Running Gear : Starting out
Needs, wants, fashion and feeling a bit overwhelmed….
As a new runner I was totally overwhelmed by the immense amount of running gear available. When I started out, I basically had an old pair of shoes and workout clothes frommy attempt at fitness following my youngest daughters' birth. I had always thought of workout clothes as being totally utilitarian in nature, basically get the job done so to speak. Once I started logging the miles towards my ½ marathon distance, I quickly realized 3 things:
1. some gear is absolutely necessary for success at most distances over 5 km - I call this my MUST HAVE LIST
2. some gear just makes you more comfortable and more likely to head out for a run – my I LIKE TO HAVE LIST
3. some gear makes you look and feel good and this in the end also leads to success, motivation and long term commitment – my IF FUNDS ALLOW LIST
So here are my takes ( my opinions, based on nothing more than my own personal experience and preferences) on these 3 categories: ( I have pinned many of these items on Pinterest so you can check them out there as well) .
MUST HAVE LIST:
1. Running watch. I use a Garmin GPS with interval options.
a. Allows me to know my distance run, time my runs, pace my training, use intervals and has a memory to save my runs
2. Good sports bra. This is crucial – DO NOT BUY A CHEAP ATHELITC BRA!!! You will chafe and bounce and regret it! If you only buy one bra and wash it after every run, spend the $60-75 or more depending on your size and get agreat running bra. A lot of athletic bras are made for sports or yoga – Running is unique- the girls will bounce if you don't support them. I’m not big chested, but I nursed 2 babies with my set and they need support just to stay out of my way and let me run my miles! I love the Moving Comfort running bras with the adjustable straps and clasp at the back. Running Skirts also makes a nice running bra but I wouldn’t recommend it for a chest much larger than mine (size small B32/34). However, once again go to a running store for this important purchase and try them on. Don't be fooled by fancy patterns, thin straps or brand names.
3. Good shoes – don't cheap out here. I currently am wearing New Balance but had previously run in Asics. Either way, I have orthotics in my shoes and the NB shoes accommodate these nicely. Without good shoes you won’t last very long on a run and will more likely get injured. Definitely go to a reputable running store for shoes – buying running shoes as a more mature runner from a teenager in a sports store may not be the most effective way to go. Get advice from runners who are trained in shoes. I’ve had good luck with the sales people at The Running Room, but there are other good stores with trained people.
4. Well fitting (aka tight) running shorts/skirt – if your thighs are anything like mine, you need something longish to prevent chafing – this will ruin any run once you start to sweat!!! If your thighs don't touch when you walk, go ahead and get those cute short running shorts, if not, you will need long running shorts or a lined running skirt with under shorts that are long enough and stay down when running.
- I have tried various shorts and skirts, right now I am hooked on the Athletic Skirt from RunningSkirts.com . I love them, the prints are great and the shorts don't move = NO CHAFING!! I’ve pinned a collection of my favorites on Pinterest (I receive no endorsement from them, I just love their running clothes!)
- I also have a decent pair of long running shorts from Running Room – they work well too – drawstring (keeps them tight) .
5. Water bottle – I used to use a water belt – higher volume but it made my hips fatigued. Now I use a hand-held Nathan bottle. It works for me, although I know some runners who like to be hands free. Either way, it allows me to stay hydrated – especially important when running longer distances in the heat and humidity