Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Halfsies Training, Part 10: Get the Gear

Technically, at a basic level, running is one of the easiest sports you can pick up. You only really need some running shoes and comfortable clothes. But, when you're getting serious about it, training for multiple races and logging upwards of 10-15 miles over each week...maybe that's the time to invest in some gear to make your running more comfortable, less difficult, and more fun.

So let's start with the shoes. I think the biggest necessity when running is a good pair of shoes. Lots of running shoe stores tend to tell you that you'll need new running shoes every 500 miles or so. To some extent, this feels like a license to print money. But on the other hand, with each stride you take on a run you're pressing the equivalent of twice your body weight into the ground, so that's bound to wear on your shoes and your joints.

via, Brooks Running
These right here are some of my favourites: the Brooks Trance 11. When the Husband and I were in Kingston the other weekend seeing The Hobbit, these are the new shoes I picked up as my Christmas present. For someone as flat-footed as I am, they provide great support. When I took a turn on the treadmill over at Lanson Running I was impressed at how these felt. They really hugged my feet and gave me noticeably better cushioning than I'm getting out of Brooks Defyance 2s. (To give you a hint...Brooks are now on the Defyance my shoes are 3 years old.)

Next up? A good sports bra. Seriously, this is a must-have item for lady runners. It is a pet peeve of mine to see women out running in their regular 18-hour, thick strap, lacy, padded cup bras. That is not what those bras are for! And the good people of the sporting equipment industry have made many a stride in the field to provide you with enough support that you don't do yourself an injury swinging those bad boys around on a 5K.
via, Shock Absorber
Shock Absorber make some of the better sports bras I've worn, and they're great about having multiple varieties of bra tailored to the different bumps, impacts, and jostles of just about any sport you could try. This one, the Ultimate Run Bra, is meant - as the name suggests - specifically for running. It's designed for all of the up and down, side to side motion you get throughout a running stride. Nike also makes a good racerback that I've been wearing since May. If there's any piece of kit that is worth doing some research into yourself, a running bra is definitely that.

Now, especially when you're running in the extreme heat or cold, or are prone to warming up quickly, or you just get super sweaty (this girl right here!), my next suggestion is for some good moisture-wicking clothing. And it doesn't hurt if you can find cute things, either.

On the purely functional (and cost-effective) end of the spectrum, there's Karrimor. I snagged these leggings a few weeks ago and they wore wonderfully on the Grim and ever since. Even in all the freezing water and mud that the Grim track had to offer, these never felt baggy or heavy. The back pocket is pretty handy, too: I can stash my phone and keys in it without a problem. And just as a safety measure, I always have my phone with me on runs...I also make sure that the Husband knows I'm gone and about how far I'm planning to go so he can expect me back.

Run: Speed Shorts
Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve

Lululemon has amazingly cute stuff for running. I only just found it today and had to share. Yes, it's a bit on the pricey side, but you can always ask for it as a gift, or make it a gift for yourself. And if all else fails, console yourself in the fact that, if you live in the UK, shipping is free...always. Oh yeah. Now that makes me smile. Cute stuff with free shipping? I know what I'm getting myself for this Christmas!

Other odds and ends it might be useful to have? Well, those doughnut water bottles are always a good bet. And I'm a personal fan of running with music, so I'd suggest either an iPod nano, or - if you're like me and already have a non-clip-on-able huge iPod (the old 60GB model) - an iPod armband. My current one is about 4 years old and has been dying a slow death for ages now...there's practically no velcro left on it.

Basically, anything that makes running more of something you want to do and enjoy while you're doing it is a good investment to me. If it helps you get off your butt and on the pavement: go for it! Whether it's something purely functional, or something a bit more fun: get your gear and go running!

No comments:

Post a Comment