Essential Gear For Runners
Running is one of those activities where you really don’t need a lot of equipment. In fact, all you really need is a t-shirt, shorts and a good pair of running shoes. If the weather is cold, you will need to switch to longer pants and sleeves, but you can still get away with just a few essentials.
However, seasoned runners like to really gear up and have all the essential gear to not only make running beneficial but also make it really enjoyable and safe.
If you really enjoy your runs and want to take your running up to the next level, here is every piece of gear runners need to get the most out of their favorite activity.
1. The Right Shoes Are A Must
Those old sneakers you’ve had for years may be comfortable for a backyard barbecue or a picnic at the beach, but they may not be suitable for a daily run. It is better to go running in a pair of shoes that have been specifically designed for running. Technology has come along in leaps and bounds and running shoes are now designed for comfort, endurance and performance. Look for running shoes that have adequate cushioning, especially if you run on hard surfaces. Support is also crucial to keep your feet firm and stable so you can run without losing your footing.
Nothing can end a run faster than a developing blister so your running shoes need to fit comfortably and snugly. Too loose and a blister is almost a certainty, too tight and you’ll cut off circulation to your feet which will be painful.
2. Good Quality Socks
Very few people put much thought into the type of socks they like to run in, but good running socks are just as important as running shoes. The best running socks have adequate cushioning, fit well and have moisture-wicking properties. All of these properties will also ensure you can prevent blisters which are painful and will prevent you from running until they heal. If you often experience cramping, then you should look at longer socks with compression properties like flight socks or, at the very least, team your running socks with compression sleeves for your calves. These will offer you exceptional support and comfort, particularly for those really long distances.
3. The Proper Apparel
Anything you wear when you are running should fit comfortably without being too tight or too loose. Breathable materials are an absolute must so you don’t end up a soggy bundle of sweat. In addition to the materials being breathable, you should also consider moisture-wicking materials that draw perspiration away from your body to be evaporated into the air. In warmer weather, running shorts and t-shirts or singlet style tops are the way to go, but when it gets cooler, you’ll appreciate the warmth you get from running pants and tops with longer sleeves.
4. A Waterproof Running Jacket
Very few seasoned runners will put off going on a run because of a little rain but that doesn’t mean they’ll charge out unprotected from the elements. A waterproof running jacket will not only keep your upper body dry during your run, but it should also keep the wind from blasting through your bones. If you find a running jacket a little too constrictive, you can always get yourself a running vest which will protect your torso, but leave your arms free to move with total freedom.
5. Sun Protection
Running on a sunny day may seem idyllic, but it can be a strain on your eyes. You also don’t want to risk developing a painful sunburn on your face or other exposed areas of your skin. A good sunblock cream with a decent sun protection factor is essential, but you will also need sunglasses and a hat. If you don’t like the feeling of being covered in greasy sun creams, you can also invest in clothing with sun protection properties.
6. A Compact Water Bottle
Running takes a lot of you and you can be certain you will sweat. Even in the middle of winter, you will be perspiring and this loss of fluid needs to be replaced. Make sure you always carry water while running with you so you can rehydrate as needed. There are many great water bottles available for runners. Some come in a handy pouch with an adjustable strap you can secure to your body so that it’s not swinging and bumping on you as you run. Then there are also collapsible water bottles that you can minimize as you drain so you won’t end your run with a huge, empty bottle.
7. Reflective Gear For Night Running
Some runners prefer running at night for a lot of different reasons. It could be that the runner lives in a hot climate and runs at night when the heat of the day has passed. It could also be that the runner works long hours making a day time run impossible.
One of the greatest dangers night time runners face is not being seen. Passing cars pose a particular danger for the obvious reason that if they connect with a runner, injury is inevitable. There are a number of products runners can add to their gear that will ensure they are visible at night while running. They include reflective vests, running shoes with reflective panels or even LED hand lights. A baseball cap with a small LED light attached is also good. Anything will do, as long as it makes the runner visible to passing motorists.
8. A Good Playlist
Everything today is about multitasking and often that means using your time running to do something else. If you need to listen to a lecture or you want to use your run listening to inspirational speeches, add them to your playlist and listen to them as you run. If you don’t find this concept appealing, use the time running to catch up on listening to all the music you normally don’t get a chance to listen to. Add a touch of safety by wearing light up earphones and you can take your playlist on the road, even after dark.