african american woman running

When you’re hitting the road for your run, you don’t have a lot of space to store whatever you might need, so we all tend to follow the old adage, “Pack light.” 
 
And that makes total sense – we don’t want to be slowed down by extra weight. We don’t want to have stuff in our hands as we’re moving – what happens when we fall? Do we smash our phones as we carry them in our hands?¬ Burst our water bottles? Of course not. We’ve got to be a bit smarter about carrying what we need.  
 
But what do we need? And how do we carry it? 
 
As always, I’ve got a few suggestions. 
 
When it comes to those great outdoor runs, few things strike me as more necessary than your ID (or a photocopy), a credit card, a public transit pass, lip balm of some sort, and your house key. Why the credit card or transit pass? Simple – if an emergency with a friend or loved one arises, you want to be able to get to where you need to be as quickly as possible. Also, food – I don’t know about you, but it never fails; halfway in, I want something to eat. If I don’t have a gel pack, I’m stopping for fuel.
 
Using the Bandi belt ($28.00, bandiwear.com), gives you a clever fanny pack without the exhausting bouncing that you often get from wearing it. The adjustable band sits flat across your chest or hip, and provides you space to insert your keys and cards as well as possibly your phone or lip balm within the inner folds of the belt. All of the folds are covered by one main enveloping fold, which guarantees the safety of all of your belongings. 
 
What if you don’t like belts? Banjees, from Sprig ($15, sprigs.com) might be for you. A wallet that affixes itself to your wrist much like a sweatband, Banjees have one side turned into a giant pocket, the perfect size for your cards and keys. With varying sizes that can also accommodate your phone, as well as different kinds that tend to just about any need – want to be able to still use your phone through your wristband? They’ve got you covered there, too! – Banjees are great for someone who wants everything they need within finger’s reach.
 
And what about our beloved phones? Yes, there are epic cases for those, too! The Sporteer armband ($24.99, sportier.com) is thick and large enough to carry your phone as well as it’s heavy duty case (think Otterbox: Defender-style!) The Sporteer armband also conveniently comes with slots to house each of your important cards and – if you’re not carrying a heavy duty case for your phone – possibly that lip balm, too! The case is made in multiple sizes for varying arm sizes as well as different sizes and styles for your phone brand of choice, and with a touch-sensitive cover for the screen on your smart phone, the case keeps your phone out of the way while keeping it useful! (In the case of emergency, consider using earbuds that have a remote control on the cord that allows you to tell your phone to dial 911.)
 
All in all, traveling light makes a world of difference in not only your distractions but also your preparedness for whatever may arise. Good music, free hands, clear mind, energized body? You’re totally ready for that epic run. Get after it! Your body will thank you for it! 
 
Erika Nicole Kendall is the certified trainer and writer behind the award-winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss. Ask her your health and fitness-related questions on Twitter at @bgg2wl.