What kind of gear do you need to be a runner? This post was sparked by a status update from a friend of ours (actually Lacey's SIL) who discussed how important good shoes are and the need to change them out frequently.
Basically, to be a runner, that is ALL you MUST have (unless you're like me and have ridiculously high arches, you will also need inserts). It is soooooo pertinent that you have good running shoes. You need to be fitted by someone who knows exactly what they're doing, truly knows about running. Most of the big shoe stores have great people who will type your foot and tell you what kind of shoes you need. The way that you will know that they are actually selling you what you NEED and not what will make them the most money... They won't only show you the most expensive shoes possible, they won't try to up-sell you on every single other product in their store. Whoever is fitting you should see you walk in the shoe and if possible run in them, lots of these stores have a treadmill so they can watch your form and make sure your shoes are appropriate.
Being a woman there is something essential that men do not need, that is a sports bra!!! This is paramount as the amount of discomfort from lack of support can outweigh anything else you have going on. This does NOT mean that you have to spend $50+. My favorite ones that I've found are at Target, so there you go! I will say that you need to try them on, you need to jump up and down and try to bounce around in them to make sure they are supporting you well. The more loose your sports bra the more chance for chaffing (more on that later).
Aside from shoes and a good sports bra nothing is essential, really it's not. However, if you are wanting to train for a long distance run, you really should read up on the subject. Unless, you're married to Kenyan, who happens to be a running expert and can prep you for pretty much anything--some gals are so lucky ;)
For people who are just starting out, I highly recommend the book Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Coach Jenny. I wish I had read this before my first half marathon, before I even started training for long distance, it was so helpful and so motivational. It is not intended for hardcore, speed seeking, serious runners. It is mean for those of us who start from nothing and want to accomplish something big for ourselves. ***I'm not being paid to endorse this book, though that would be awesome--ha ha!***
Once you start that the other thing that I can highly recommend is Bo.dy Gli.de. What is that you say? It sounds somewhat inappropriate huh?? It's basically a shield for your skin from your skin. For lots of us who are just starting to run, the reason is to shed a few pounds, which can be painful to our joints, our feet, and yes, our inner thighs--yep I'm talking about skin friction. What you might not realize is that you can have chaffing in multiple places. For those of you who know me you know my arms are fairly thin, but my inner arms still tend to rub my sides, which leads to chaffing on my arms. Chaffing can also occur in your sports bra area, and let me just say that when your shower water hits that -- yowza!!!! Pain! So, while you may be thin, or you may not, this product can be a serious lifesaver!!! Men, well they chaff elsewhere, so if you're running with your man, they can use this business too!
What other products do I love and use always? Hmmm, I must have a visor, I do not like a hat, too hot. Sunglasses slip off my face. I used to be a Bondi Band lover, but now I must have the shade for my eyes from a perfect visor! The inserts I wear are typically Super Feet, but I'm not preferential to any brand. I think a good program for your iPhone to track your distance, etc is really important too. I used the Couch25K to get back to running after pregnancy, I had recommended this to lots of people before to get started and can now say that it's a great program. Now, I'm addicted to the Nike app and literally stare at it all the time and look at my pace throughout each run!
There are other good running books and products, you could go broke from buying "running" stuff, but it's not necessary. However, it can be so fun to buy!!!
Lacey may have some other thoughts, so hopefully she will weigh in too!
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