Coach Jenny Hadfield's Picks for Top Spring Training Tools

I love my job. I get to test out the latest and greatest training gear and then share my two cents with you. A passion that started when I was 7 years old and Robert Gentry, my neighborhood friend, brought over a set of new stilts. It's a day I will never forget as I still bare the tattoo on my knee from my first gear testing session. One would think wearing heels would be easy for me, but I digress.

We're in the heart of the spring season. It's the perfect time to spread the love about revolutionary training tools. Collectively, they will change the face of training. Individually, they will teach us how to train smarter, maximize our time and improve performance beyond imagination.

More: 4 Workouts for the Time-Crunched Athlete

PEAR Sports

http://pearsports.com

Remember when we used to communicate via hand written letters and rotary phone? Now everything we do is communicated instantaneously as we do it. PEAR Sports brings this innovation to the training world for the very first time. I've been coaching runners for over 20 years one-on-one, in groups and online—but never have I been able to communicate in the moment and based on how your body is responding. 

The PEAR unit comes with a library of free training plans and workouts that lead you in your ear (auditory coaching) stride for stride through tempo runs, long slow runs, form drills and more communicating if you are in or out of the strategic training zone. 

More: A Lesson in Feel-Good Training

One of the most common mistakes runners make is to train too hard on their easy runs and too easy on their hard runs. PEAR solves that problem. When you run outside the specific zone, a real coach (like me) tells you to slow down (I do it nicely). It also tells you heart rate, speed, distance, cadence, time and much, much more. The PEAR experience teaches you how to run in the right zone to make the most of every workout. You'll also learn along the way with training tips sprinkled throughout all the audio workouts. This is training 2.0 and it can help you become your best runner.

AFX Foot and Ankle Strengthener

http://www.afx-online.com

The AFX is a personal trainer for your feet. Why is that important? Because with stronger feet and ankles comes dramatic improvements in form, efficiency and the reduction of injuries. This is an absolute must-have tool for those who struggle with foot, leg and hip issues, those who are transitioning to minimalist shoes and anyone who wants to improve their form authentically.

The AFX was created out of chiropractor Jordan Myers' frustration with the standard of care for foot and ankle strengthening. Although Jordan was doing a lot of adjustments of feet and ankles, he knew that unless he addressed the epidemic issue of weakness and muscle imbalance, the patient would never be healthy. Out of frustration came an easy to use strengthening tool that is cost-effective (about the cost of a pair of running shoes or one doctor's visit). It's smart, functional and fun. I've used the AFX in my transition back to very lightweight running shoes with great success.

More: How to Transition to Minimal Shoes and Barefoot Running

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About the Author

Jenny Hadfield

Coach Jenny Hadfield is an Active Expert, co-author of the best-selling Marathoning for Mortals, and the Running for Mortals series. As a columnist for Women's Running Magazine and RunnersWorld.com, Jenny has trained thousands of runners and walkers like you with her training plans and guidance. Known for her "Ask Coach Jenny" brand, she empowers individuals of all experience levels to improve their running performance and train more effectively for their next event by answering their questions. You can follow her on Twitter and at the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook page

Coach Jenny Hadfield is an Active Expert, co-author of the best-selling Marathoning for Mortals, and the Running for Mortals series. As a columnist for Women's Running Magazine and RunnersWorld.com, Jenny has trained thousands of runners and walkers like you with her training plans and guidance. Known for her "Ask Coach Jenny" brand, she empowers individuals of all experience levels to improve their running performance and train more effectively for their next event by answering their questions. You can follow her on Twitter and at the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook page

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