A Runner’s 5-Step Plan for Spring Cleaning & Gear Check (with my favorites)

5-Step spring clean

I’m on a mission. My goal is to put new contact paper in all my kitchen drawers and cupboards before summer. I do a drawer or two a week in between the crazy. I did my favorite drawer first; my tea box drawer.

It’s like a magical wardrobe to Narnia.

I can just pull open the drawer, gaze at all the swirly blue, clean contact paper and pretty tea boxes and be swept away into another land.

Until someone yells, “Maaaaoooom!” and it’s back to reality.

It’s the simple things, right? And we all have our favorite, simple things. Simple usual works.

This is true with running gear too. How’s about we open the running gear closet and take a peak? Is it a magical wardrobe to Narnia or more like a smelly tool shed with old junk you never use?

Here’s my 5-step spring clean up and gear check!

1. Store the winter gear

I know what you’re saying. “But there are still chilly mornings!” Right. Keep a pair of long pants handy, but put away the thick, 32-degrees-or-below-pants, fleece hats, and glove liners, etc. Stash all the things you know you won’t need until next winter. I keep mine not too far away in a linen bag under my bed.

Bonus tip: Remember, as the days warm up, don’t forget to dress for temperatures about 10-15 degrees warmer than it is outside. This is the time of year I usually overdress and start to overheat before the first mile.

2. If it ain’t broke

…don’t fix it. Sure, you should make some tough cuts and ditch things that you never wear, (even that pretty running top that chaffs you under the armpits) or things that are truly worn out. But if it works, keep it. I had a pair of stretchy Sporthill running shorts for 10 years. They were perfect and I wore them on every single summer run. They carried me mile after mile and never let my thighs rub together. Those shorts were good people.

3. If it’s broke

…fix it. Don’t go through the next running season saying to yourself, “Man, I really need to get a new¬† tech shirt!” You don’t have to spend a fortune, you just need the necessities. It’s like setting up your wardrobe for “business casual.” You just need the basic pieces to mix, match, and layer. Set out all your tech clothes on the bed or floor and make sure you’re set for the range of temps where you live.

4. Get the big things

There’s nothing worse than getting into training for a race only to realize it’s too close to race time to get new shoes. Take stock of your most important piece of equipment and gear up before training season really takes off. I decided to slip back into an old brand I loved and even though I used to wear them for years, it still took a while to get back in the groove. I’m glad I got them early before I needed to start doing those long runs.

Bonus tip: Treat yourself to a gait analysis at your favorite specialty running store while you’re there, so you make sure you’re in the right shoe.

Speaking of big things, how’s that bra holding up? I’m a “Fiona” from Moving Comfort kinda gal. Just like the gait analysis for your feet, get a sport bra fitting for your top side. Turns out I was buying the wrong size and they were wearing out sooner than they should have.

Bonus tip: By buying a smaller size, but larger cup, I was able to use it longer because I had room to tighten the clasps as it stretched out. Brilliant!

5. Get the little things

You can’t go wrong sprucing up your gear basket with the little stuff you use all the time. I’m all about new socks. My favorite socks for trail running are ankle-height Smartwool for keeping out dirt and quick drying abilities. For the road or track, I like Swiftwick. They are super lightweight, perfect compression and they last! I’ve also just started using Feetures. They are super comfy and offer a little cushion, but aren’t too hot.

Headbands! This is where I could use some help. I can’t find any that actually hold my hair, don’t slip and are big enough to grab some sweat while their up there. Got any great ones you want to recommend? Put your faves in the comments below – thanks!

I am going to wear sunscreen this year. Confession… I almost never do and I really need to be committed. Who’s joining me on this one?

BodyGlide period. I sweat, therefore I chaff. A lot. I love BodyGlide.

Bonus tip: When the runs get reeeallly long, my secret anti-chaff weapon is Moleskin. You can cut and customize the size, slap it on and it doesn’t come off. Perfect for taking care of those places that chaff no matter what.

Here’s the big takeaway

Making a little time to set yourself up for this coming season will do a few things:

  • Tidying up will cut down on early-morning-clothes-frustration
  • Having only what you need handy will keep things simple
  • Stocking up will give you fewer excuses to skip a workout

Summer is going to be here soon. Now go get yourself some new contact paper and socks! You deserve it.

I would love to know your spring cleaning tips and favorite gear you can’t live without. Leave me a note in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “A Runner’s 5-Step Plan for Spring Cleaning & Gear Check (with my favorites)

  1. Yes, sunscreen. I’ve already tried to be more diligent about wearing it out and about now that it’s pretty sunny regularly whether I’m running, hiking or just heading to the grocery store or Target.

    Headbands are tough for me. I have heard good things about the Junk brands headbands (https://www.junkbrands.com), but being that you have to purchase them online and pay shipping and all that goodness, it seems like a hassle to not know if it’s really going to hold the hair back. Plus, I have a big head so I have a hard time with any headbands working for me.

  2. Hey Lauren – Thanks for the note. Glad we are doing the sunscreen buddy system. I will check out junkbrands, thanks! I actually got some fabric at JoAnn’s and made one that works. Maybe I’ll go that route. I’ll give you one if I make more :-) xxoo ~Laura

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