Getting into running is a major commitment. To best prepare for this lifestyle change, here is a list of four essential purchases that will help you hit the ground running.
- Your Running Shoes
First and foremost, find a pair of running shoes that work for you. Choosing the right pair of shoes is a tricky process because what feels good on one pair of feet might not feel as good on another. Consider the materials, and movement qualities that work the best for your feet and running style. Avoid shoes that feel too tight from the start. You may end up chafing your ankles and toes from constant rubbing.
A good rule is to check that the shoe gives about a thumb’s width of room between your longest toe and the top of the shoe. You also want to be sure that you have some extra space at the top of the shoe to move your toes. Some runners go half a size up from their street shoe size to find the best fit. Explore different styles and be mindful of heel slippage. The right running shoes are out there, but you might try on a million pairs first.
- Your Running Socks
The socks you wear during your runs are just as important as the sneakers. Look for socks with synthetic or wool fabric. Runners know that cotton socks are notoriously problematic for running. Not only are they slow drying, but they also cause blisters. When it comes to running, part of taking care of your health is considering your feet too! Wool fabrics are much more breathable, and synthetic fibers provide the softness and breathability you need for comfortable runs. Given that running causes a lot of friction, you want to find socks with high needle counts. These socks will be more capable of absorbing moisture, saving your skin from irritation, and avoiding sock wear and tear.
- Best Running Shorts
The shorts you wear during your runs will also significantly impact how you feel and how long you can stay active. Consider shorts with spandex built-in to avoid chafing and sweating during your runs. Depending on your stride, you might prefer shorts that are longer or shorter. Try out different styles and find the best running shorts for you.
- Your Fitness Watch
Find a digital watch that works for you and your running routine. Some people prefer watches that give more feedback, while others choose to rely on their bodies to dictate their running speed and rhythm. If you are trying to increase your endurance, you might consider a Garmin watch or another digital GPS-style tracker, as these will track your miles, location, speed, and times. You can also rely on running apps on your smartphone. Most of these have you plug in your weight, height, and running goals so that they can track you along the way.
There are many GPS trackers available in app form as well. If you are more old-school, track your miles in a paper log, marking your distance, time, and even what you ate before your run. Sometimes this is the best option, especially if you like to listen to music during your runs. You won’t have any distractions from app feedback this way. Do what works for you!
Your interest in running will grow even more if you take the necessary time to gather the gear and workout wear that will set you up for running success. Running isn’t easy, but the commitment you make to your workouts will be easier maintained with the comfort and support you receive from the gear that keeps you moving. Take time to find the options that work best for you and remember that getting into running is not a race! Take it step by step with the gear that keeps you motivated.