Legs of a person running through a forest wearing supportive sneakers

Resources and Gear for CF Runners

As I get into half marathon and full marathon training, there are some running resources and gear that have made all the difference to me! Below are some of the top resources that have helped me get to where I am today and sustain my running regimen.

Resources and gear for running with cystic fibrosis

  • Proper form

    Check out YouTube for videos on proper form. Most importantly, avoid a heel-strike, relax your shoulders to maintain your posture, and use those arms! My track coach used to say pretend you’re eating a chip and then putting it in your pocket, and keep your elbows in!

  • The right pair of sneakers

    You can go to a running store to have them assess how you run, or apply for a pair through Kicks Back program. Rock CF will even pay your race fees. Don’t forget to replace your sneakers regularly when they start to wear down.

  • A foam roller

    As I go longer distances, I take a lot more time to stretch and recover to keep my legs fresh and free from injury.

  • A fitness tracker

    I have the TomTom watch, but there are free apps like Strava and RunKeeper to track your mileage.

  • A “fuel belt”

    A fuel belt can hold your phone, water, and gels for longer distance runs. I have had good luck at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s for these.

  • A running plan

    Apps like Couch to 5k, to keep you on track and working towards a goal. I use Hal Higdon’s free training plans and have friends share theirs with me!

  • Cross-training

    Particularly as I get into longer distance, running cross-training is so important. Cross-training is basically doing an activity other than running. I do Yoga for CF through CF Yogi, and I use the Sweat app for strength and HIIT training.

  • The right fuel

    Your body needs the right nutrition to fuel your runs, which has been the most difficult code for me to crack. What works for me now is: On my morning run days, I have a banana or a Kate Farms shake prior to my run
    plus Vega Pre-Workout. During runs, I use Salt Stick chewable tabs if I’m sweating a lot, and Carb Boom gels every 2-3 miles.

    After my run, I recover with Vega recovery to replenish carbs and Vega Sport (with almond milk and a banana) for protein. Vega: if I need more electrolytes I use Nuun tabs.

  • The right socks

    I try to avoid cotton socks as they have a tendency to cause blisters more often. I love Bombas socks for running (and not only because they have my nickname imprinted on them!) look for socks with polyester blends.

  • A reflector vest

    A reflector vest is helpful for running when it is dark. There are all kinds of these on amazon, you can even get some that light up. When I’m training in the winter this is clutch for those early mornings where the sun hasn’t yet risen or for after-dinner runs!

Running is good for your body and mind!

Running has improved my health and kept my lung function relatively stable for several years. Most importantly, it is a positive coping mechanism for any stressors in my life that might worsen my CF symptoms. With this gear on board, I’m able to prevent injury and keep up with my training program without interruption.

How do you run with cystic fibrosis?

I would love to hear what gear and resources you use in the comments below!

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