Running is a fantastic form of exercise. Not only is it a free, all-weather way to get your dose of cardio, it also gives you time to think and cut loose. Whether you’re in training for a race or just taking up jogging as a hobby, you’ll need to invest in good quality clothes and accessories to get the most out of your running sessions. Here is the equipment that every runner needs to have before they get started with their training.
Good quality running shoes
So, we’re starting with an obvious one but they are on this list because good running shoes are simply the most important thing that every runner needs more than anything else. Without good quality shoes you are putting yourself at risk of injury.
It’s not just the potential for serious slips or falls that can do immediate injury, but the long-term damage that can be caused by not having adequate cushioning and ankle support. Running shoes can be expensive — a high-quality pair can set you back in excess of £100 — but they must be considered an absolute essential whether you’re running to get a bit of fitness back or training for a marathon.
A good quality sports watch can be ideal for runners as it can track your progress and times conveniently. For those runners training for a race or challenge, your watch allows you to keep on top of lap times and splits. For those who are simply running to lose some weight or to get in better shape, this time tracking can act as a fantastic motivator as you’ll begin to see your times improve. It can also help you to push yourself to higher goals that you never thought you could achieve.
You can opt to spend hundreds on a high-tech model (like the admittedly beautiful HD3 Slyde), but unless you’re really planning to push yourself, this is probably overkill. Most entry-level sports watches have the function to track time, distance and speed, and that’s all you need.
Modern running shirt
Too many runners simply pull on an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt for their run — but if this is something that you’re guilty of, you’re really not doing yourself any favours. T-shirts are usually made of heavier fibres which get even heavier and rather unpleasantly damp when you sweat.
It’s much better to visit a specialist sports retailer like Sports Fitness and pick up specifically designed running tops. The fabric pushes sweat and moisture away from the skin to keep you feeling comfortable for longer.
Clothes for hot and cold weather
While we are on the subject of sports clothes, there are too many people who take up running in the summer and purchase plenty of summer running clothes. Then when the colder weather begins to descend they realise that their thin shirts and shorts aren’t going to cut it. At best they’ll lose a week’s worth of running as they wait for new warmer clothes to arrive. At worst, they’ll drop out of their routine and simply stop running through the autumn and winter.
So you definitely need to prepare yourself for the drop in temperature. Even if you don’t need them right now, buy yourself some running trousers and a lightweight jacket. Having all the gear ready will mean that there is no drop in the routine.
Running belts are vital. They conveniently hold items like your keys and phone while you run, so there’s no need to carry a backpack with you or have anything juggling around in your pocket – it’s an annoyance that you just don’t need. Running belts are cheap too, so there’s no reason to avoid picking one up.
Staying hydrated is absolutely essential for runners. And if you’re not going to have a backpack then you’ll need an alternative method of carrying your water and sports drinks around with you. Try out different options such as those that are strapped around your waist and those that loop over your shoulders — different runners have different preferences.
Get the most out of your warm-up and warm-down by using stretch bands. They provide the most useful stretches for your quads and hamstrings, and can really help you recover quickly after a long run.