Five products you should buy in preparation for your first run
Running, whether for health or leisure, is a popular form of exercise the world over. It promotes good cardiovascular health and provides a full range of motion, improving your body’s flexibility and endurance.
Running has even proven to have strong benefits for both mental health and socialization. And with more and more marathons and fun runs happening every year, it’s no wonder why running’s popularity as a sports activity has increased.
But even though running may seem easy, it’s actually much harder than you may think. While it’s easy enough to get on a treadmill or go around the block, those who want to take running seriously consider it a huge investment in both time and money.
If you’ve been wanting to try taking on your very first run, you’ll want to invest in some key equipment first. You may need to shop for leggings today, as well as a few other essentials such as the following:
1) Running shoes
Running shoes are probably the single most important piece of equipment in any runner’s arsenal. Indeed, your choice of running shoes can make or break your run, as they’re specially designed to provide your feet with the extra support they need during this intense physical activity.
That being said, putting on an ill-fitting pair can not only cause a lot of discomfort, but also cause injuries. Should you keep on wearing the wrong shoes, said injuries can worsen over time.
Unlike ordinary sneakers, running shoes aren’t all about style over function. In fact, billions of dollars of research and development go into manufacturing the perfect shoe. That said, picking the right shoe is no easy feat. It can even be quite overwhelming, what with so many options available on the market. Before we move on to the other products you’ll need to invest in, read on for some tips to help you pick the best running shoes for your needs.
How to choose the right type of running shoe
First, figure out what kind of terrain you’ll be running on. Are you going to casually jog around your neighborhood or will you be taking a run through trails and parks? Note that some shoes are designed to be used on cemented pavements, while others are better for use on rough dirt trails.
The weight of the shoe will also affect your performance. Thicker, heavier cushioned running shoes are great for support, but add extra weight, which can slow you down as a result. Lighter running shoes, on the other hand, may not offer as much padding, but will give you an advantage in terms of speed.
Remember: not all runners have the same gait or running style. In the same vein, not all running shoes are the same. Take your time when selecting your shoes, and learn as much as you can about the different types of running footwear out there.
If you know people who are into running, you can try asking them for more practical advice as well as their recommendations. Some stores can even help you decide by observing how you run on a treadmill to diagnose what type of shoes would work best for you.
2) Running clothes
With your feet covered, it’s time to move on to the rest of your running attire. While you can certainly start with your trusty pair of gym shorts and an old t-shirt, these may not offer the best experience. Instead, you may want to consider investing in clothes that are specifically made for running.
Apart from making you look good, running clothes are specially designed to aid in a runner’s performance. They’re typically made with moisture-wicking fabrics that offer enhanced breathability, allowing your body to stay cooler for longer. These high-performance fabrics also provide less air resistance, thus minimizing the weight and drag you may experience during your run.
Running clothes also set themselves apart from ordinary clothing by hugging against the contours of your body, offering additional support and comfort that a baggy pair of shorts just can’t provide.
Now that you have the essentials covered, here are a few other products you may want to invest in before you take that first step over the starting line.
3) A water bottle
Because running is such a strenuous activity, you must stay hydrated from start to finish. To aid you with this, consider purchasing a lightweight water bottle that can hold an ample amount of water or your preferred sports drink.
You’ll want to avoid metal water bottles, as these can be rather heavy and clunky. Instead, opt for bottles made from high-grade plastic. You can even go for collapsible ones that you can fold and store in a bag or pocket once you’ve emptied them.
4) A running belt
It’s tough to stay focused on running if your phone, wallet, and keys keep jostling around inside of your pants pockets. Worse, your bottoms may not even have any pockets at all!
Fortunately, there are running belts that are designed to securely hold your belongings, keeping them out of the way but also easily accessible should you need them. If you need more storage space, you could even invest in a lightweight and ergonomic bag that’s specifically designed for runners.
5) A smartwatch
Running technology has come a long way since the stopwatch. Nowadays, smartwatches can track a runner’s speed, heart rate, and distance. With this data, you can objectively measure your vitals as well as your progress from every practice run. Some smartwatches also offer apps that allow you to connect with other runners and share your progress with the rest of the world.
This is just a small sampling of the many products you can buy to improve your running experience. If you’re hesitant to spend any money on the items listed above, think of them as investments rather than luxuries.
That being said, all you fundamentally need is a good pair of shoes, a decent shirt and shorts or pants, and yourself. Should you not feel ready to purchase some of these items, you can always add them to your running essentials down the line.