In 1998, I pulled away from two grimacing faces in my shiny new Ford Probe. The car my mother was against me being allowed to have, except it also meant she could finally relinquish chauffeur duty. Thus in the glove box of that car was a mobile phone.
A mobile phone that came with the following instructions: “You better be dying if you choose to use this.”
Said with love and a full respect for the only 30 minutes of talk time included in the plan! Who knew just a short while later a distracted driver would plow through a red light and make that phone necessary. Luckily I was uninjured, but the Probe was a lost cause…so I got a new version in a different color! (only child, hate me if you will).I’d show you photos of me next to said Probes, but phones didn’t have cameras in the old days. So there’s probably a developed picture somewhere hidden in a box stored away in my parents basement after my repeated years of moving.
Now the cameras embedded in our tiny little phones can rival the quality of a professional camera (not a professional photographer mind you). We can make calls, though who does, stream videos, Yelp the best place around with sweet potato fries and distract the littles on planes with moving block games.
It’s no wonder the price has continued to climb. We rely on these devices.
And yet…$1,000 just kind of gets my goat. I started thinking of all the running gadgets I could buy or haven’t bought because they seemed too expensive.
Expensive Running Gear, I’d Rather Have
Thanks to iPhoneX they now seem downright reasonable!! And as for now, my phone does everything I need. It won’t vastly improve my life for it to recognize my face.
If you’re already thinking about Christmas get going!!! In fact you could get 2-3 items from this list for less than the phone.
Compex Sport Elite Electronic Muscle Stimulator ($392)
In my article on recovering like a pro-athlete, I talked about the benefits of an electric stim machine…so check that out for more details. But high level the benefit to having one at home is of course access without paying a dr’s fee. You can use the stim for a couple of different outcomes:
- Explosive strength from activation of Type IIB fast twitch muscle fibers
- Endurance from activation of Type 1 Slow twitch muscle fibers
- Active recovery which increases blood flow and flushes the muscles allowing in nutrients and oxygen
While there are cheaper models, I feel like anything sending a current through your body should be of the highest quality!Photo from Compex
Suunto Spartan Ultra HR Watch ($449)
This wouldn’t appeal to all runners, but I’m a runnerd. I love all the new tech, the bells, the whistles…even if I pretty must just use HR. HA! Actually, with more time on the trails, this watch becomes even more appealing. You can find versions of this that do cost more than the iPhone, but this model has:
- Multisport GPS watch, really designed for the outdoor athlete
- Altitude measuring (very cool on the trails here to see what you’ve climbed)
- HR measurement, step tracking, 26 hours battery life, water resistant
- Load and follow per-configured routes (again super trail awesome)
- Ability to really track your training with how you feel, etc
Photo from Suunto
The MASSIVE downside to this watch is you still need a HR strap. I love that it’s the most accurate tracking out there, but the HR strap is a massive issue for me, which then has me turning my gaze upon the Garmin Fenix 5S in Rose Gold because you can wear that bling anywhere and it tracks your HR in the wrist strap which is designed for a female runner.
Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Waterproof Earbuds ($199)
I’ve tested a number of wireless headphones and one of my issues was that the earpieces often felt really big or technically there was a still a cord somewhere…not with these.
- HR monitor integrated in to the earbuds
- Works for making calls and listening to your music, so you could skip the Apple Airpods
- Comes with some noise canceling or optional “pass through” so you can hear what’s happening around you
- Good steady connection with phone
- Sweatproof: Could use for short lap swimming (30 min is their recommended max water time)
- Downside for distance runners is 3 hour battery life
I have to admit I’m increasingly drawn to finding the right wireless headphones, so I can stop twisting cords all over to keep them from flapping in the wind. NYC Marathon Race Registration ($295 US or $358 non-U.S. residents)
Currently NYC holds the record as the most expensive marathon to enter. We’ve seen all the stats on what it costs to put together the race and yet still the price seems bananas…but clearly worth it as every year more want to run it than bibs are available. Technically for those like me who showed up the year of Sandy and then came back the following year, the price was double.
Nike Zoom Fly Elite ($150)
Considering everything that went in to this shoe and the magic surrounding it…it’s not the most expensive running shoe I’ve seen! Designed during the Breaking2Project and worn by all the runners who came so close this year to giving us that thrilling new record.
- carbon-infused nylon plate that delivers a propulsive sensation
- designed with the goal of helping the world’s fastest marathoners run their best
- Nike ZoomX foam that is ultra-lightweight, soft and capable of providing up to 85-percent energy return
- eatures deliver an average of 4-percent improvement in running economy
It’s no surprise I don’t plan to break any world records coming up, but hey who doesn’t want a shoe that gives them every advantage possible!Skip the iPhoneX, checkout these running gadgets you might have previously thought too expensive Click To Tweet
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Amy Lauren Scott
My first car was a Ford Probe and my first phone was just like that one! It was a few years after yours though, I got my car and license in 2001. I wasn’t supposed to use the cell phone except for emergencies either and I didn’t.
iPhones are crazy expensive. I love my phone but I buy a new phone when it’s necessary, not just because there’s a new model out. I’d buy anything else on this list before an iPhone (especially since I have an Android because Google Fi doesn’t allow Iphones on their plan). I would probably opt for a few months worth of sports massages over the items on the list or a phone…. that is where most of my money goes!
We switched from iPhones to Samsung this year – $700 each vs. $0 was a no brainer. I’m not that attached to any brand nor do I feel the need to have the latest of anything.
I have had the Suunto Ambit2 for over 4 years and I love it – worth every penny! Between my husband and I we spend most of our spare money on running and cycling gadgets/clothes and adventures.
See my husband has the Samsung and I feel like I DON’t UNDERSTAND IT. OMG I’m getting old, haaaa.
Or maybe you’re not old enough… my husband and I are both in our 50s and we love our Samsungs!
Yeah the price tag on the iphone is pretty disappointing! BUT that rose gold Garmin is LIFE!!
My first phone looked very similar. My dad got it for me after Columbine, so I had something I could use to reach my parents, if I needed it. The rule was only use in case of emergencies, and certainly no using it while driving.
There are several gadgets that are less than the iPhone X. I found a really good deal for my Garmin 230, and I could’ve gotten a few for less than what the X costs.
Love this post! My most expensive running gear I’d when i splurged on the Garmin 235. I love it and am happy I purchased it.
Pretty sure I had that Nokia phone. I wish I’d bought an electrical stim machine the first time I needed one. I freaking love those things! I’ve got that beautiful Fenix alas the band seems to irritate my wrist. But I know I can swap it out.