Whether you run to relax, lose weight, or raise money for a worthy cause, you need a set of running gear to make the most out of your time on the track. You’ve probably been running in the same set of sweats and sneakers for years now. It’s about time for an upgrade. Before you spend money on gear you won’t actually use, you need to start with the basics. Here is a list of some running gear essentials than anyone should have in his or her closet.
Your feet are going to be doing all the work on your runs, so you need to make sure they are tucked away in comfortable, supportive shoes. You will likely need to break in any sneakers that you purchase, but you need to make sure to get a pair that still allows your feet to breathe even in the middle of that process. Check the flex of the shoes’ soles before you buy a pair because you will need something that provides enough bounce for your foot to pop off the pavement. Running shoe technology has truly transformed over the years, so you should be able to find something that offers rigidity and comfort at the same time.
A good pair of shorts will keep your legs cool as you run. There are two types of running shorts to keep in mind: compression tights and full split shorts. Compression tights hug to the body and prevent chaffing. Full split shorts are designed to let in as much air as possible through the two large slits on the sides of the shorts. Either option should keep you cool when you run, so you may want to have a pair of each in your running gear collection. If you run in the dead of winter, you can find similar options in pants to keep your legs warm and chilled at the same time.
While you can go running in a raggedy cotton T-shirt, the materials in running shirts nowadays are designed to keep your upper body cool as you move. Cotton may breathe well, but it is also highly absorbent. Modern polyester blends are made to maintain that breath-ability without absorbing the moisture emitting from your sweat glands. These fabrics repel sweat, allowing more wind to come through and cool your body down. You can buy running gear like this with short or long sleeves, providing you with everything you need to run in warm or cool weather. Throw a running shirt on every time you go out and you will be able to get the most out of your cardiovascular activities.
Running watches give you a chance to monitor the time you spend on each run. Some running watches have built-in GPA systems to let you know where you are and where you’re going. Others have embedded heart rate monitors that keep track of your pulse through your wrist. Running watches are different than traditional watches because they are notably lighter and more durable. You wouldn’t enjoy running in a Rolex for very long. With the right running watch though, you can keep track of your progress and monitor your body at the same time.
If you plan on running in the dark, you need to have a reflective vest for your own protection. This may not make the biggest fashion statement of all times, but it will ensure that other people see you when you’re running. The reflective materials on the vest will shoot a beam of light back to any oncoming cars or pedestrians with flashlights that may be coming toward you. Without a vest like that, you could blend straight into the surroundings.
A single strand of hair can become a major annoyance while you’re out on a run, so you may want to invest in running gear for your head to keep that hair out of your face. A simple sweat band or visor may be all you need to keep the sun and your hair out of your face at the same time. If you plan on cycling for part of your time out, you may also look into getting a good helmet to wear. That will protect your head in case of an accident.
Running Storage Gear
Finally, you need to have something to put all of your running gear accessories in while you’re out. A backpack may be too bulky to carry around, which is why most runners will wear fanny packs instead. Otherwise known as running belts, these articles of clothing fit around the waist and provide enough storage for a cell phone, a set of car keys, a camera, or other small items you may want to bring with you on a run. Stick everything you need in one of these, and you should be set for your next round of cardio.