Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world today. Whether you do it on a treadmill or on a trail, the gear you run in has a massive impact on your speed and endurance. By getting better clothing that’s suited to your body and needs, you can minimize injury risk and make running enjoyable.
If you’re an outdoor runner, you know the weather doesn’t always cooperate with you. Part of being a successful runner is being able to handle whatever weather gets thrown at you on any given day. One of the best ways you can do that is by layering. If you run in the mornings, your run probably starts off chilly. As you get going, you begin to warm up and start to get hotter. In order to maximize comfort at all stages of your run, layer up your outfits so you can add and remove layers as needed.
Layering will not only help you stay comfortable in the individual stages of your run but also protect you against unpredictable seasonal elements. By adding something like a waffle base layer underneath your regular running clothes, you can keep yourself warm and dry in the winter, without getting too hot. Running tights protect your lower half from irritation that comes from prolonged friction. These fabrics eliminate friction and wick away sweat, leaving you running in comfort. By layering up, you can keep yourself comfortable at every stage and season you run in and stay running longer.
Perhaps the most important piece of running equipment a runner has is their shoes. If your shoes aren’t well-suited to your body and your running type, you’re putting yourself at high risk for injuries and chronic pain during and after your runs. Your shoes form the barrier between your body and the hard ground, so getting a pair specialized to your body is critical. If you run on a track, look for shoes that are flatter to accomodate for the spring the track already has. Pavement or trail runners should have shoes with more cushion and spring in them, since there isn’t much to be found on the ground itself.
If you aren’t sure where to find the proper shoes for you, your first stop should be a running store. This is like Candyland for runners, as it will have all the accessories and gear you need to succeed on your next run. The employees here will be able to measure your feet and your needs and get you the right shoes for your body, ensuring you’re as comfortable as possible. Staying in the right shoes is one of the easiest ways to prevent running injuries.
Once you have your layers and your shoes sorted, it’s time to grab some accessories. Of course, one of the most vital things you’ll need on a run is hydration. Depending on how long your run is, you probably won’t want to be holding a water bottle the whole time you’re running. One way to avoid this is by wearing a hydration pack. These are special backpacks that have water pouches in the lining, so you can wear your water bottle throughout the duration of your run.
Another accessory that many athletes have found helpful is a run tracker. These often come in the form of watches or rings, and will track all your major stats on your run. Metrics such as heart rate, speed, distance, and pace will all be tracked and logged for each run you go on. This will allow you to take control of your running journey and improve specific areas you choose. Though they may not have as much importance as your shoes and clothing, your running accessories can help you optimize each run.
Overall, the quality of the things you wear on your run greatly influences the quality of your run itself. While you don’t need name brands, making sure your gear is suited for you will prevent injuries down the line.