Many people want to stay fit, and running is a great way to do this. However, there are certain things that you need to make sure you have if you want to maximise your performance and health. Here we take a look at 7 essential items that you need in your running kit.
Good Running Shoes
By far the most important part of a runner’s kit is their footwear. You need to get shoes that are designed specifically for running and nothing else. This will mean you need to go to a dedicated running shop, or at least a general sports shop with a good range of running shoes. Make sure you try on a wide range of shoes until you find the ones that feel the most comfortable.
Also called technical T-shirts, wicking T-shirts work by moving sweat away from the skin to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can then evaporate. They are usually made from nylon, and are more comfortable to wear than cotton as they feel lighter and cooler against the skin. If you get a good quality one, you should be able to wear it straight after it has been washed.
Both men and women runners need to make sure their dangly bits are more supported than normal. For women, this means getting a well-fitting sports bra which will provide more support than a standard bra. For men, this either means wearing shorts with an added support lining or wearing tight briefs under your shorts.
Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
When you are training, it is helpful to know how far you are running, how long it is taking you, and how fast you are going. This helps you set goals and keep track of your progress. Most good sports watches will do all this, as well as storing all the data for you to transfer to your computer. It is also worth getting a watch that includes a heart rate monitor, as this will help you keep track of your improving fitness level.
Although the sports watch will enable you to keep track of each run, it is also helpful to be able to record the bigger picture of your training progress, and this is where a training log comes in. Your training log can either be on your computer or just using pen and paper. Either way, recording the vital details from every run you do can help you stay focused, motivated, and track your long-term progress.
When you are running, it is possible to lose over a liter of water an hour just by sweating. If you do not replace this lost fluid, your performance and health will start to deteriorate. Choose either a bottle belt or a hand-held bottle, depending on how long you will be running for.
Your body needs energy in order to run, and although there are plenty of sports drinks out there, they are not the healthiest option. If you can, eat fruit half an hour before you start running, as well as afterwards. However, if you are running for further than 10 miles without a good break, you will need energy in drink form. Ideally, choose fruit juice, but a sports drink is better than nothing.