Guide to gadgets available when you run long distances

Running from point A to point B, as 60,000 people will do in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on Friday, seems so simple.

Eat a decent breakfast, drink lots of water, put on running clothes and shoes, stretch, grab your MARTA pass, run back inside because you forgot your race number, and go.

If only running was so … uncomplicated.

Like most things in life, technology is providing a boost.

From helping participants prepare the night before the race to the postrace recovery/celebrations at Piedmont Park, to getting the funk out of your clothes after the 6.2-mile trek, science is trying to lend a hand … or foot.

Here’s a look at some of the new products that some may use, with help from sales associates at Phidippides:

THE NIGHT BEFORE

Don’t waste time while you’re sleeping.

The Vivofit fitness band by Garmin will monitor your sleep activity, telling you your periods of movement and restful sleep.

THE MORNING OF

Fruit is good, sure, but isn’t frosting better?

Gu Energy makes something that looks like a delicious cake topping, but is actually supposed to boost your energy.

The food comes in pouches and many flavors, including Espresso Love, Chocolate Outrage and Salted Watermelon. If you don’t want to ingest one in the morning, because they come in 100-calorie small pouches, they can be carried and eaten while you run. It is supposed to provide an “optimal blend of carbohydrates, a proprietary GU amino blend, and a full serving of Vitamin C and E.”

GETTING DRESSED

Light makes right.

Dryer makes you … lighter.

Today’s running clothes, socks and shoes are not only getting lighter, but they are also wicking your sweat away.

Should the race-day temperatures climb, both could be important.

Manufacturers such as Brooks and New Balance are producing shoes that combine the lightness of racing flats with the cushioning of high-mileage trainers, which are always good when facing climbs like Cardiac Hill.

And don’t ignore socks. Many types are being manufactured that can also wick sweat and aren’t made of cotton, which the saying goes is rotten when running in the South.

Turning to the other end of your nattily-dressed body, there are visors manufactured by Headsweats that include sweatbands to keep that pesky perspiration from burning your eyes.

Lastly, put on your sunglasses with hydrophilic technology that, when you start to sweat, will make your ocular protection devices stick to your face, instead of annoyingly slide down your noise.

DURING THE RACE

If your Garmin fitness band isn’t enough, TomTom makes a heart-rate monitor that you can wear on your other wrist that monitors your blood pressure. Between the two devices, you can measure your calories burned, distance run, interval times and paces.

Too bad you can’t use it to order a pizza after the race.

If you are royalty and can’t use the water from any of the checkpoints on the 6.2-mile course, there are all sorts of H20-storage devices that you can carry, wear as a belt, or as a backpack.

POSTRACE

So, you’ve finished the race and found your family, who wisely didn’t want to hug you because, let’s face it, you reek.

Rather than burning those funkified clothes, there is a detergent manufactured by Win that is “specially formulated to get persistent, sweaty smells out of synthetic materials.” It contains a science that breaks the chemicals bonds that, to put in layman’s terms, breaks the stink from the clothes.

So, you can keep it simple or go techno-crazy.

Either way, see you at the finish line.

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