Training Kit Essentials
If you're new to running, buying the right basics can be a bit of a minefield. Please don't feel presurised in to buying the latest and often, most expensive kit when you're starting out. Just pick up a few basic pieces and you'll be good to go.
It's important not to skimp on a decent pair of shoes. If you skimp you will feel the consequences!
Proper running shoes are a 'must have' item. Running shoes have been designed to give the right amount of cushioning, support and flexibility for running.
Good fit is important. There should be a fingers-width of space between your big toe and the front of the shoe. Otherwise you may end up with your toes hitting the end of the shoe. Black toe nails are no fun!
Clothing that is made for running not only looks better, it feels more comfortable and allows you to train more effectively.
Lightweight, breathable fabrics mean you can look and feel the part.
You can get away with wearing old cotton T-shirts for a run. But if you want to feel comfortable and look good buy specialist running wear. Proper running kit will draw sweat moisture (yep, that means sweat) away from your body so you stay dry and comfortable whereas cotton absorbs moisture making it heavy and uncomfortable.
At night time make sure you are visible. Wear white, light colours and/or kit with reflective strips/tabs on. You can buy reflective running bands some of which have lights on for added visibility.
If you know you will feel good and look good when you run, that makes you far more likely to go out and train.
Here's a checklist of what clothing you should consider:
Shorts and underwear
Specialist running shorts are lightweight and have built-in briefs. Men's and women's briefs are cut differently. If you don't have a specialist pair of shorts, don't worry, wear supportive underwear under a normal pair of shorts. Women should wear a sports bra for comfort and support.
Choose light and comfortable kit. Stay cool in warm weather by wearing a lightweight T-shirt or vest. In cold weather, warmer layers including a long-sleeved T-shirt and even a weather proof jacket can keep you warm and comfortable. It is better to wear lots of thinner layers in cold weather than fewer thicker ones.
Good running socks will help keep your feet dry, will not bunch at the toe and will prevent rubbing in the key areas reducing the risk of blisters. You'll be much more comfortable.
Food and drink
Pay much more attention to your diet and plan what to eat. Don't let unhealthy food ruin your training. Eat carbohydrate based food within 30 minutes of training to boost your refuelling.
Have a snack, such as fruit, energy bar or a sandwich, ready to eat straight after running. Eat about three hours before training or racing to make sure you are fuelled.
Stay hydrated. This does not just mean drinking immediately before running. Aim to drink three litres of water per day, but a little and often. If you lose as little as 2% of your body weight in fluids, your performance can be affected. Get in the habit of having a large bottle of water close to hand throughout the day and sip away. You will perform much better and perform well.
The market is packed full of little extras such from cheap mobile phone cases to strap on your arm to GPS watches worth hundreds of bucks. The truth is that you don’t need anything other than the basics. That’s the beauty of running – it’s simple! However, we all love a gadget so when loved ones as you what you want for your birthday, you’ll know what to tell them!