Beginner Gear

One of the best things about running for exercise is that it doesn’t take a lot of money or equipment the same way that other sports can. 

Warning: You can really spend as much or as little money on running gear as you want to, but there is lots of fun stuff out there to buy, so the more you get into it the more special clothes, gadgets, and $400 GPS watches you buy.         Just saying.

Beginner Running—What Should I Wear?

1)      Shoes:  It goes without saying, that shoes are the most important thing you need for running.  Don’t just use some old, worn out tennis shoes you found in the back of your closet, make sure your shoes are specifically made for running (not tennis or walking or looks). 

My advice is to go to a running/sporting goods store like Fleet Feet  and have an expert fit you for your first pair of running shoes.  Tell them what kind of running you do, what your goals are, and if you have any current problems (i.e., shin splints, knee pain).  They will watch you run in your shoes right there in the store to check and see if they are working for you.  The other good thing about a store like Fleet Feet is that they will take your shoes back for store credit even if you run with them for a week outside (I actually did this last year!). 

Here are a few links with more information:

Runner’s World

Web MD

Tips on Healthy Living

About.com

2)      Clothing:  The most important thing for women is to make sure that you have a good, supportive sports bra (make sure it is made for high impact activity).  You can go to Fleet Feet and be fitted for one there too, but I went to Target, tried on a ton, and bought a couple that fit well.  I still wear and love them….so bras don’t need to cost a fortune (though I wouldn’t call any of them cheap).

In the beginning, really anything goes as far as what you wear running.  Find a comfortable pair of exercise pants and a T-shirt, or whatever you usually exercise in.  What is most important is not to over dress.  Once you start running, it is going to feel at least 15-20 degrees warmer outside; it is a good thing to start your run feeling a little chilly. 

If you decide to become more serious about running, you will want to invest in some technical running clothes made of synthetic fabrics.  These let your skin breathe and wick away moisture. (I also buy most of my running clothes at Target.) These also tend to be a little more fitted, and keep fabric from rubbing on you while running long distances.  This doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but anything rubbing on you (no matter how soft) for 10+ miles is going to be uncomfortable and chafe.   

Examples of technical running clothes

Runners of any kind should avoid 100% cotton socks.  Sports socks made with synthetic fabrics will be more comfortable and keep you from getting blisters.

These are just a few guidelines for some of the gear you might need for running, but it really isn’t complicated.  Do not become overwhelmed!  The most important thing is figuring out what works best for you.

Beginner homework for this week:

Walk briskly (briskly!!) for two minutes, and then jog at an easy pace for five minutes.

Repeat four times per workout. Try to squeeze in at least 3 workouts this week.


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