I'm Training for a Half-Marathon—These Beauty and Fitness Staples Have Saved Me
If you had told me two years ago that I'd ever try to run a half-marathon, I would have said, "Absolutely not. You are mistaking me for someone else. That is a certifiably unhinged idea." I don't think I'd ever run more than three miles at once before in my life, and the idea was out of the question.
Running always seemed out of reach for me. I'm not naturally athletic, I don't have a typical runner's build, and I used to lie my way out of the mile in middle school. I once cried during the pacer test. I considered myself a firm non-runner, and I came to peace with that a long time ago.
Fast-forward to now. I've already registered to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon—and not even against my will. I picked up running during New York City's lockdown since my hot yoga studio was closed and my apartment was barely big enough to walk in, no less try to work out in.
At first, I ran begrudgingly as a way to move my body and say I exercised. As I continued running more regularly, however, I found that I really loved it (and no one is forcing me to say that!). I learned that running doesn't have to be scary. In fact, it can be empowering, emotional, and therapeutic.
On my journey to running the Brooklyn Half, I've tested out many, many products to find what works best for me. After testing four different running shoes, a myriad of SPFs, and tons of fitness gear, I can confidently say that I have vetted every single one of these products and would recommend them to anyone. Keep reading for the staples that are getting me to the finish line.
I don't play around with sunscreen. I'm extremely fair, and my skin is prone to freckling and sun spots. Supergoop! sunscreens work well for me in nearly every situation, and I've found that my half-marathon training is no different. Unseen Sunscreen is sweat-resistant for 40 minutes, sinks instantly into skin, and doesn't feel greasy at all. It's a major win for me.
Remember how I said I don't play with sunscreen? When I want extra protection (like when I'm going on a longer run), I layer this hydrating sunscreen oil over top of the Unseen Sunscreen. Since they're the same brand, I don't have to worry about pilling, and it also provides hydration that protects my skin from wind and dryness.
Finding the perfect running shoes has made me feel like Goldilocks. I've tried four pairs in the past year, and I can confidently say that none of them compares to the Brooks Revel. These shoes help propel me on my runs and cushion my feet the perfect amount. My mom injured her knee when she was my age, which has led to many knee surgeries, so I'm always cognizant of trying to prevent injuries as much as I can. Running in a good pair of shoes can be a great place to start to curb potential injuries, and these make me feel confident.
Maybe it's just me, but I tend to fixate on my lips while I run—if they get dry, it will start to be all I can think about. This lip balm is a double whammy. It provides sun protection for my lips, which is extremely important, and it gives me a dose of hydration. I throw this in my pocket so that I can reapply as needed while I run.
Hair ties always seem to be an afterthought, but arguably, they can make or break a good workout. I have really thick hair, and if I opt for a poorly made hair tie, it will either A) break immediately or B) get weighed down by my hair while I run. I love these hair ties because they can manage my thick hair, and they're sustainable and biodegradable, so I feel good about purchasing them.
I have a larger chest, and Lululemon sports bras actually make me feel secure. Plus, their sizing actually goes above a D cup—something I've rarely found in many mainstream sports bras.
These are the best running leggings I've ever tried, hands down. They stay up while you run, they're adjustable, and they have tons of deep pockets so you can store your phone, keys, wallet, and anything else you might need without worrying it might fall out. They also feel like a second skin.
If I run on a colder day or early in the morning, I like to slip these on over my ears to stay warm.
I layer this serum underneath my sunscreen for maximum protection from the sun since vitamin C helps shield your skin from free radicals and environmental damage. I think it makes a big difference in how many sun spots and freckles I get.
This recovery spray works wonders for sore and tight muscles. I spray this on after a long run to help my body recover.
I finally leveled up my headphone game and got these AirPods. At first, I wasn't sure about them, because I typically don't like headphones that fit into your ears, but they've pleasantly surprised me. They're noise-blocking if you want them to be, but you can switch it off when you need to, which I do on outdoor runs to make sure I'm staying alert.
Ask anyone I know—they'll tell you I drink an absurd amount of water. Having water with me on a run makes me feel a little better if I'm planning on clocking over seven miles. Plus, this handheld bottle also has a pocket, in which I stash my AirPod case, lip balm, and keys.
If I start to feel fatigued on a long run, I pop one of these energy jelly beans. They taste like normal jelly beans and give you an extra boost when you need it.
If you're a regular Who What Wear reader, you already know about my love for Supergoop! Play. It's the best body sunscreen I've ever used, and I'll say that with my chest. I put it on any exposed skin on my body before I take off.
When it's warm out, I love running in bike shorts. I have always hated typical running shorts because I have larger thighs that tend to rub together and chafe, so bike shorts allow me to run in shorts without worrying about chafing.
Listen, I wish I could take a nice Epsom salt bath after a run, but I live in New York City, and trying to take a bath in my apartment would not be a relaxing experience. I compromise with this Epsom-infused bodywash, which helps sore muscles recover. Plus, it smells so good.
My skin gets really red and dry after running from all the wind and sweat. I slather this on the night after a long run to calm inflammation, and I wake up the next morning with glowing, hydrated skin.
My eyes tend to water if I run in the wind, which leads to dry, inflamed skin around my eyes. This calming eye balm is intensely moisturizing and soothing.
This is my favorite cleanser to remove sweat and dirt after running. It's not stripping, it leaves zero residue, and it takes everything off.
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