If you've taken up running, you've probably done a bit of research into what you should wear. What you've likely found is a marketplace full of products that can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Do you really need the pricey clothing, shoes, and accessories to hit the trail or hop on the treadmill? As a matter of fact, you might. Sure, you can run in regular gym shoes and throw on a t-shirt and shorts, but these items aren't designed specifically for the rigors of running, and believe it or not, it makes a big difference.
Not only can the right products keep you more comfortable when running; they can also help you to avoid injury and even improve performance. Here are just a few reasons why it pays to invest in the right running gear.
If you go all out for nothing else, you at least need to prepare to spend top dollar when you invest in running shoes. This is by far the most important running gear you own, and you won't ever be sorry you splurged.
Your feet take the lion's share of stress when running. You're striking the ground with some serious impact, and this can not only affect your feet, but reverberate up your legs and through your body. The right shoes will protect you from the worst of it.
Consider for a moment what could happen if you wear the wrong shoes. For starters, there will be aches and pains. If you've worn the wrong shoes for running, as many newbies do when trying out the sport, you know what we're talking about.
It could be a lot worse, though, resulting in issues like stress fractures, tendonitis, and shin splints, just to name a few common injuries. When you have shoes that are perfectly suited to your anatomy and your gait, you will feel a world of difference.
Even the best shoes can't totally eliminate all aches and pains associated with this high-impact sport, and they will lose efficacy over time, but they can prevent pain and injuries that plague people who use improper gear. In other words, bite the bullet, head to the fancy running store, and find an expert who knows how to put you in the perfect pair of running shoes.
Running apparel may not be as crucial as proper footwear, but it can certainly keep you comfortable, and if you run frequently, you run long distances, or both, you will wonder how you ever got by without clothing that cools your body, wicks away moisture, prevents chafing, and stays put, no matter how you move. Of course, there are a lot of garments to choose from.
You might be surprised to learn that there are undergarments specifically for running. Are these really necessary? Maybe not, but they do make a difference. A maximum-support sports bra is a must for women, just for starters.
Then there is running underwear designed to wick away moisture, stay in place instead of riding up or falling down, and prevent chafing thanks to flat seams. As a bonus, seamless versions are virtually invisible under tight running pants.
Does running underwear cost as much as 3-5 pairs of regular underwear? Well, yes. Is it worth it? Seasoned runners will say yes. The same is true of tops, shorts, pants, and socks that keep you comfortable during a run. If you find the right garments, you won't even notice them, and this allows you to focus on form, rather than your tremendous wedgie or a soppy, saggy shirt.
There are so many accessories you could purchase for running, and a bit of trial and error is probably in order. However, there are a few items most runners can't live without, and they're mainly designed for safety.
Start with sport sunglasses and broad spectrum (UVA/UVB sunblock), then throw in some Body Glide to prevent chafing. A water conveyance system is smart, as are reflective strips or blinking lights if you're running at night. Finally, consider adding a Fitbit or other sport watch to the mix as a way to track your progress.
When you invest in the right running gear, you can increase comfort, reduce injury, improve performance, and have fun. Just do some research to figure out which items you're going to get the most use value out of.
We're back. I'm back. I know for a lot of you the gyms are closed or will be closed soon. But good news another great benefit of running is you can do it by yourself, you can do it outside and you don't need a lot of gear.
So I know it’s not much notice, but we've got to get moving. A new challenge starts on Monday, so get your head ready and let’s do this.