The Best Running Hacks Ever, Revealed

The Best Running Hacks Ever, Revealed

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When I first started running, I scoured the internet for the best running hacks but only found bits and pieces of advice, with an occasional “hack”.

To me, there is a huge difference between running advice and running hacks.

Hacks save you time or money. Hacks are clever, or do something you would never have thought to do. Or they ingeniously prevent or fix an injury, or solve a running problem.

Are you with me on this?

If so, keep reading for a list of essential running hacks I’ve compiled over the last 4 years of running.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. And we won’t ever, ever write about a product we don’t believe in. Opinions are entirely our own.

 

15 Running Hacks You NEED to Know

Consider this my running advice ABOUT running hacks, from a runner who uses these hacks herself.

 

1.) Keep Your House Key Safe -> Tie it into Your Laces

Running Hacks- Tie Key in Shoelaces

Ever leave the house for a run and aren’t sure where to put the house key?

I feel safer when it’s with me (even though I’ve hidden it in plants, on my car tire, and under rocks…).

Some pants have hidden key pockets and some don’t. So where do you put the key when your pants don’t have pockets?

Lace the key into your shoe. This simple running hack ensures your key won’t get lost because it’s safely tied where it can’t fall out.

2.) Prevent Chafing with Aquaphor/Body Glide/Vaseline

Running Hacks Revealed -Use Aquaphor or Body Glide

No one told me about this when I first started running. I wish they had.

I got SO many blisters and my sports bra chafed me on long runs. Friction is not your friend.

Enter Vaseline, Body Glide, and Aquaphor. Your new best friends.

I use Body Glide on my upper body, on areas that could chafe.

I use Aquaphor on my feet because it creates a moisture-protected seal around my skin (and feet are sweaty!).

You probably already have Vaseline around the house. It can be used too, in a pinch.

3.) Lace Your Shoes Differently (to Solve Various Problems)

Lacing Your Running Shoes for Fit and Function | He and She Eat Clean
Image credit: HeandSheEatClean.com

I never thought to lace running shoes in different ways until my right heel started slipping.

This hack works for some tricky shoe-fit problems, especially if the issue is only happening to one foot (and you don’t want to buy a new pair of shoes to solve the issue).

Need more space due to a high instep? Need more room? Have a narrow heel?

Save money on new running shoes! Try the lacing above, or check out the full post here.

 

4.) Run in the Rain-> Keep Water Out with Duct Tape

How to Duct Tape Running Sneakers - Running Hacks

While training for my first 10 Miler, it rained. A lot.

I was frustrated because my feet were wet during runs (leading to blisters) because the water soaked into my shoes and socks.

So I complained. A lot. 🙂

And then my husband found an article on how to duct tape your running shoes to keep water out. I tried it, and it worked!

I then used this hack during the actual race and was SO thankful I’d found it.

Want more hacks for running in the rain? Check out Running in the Rain: 8 Strange Tricks That Actually Work.

 

5.) Prevent Blisters on Your Toes/Feet – Wear Toe Socks

Running Hacks Revealed - Toe Socks

Again, I experienced blisters while training. Mostly on my pinky toe.

It hurt and would ruin my running schedule while I took a break to heal it.

The magical fix: TOE SOCKS. No kidding.

Ugly? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely!

Injinji is my go-to brand. They have lightweight and midweight toe socks in tons of colors.

I currently own at least 8 pairs 🙂 Best running hack ever to save my training (and my sanity).

Find more blister-prevention tips at 7 Clever Ways to Prevent Blisters from Running (toe socks are one of them!).

6.) Pin Gels to Your Waist – Easy to Access, Easy to Open!

Running Hacks Revealed - Pin Gels to Pants

Many runners use GU energy gels for fuel during runs lasting 60 minutes or more.

If your pants don’t have pockets, you end up carrying them. And maybe dropping them. It’s a pain.

Plus, if your hands are sweaty, it’s hard to rip the top off to open it.

Solution: Use a bobby pin to pin it to your hip!

No more carrying GU. And this running hack helps rip the top off since something is gripping it already (the bobby pin). So much easier!

 

7.) Keep Your Phone Dry -> Use a Plastic Baggy

Running Hacks - Plastic Baggy Trick

My first (and only, to date) Half Marathon was the rainiest day of the season.

I freaked out thinking I had to leave my iPhone behind. Sad runner.

Thank goodness someone suggested using a plastic baggy to cover the phone! Run saved!

This hack protects your phone from moisture, for free. Happy runner.

 

8.) Save Money on Running Gear -> End of Season Sales

Running clothes and gear gets expensive.

When is it less expensive? At the end of the season when it’s on sale!

I personally don’t care if I have the “latest” color trend. Running clothes are running clothes, whether they’re pink or teal.

This hack allows you to save money without sacrificing quality. Get the brands you love. And get them on sale.

Plus, I love starting the next season with a bounty of new (cheap!) running clothes I bought last season. It’s like a little present from my past self.

 

9.) DIY Water Bottle Holder – Save Money

Runners need to stay hydrated while running. This requires bringing a water bottle.

Make your own handle with a a cheap beer koozie – cut the bottom off, then, cut squares in the sides and wrap it around a water bottle. BOOM. Done.

If you’re really crafty and want to sew one, check out these nifty DIY water bottle holder instructions.

 

10.) Save Money, Eat ‘Whole’ -> Make your own fuel snacks

Maple Sea Salt Energy Chews (Photo credit: fannetasticfood.com)

GU energy gels and other pre-packaged running fuel works great for some runners.

But not for everyone.

Whether you want to save money or eat more “whole” foods during your run, making your own running snacks makes sense.

Some homemade or cheap running fuel ideas:

 

 

11.) Motivation hack -> Sleep in Your Running Clothes

Want to make morning running a reality?

Do what many morning runners do and sleep in your running clothes.

Then, roll out of bed the next morning, throw on running shoes, and you’re out the door before your brain realizes what’s going on.

My half marathon friend with 2 kids swears by this method as “the only way I can make myself run at 5am“.

 

12.) Or, Lay Out All Your Running Clothes the Night Before

Running Hacks- Lay Out Clothes

If sleeping in them doesn’t work for you, then lay out all your clothes the night before.

The fewer tasks that have to be done before running…the sooner you run, and more likely you are to go.

So help yourself out. Prepare. And reap the benefits in the morning.

This hack made me a morning runner…and I used to HATE running in the morning. Magic!

These other foolproof ways to become a morning runner will amaze you too: 14 Easy Ways to Become a Morning Runner.

 

13.) Money-saving hack-> Older Model Running Shoes

Ask about older models when getting fitted for running shoes.

I didn’t know this at first and got “sold” on multiple $100+ running shoes before learning this trick.

Older models are usually $20-$50 cheaper than current models, with minimal differences. You still need to try them on to ensure proper fit….but if the shoe fits, why not save money?

Example: I bought last season’s Asics for $85 while the current season’s models were running well over $100 (I tried one on that was $120 before remembering to ask about an older model). Yikes!

 

14.) Remember to Replace Running Shoes ->Track Running Shoe Mileage

Running Hacks Revealed- Track Your Shoe Mileage

Running shoes only last 250-300 miles. But it’s hard to keep track of this.

I use RunKeeper Go and it keeps track of my shoes and their mileage for me (screenshot above).

If you have more than one pair, add them in and associate the correct pair with each run easily as you go.

 

15.) Save Time -> Do Less Laundry

Running Hacks Revealed - Less Laundry

Sick of all the (smelly) running clothes in your laundry basket?

Try this: step into the shower with your running clothes on after a run, then ring them out and hang them up to dry.

This hack gets you at least another use before sending them through the real laundry for a thorough cleaning (and keeps your laundry basket from smelling).

Bonus: think of all the laundry detergent and electricity you’ll save! This basically cuts your running laundry in half.

 

Do you have another running hack to add to the list? Tell me in the comments or email me at contact[at]howtorunguide[dot]com – I’d love to hear from you!

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3 Replies to “The Best Running Hacks Ever, Revealed”

  1. For keys, mobile phones, atm card, bills, mp3 player, gels, etc., i have my very veryreliable Flipbelt zipper edition. That saves you half of these hacks and yes, i got most of the stuff inside it the night before i run. 😉

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