Running is not easy for everyone, and it’s made even more difficult if you’re wearing the wrong things. One of the great things about running is that you can do it anywhere; just step outside and go. It’s cheap and easy. And you can wear anything whilst you do it. But if you want to make your run as comfortable as possible, then make your life easier and invest in a few staples that will have you wanting to get out the house and go for a run.
A good pair of trainers
Crucial if you want to avoid injury. And there is so much to choose from, and lots of trainers offer different things. So rather than me recommend my favourite (I’m a loyal Nike devotee), it’s best you get to a shop that can analyse your gate (the way in which you place your feet and your body position when you walk/run), which will then allow you to choose shoes based on whether you are flat footed (likely pronator, where your foot rolls inwards), normal arched (neutral foot) or have a high arch (causing supination, where your foot rolls outwards and you are at risk of ankle injury). The trainers they recommend will help compensate for any foot rolling, and make your run much more comfortable.
Running is a high intensity exercise. To that end, you need a high level of support for your chest, especially if you are on the larger size. This is one of the things you should be willing to invest in. Your boobs can bounce around 9cm (!!!!!) if they are not supported correctly, and that is not going to be pleasing further down the line. So, again, go to a specialist, get the correct fitting bra with the right level of support. I love all SweatyBetty sports bras, and tend to go for the crop top style due to my inferior chest size! If you’re bigger then you want to go for something with extra support and adjustable straps.
Sweat wicking fabrics
You will make your run much more comfortable (and eliminate rubbing) by choosing clothes with sweat wicking fabrics. These fabrics lift the moisture off your skin and allow it to evaporate quickly, rather than cotton materials which will get weighed down and make you cold. These don’t have to be expensive; you can now get great sweat wicking sports gear from high street stores such as Gap and H&M.
Where to put your stuff
Loads of sports clothing specialist know we carry a few essential items when we run, so they put little zip pockets and pouches hidden away in the lining of the clothes. However, if like me you have a HUGE phone (thank you IPhone 6 plus), then these pockets just don’t cut it. I have hunted high and low for a good fitting, non rubbing, subtle running belt that I can fit my phone in, as well as keys and a few energy gels. And the one that comes up trumps?… The FlipBelt does it all. No more having to run with phone in sweaty hand : )
I never run without my Garmin watch, but that is because I am a data freak and love to analyse my workouts. I will go in to this later during the run series, but if you’re just starting out and don’t really care about stride length, leg cadence and altitude then you’re probably good with just a run of the mill watch, where you can keep a track of how long you’ve been out for, and whether or not you need to get home for tea!
When I run I frown, and many a summer I have been seen sporting a frown tan line!! Not cool! So now I always wear sun cream (careful not to go too near your eyes else that’ll be sweating into your eyeballs in no time!), I wear running specific sun glasses (please don’t try and run in RayBan classics – you will end up walking!), and a visor. I like glasses and a visor together, but play around with what works for you on shorter runs.
I hate running cold! Layers, layers, layers. I always layer up, and when I get hot, I just end up with a lot of things around my waste! I’m all about covering the extremities. I never leave the house without my SweatyBetty headband (slash ear warmer) and gloves, and my Nike jacket. These items can easily be pushed into pockets once you’re warm, but they’ll stop you turning back after 5 metres of -5 degree running!
That little extra something
When I’m going a bit longer (and want to feel more professional!) I wear my calf socks. The compression causes blood circulation to improve, allowing oxygen to be delivered more efficiently to the muscles, alleviating soreness and lactic build up. Some people like these, some don’t. If you don’t get tired legs and cramps, or don’t go for long runs, then you can give these a miss. And if you’re worried about unsightly tan lines, then skip them for the run, but wear them for your recovery once you’re back home.
Let me know what you like to wear when you’re running, and if you’ve found any bargains on the High Street that are worth checking out, then leave a comment!