For those of you taking part in long-distance running or marathons, choosing a suitable running bag (or vest in some cases) to hold all of your essentials is key. Although there are different types of bags and vests to choose from, there are a number of common issues to be aware of so you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your running bag without affecting your performance. We’ll be taking you through these before providing you with a list of a few top quality running bag options that you can choose from to match your specific running requirements.
Choosing a suitable running bag
The first step in avoiding some of the common issues that we will be getting into is ensuring that your choice of running bag matches your running style and needs. Check on things like the straps across the shoulders, chest and waist to make sure that they won’t be digging into you or creating too much friction as you’re running.
Another thing you need to consider is the overall capacity of the bag. Remember that as a general rule, you should under pack rather than overpack, as you don’t want to be weighed down and wasting energy when you’re running. Make the most of the bag’s capacity, but don’t go out with a large bag on if you’re only taking your phone and wallet with you.
Issues with running bags and how to avoid them
Although using running bags can be super helpful, you should be aware of some of these common problems so you can avoid them when you’re out on your next run. At the end of the day, you’re still adding some degree of weight to your run, even if you do have the most lightweight bag.
After choosing the right running back to match your needs, the next part is getting it to fit just right.
- Take the time to adjust your straps on the bag before you head out on your run. If your bag isn’t fitted correctly it could be affecting your technique while you run and lead to your body overcompensating for the motion of the bag.
- Remember to start off with a light load, as you pack a few essentials like some snacks, water bottles, your phone, wallet and a spare shirt. After a while you can start to add in a little more weight if you need to, particularly if you’re using it on a morning commute to work. Some people run into the problem of overloading themselves on the first few runs, which can lead to an injury or some degree of muscle soreness.
- Make sure that you start training and getting your body used to wearing a running bag, particularly if you’ve got a long distance race coming up. Consider adding in some strength training into your exercise regime if you don’t already, as this can alleviate some of the stress from your back if you’re noticing problems when you’re running. Some experts even recommend wearing it throughout the day as you’re completing errands just to make sure you are comfortable wearing it for long periods of time.
- You need to be recovering properly after exercising so you don’t get any soreness or muscle tightness that could have been avoided. A nice foam roller can be great for teasing out some of the pressure across your shoulders and back that can develop after running with your bag.
- If you’re planning on racing with a pack, make sure that you properly break it in and get used to running with it well in advance. There’s nothing worse than getting to race day and having your new bag completely throw out everything you’ve been training for.
Running bag options
Depending on the type of running or exercise that you’re going to be doing, there are a number of different running bags which you can consider. Your choice in a running bag will also come down to what feels most comfortable and natural for you when running, so you can be sure that it’s not hurting your performance or becoming a nuisance when you’re exercising. Here are a few different bags that are available on the market.
These are a great lightweight option which has two rear pockets to help optimise your organisation and safety when running. The shoulder straps are carefully designed to promote more equal weight distribution and give you a comfortable fit and feel across your shoulders and back. The adjustability of these vests is great for finding the perfect custom fit for all body types.
- Orange Mud Vests
Orange Mud Gear Vests are perfect for road running or trail runs, where you need a comfortable vest to store some essentials. These one size fits all vests are designed to ride quite high, so you can get a greater range of motion and maximum level of heat release.
- Ultimate Direction Scram Pack
This running bag is great for all year round running where you need a little extra storage space. The adjustable T-hook waist belt can also help to match those heavier loads when running. It also features a large storage area on the front, so you can carry your food, water, phone and other accessories easily.
The bag that you decide on will feed into everything else that you do when running. Make sure to follow our tips to avoid some of the common problems people have with running bags, so that you can reach your ultimate running goals!