going, whether it's a playlist of pop songs or an addicting podcast. My SPIbelt keeps my personal items secure so I can run hands-free. The more entertained and motivated I am on my run, the longer I'm likelier to run, and the faster and farther I'll go. And this genius little accessory helps me get there.