Running is a sport that anyone can do just about anywhere and at any time of the year. With that said, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, having the right running gear is crucial.
Your running gear can have a major impact on your training performance and can improve your chances of success. To make your runs more enjoyable, we’re sharing a list of essentials for every runner, new and old.
Be Prepared for Your Run
1. Compression Socks
Compression socks help increase your blood circulation as you run and are also thought to help regulate your heart rate. They open the veins in the legs from your feet and your legs, to your heart. This helps to increase more oxygenated blood will be carried to your heart as you run. Your cells use this oxygen to carry out processes which are important to your health, such as reducing the lactic acid in your bloodstream, as an example.
Wearing compression socks can also help to improve your recovery time after a strenuous workout. They’re known to help reduce swelling, increase circulation and can even help your muscles heal while reducing the amount of time that you might feel soreness after your run.
2. A Perfect Pair of Shoes
A perfectly fitting pair of shoes is a must! When choosing your running shoes, there are a few guidelines to consider:
• Make sure to get your shoes from a specialty store specifically for runners. The specialist will fit you with the best pair by measuring your foot type, considering running biomechanics, your training needs, and personal preferences such as color.
• You should go shoe shopping at night when your feet are at their biggest because our feet tend to swell after prolonged sitting or standing.
• Leave extra space between your big toe and the end of the shoe, as your feet will shift while running- at least the space of a thumbnail.
• Do not pay more than you need to, however, realize that a cheaper pair will not provide you with enough support and may not last that long. Especially if you’re just a recreational runner or just starting out, an expensive pair is unnecessary.
3. Running Attire
All of your clothing items should be made with technical fabrics. These technical fabrics will help move moisture away from your skin to the outer surface, keeping you dry and comfortable. Regular cotton clothing will not do this. Technical materials feel comfortable, light and cool against the skin. Additionally, technical fabrics can help regulate your body temperature in the heat helping your skin breathe, or help keep you warm when it’s cooler outside.
As for leg gear, consider getting shorts with an extra pocket for carrying keys, an ID, or your phone. Some runners opt for running tights. Running tights are made from high-performance fabrics, like Nylon or Supplex. These types of materials draw moisture away from the body and keep you running comfortably, and work well for overweight beginners, helping protect against chafing and irritation in the inner thighs.
4. Running Watch
More essentials for every runner include a good running watch. These are ideal for keeping track of your running time, taking splits during a race, and they help you see patterns in your training. Additionally, they are often equipped with a system that tracks the number of steps, how far and how fast you run. Consider getting a running watch that can track your pace, heart rate, running intervals, and pace, especially if you do any speed work or paced workouts.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the most important essentials for every runner: water. Always make sure to hydrate before and especially after running. Although most runners do not run with water during their training, making sure to have some cold water at the finish line after your run is very important.