Why running gear? I was always the type of person that said I wouldn’t run unless I was being chased. I didn’t become a runner until later in my life. Not until I was already in my 30s, after I had my son, to be exact.
I decided I wanted to get into shape. I didn’t have a trainer or a running coach, I just dove right in. After I started to get into a little bit of a rhythm, I ran a couple of small races. I kept working on it, and after a while, signed up for and ran my first half marathon.
If you’re thinking of getting into it shape, and are considering getting into running, there you have it. It is something you can start doing, with no gym membership, no equipment to buy, just you and a pair of shoes.
Sounds simple, right? It really is. But, if you’re really ready to get into running shape, I’m going to give you tips on two pieces of running gear I consider essential.
Believe it or not, picking out the right pair of running shoes can be pretty important if you’re going to run more than just once or twice. For any of you that ran when you were younger, you probably already know what I’m about to share here. But for those of you who want to know more about running shoes, read on.
In picking out the right running shoes, you need to consider size, pronation, and shoe type. There are many other things we can get into, but these are the main ones.
Most people actually don’t know this, but you should be wearing your running shoes about a half a size to a full sizer larger than your normal shoes. Your feet move and shift forward when you’re running, and you’ll want that extra space in the front of the shoe, in your toe box area, to be comfortable.
You don’t want the front of your toes pushing and rubbing up against the shoe.
Another thing you want to be careful about is to make sure your running shoes aren’t too wide or too narrow. They need to fit so comfortably that you can barely feel them on your feet.
When you go to a running shoe store, they will actually have you step on a machine so they can see if you are a heel striker, or if you run more on the balls of your feet. If you bring in a recent pair of running shoes, they can check the bottoms of the shoes so they can see how your feet strike when running.
What they are checking for is pronation. Pronation is basically how your foot rolls inward when the balls of your feet land on the ground with each step. There is normal pronation, which is when your foot rolls in about 15%. There is also supination (over pronation), and under pronation.
This is different for every person based on how your foot is shaped including your arch, and no way is better than the other. But based on your pronation, you will go with one show type over another.
A good fitting pair of running shoes should last the average runner about 400 to 500 miles. Depending on how many miles per month that you run, you can tell how long your shoes will last before you get a new pair.
Types of Running Shoes
The type of running that you do will also determine what kind of shoes to get. If you are a runner that mostly runs on sidewalks, on the pavement or a track, you’ll want regular running shoes.
If you are a trail runner, and you’re mostly off road, you’ll want trail running shoes.
And if you are a gym rat, and do a lot of cross training and maybe just small amounts of running, then you’ll want cross training shoes.
Make sure you pick the shoes that are suitable for your specific need.
Once you get into running, you’ll very quickly realize you’ll also want to track your time and distance. For this, you need another piece of gear-
The Fitness Wearable
The other item of running gear I’d recommend is the Fitness Wearable. I’ll just go ahead and tell you what I use, I wear the Apple Series 3 watch.
The 1st half marathon I ran was back in 2014. Back then, to track my training I was using the Nike+ Running app on my iPhone 4. Yep you read that right. I was not using an activity tracker or a wearable. And I wasn’t hip enough to use the FitBit.
It wasn’t until just before my 2nd Half Marathon that I got my first wearable, a Garmin watch. If you’re a runner, and yes, we are a crazy fanatics obsessed with times and splits, you know how important and easy it is to check our pace and times while training and racing with a wearable.
Last year, I upgraded and got the Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular.
This isn’t so much geared to be a fitness wearable, but the built in GPS is great if you use it as an activity tracker. You can use it like a Garmin for all of your exercise activities: running, swimming, cycling, cross training etc.
The other thing I really like about it is I can listen to my play lists on it. And if I get caught in the rain with it, I have nothing to worry about- because it’s water proof.
It also can check your heart rate, blood pressure, and count your steps. So, it really is pretty functional as a fitness wearable.
Anyone who knows me knows I love pink. So when I got my Apple watch, I had to get the pink one.
Ease into it
Don’t feel like you need a fancy pair of shoes or a fitness wearable day 1, because you don’t. Your first couple runs are probably going to be slow, and fairly short. Ease yourself into it, and once you feel more comfortable, like this is something you can do long term, then start thinking about the shoe investment, and getting yourself some other running gear, like a jacket, or running pants, or a wearable.
I’m no fitness expert, but I am an experienced runner. I’ve run two half marathons already, and this Fall, I’ll be running my third. I started from nothing as an adult, as a mom, and you can too.