Recently, I’ve talked with a few people who are going to start training for a 5K. I love meeting people who are interested in becoming a “runner”. Running seems so natural to me that I forget it can feel so foreign to others. This made me think of a few items of gear that any new runner needs to start a running program. And as always, I’m hoping you don’t stop with their first 5K. Whether you try and conquer a 10K next or shoot for a PR (personal record) on your second 5K. I can’t say it enough, having a goal to work towards makes a big difference on training. It helps you stay on track!
To start, you obviously need some clothes. If the weather is warm you’re lucky and can get away with pretty much any type of athletic shorts and shirt. I wouldn’t recommend jeans, believe me I’ve had people come to my local running group ready to run in jeans. Too hot, too heavy and what about the chaffing?! This day the group was all set for a great run!
If the weather is cold, dress in layers. Read my post about what to wear when it’s super cold outside. If you start out on a cold day and feel warm you are going to be hot in a matter of minutes. Remember that your body heats up quickly when you run. It has to be very very cold for me to wear more then 2 layers on top. It’s usually a short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve pullover. And if I get too warm I can wrap the pullover around my waist.
Short, capri or full leggings? I like them all. Shorts are great for summer and feel the least restrictive. Just be sure and have some sort of liner underneath to prevent chaffing. Capris and full leggings are good for the cooler weather. My favorite leggings are made from Nike.
Now for the shoes. You definitely need actual running shoes. Not the fashion sneakers you’ve been wearing around the past couple years. Shoes are the most important when it comes to a runner’s wardrobe. There are numerous brands and types out there, too many to discuss. My personal favorites are New Balance Minimus. These are a minimalist type of shoe, meaning pretty much no support or padding. I would NOT recommend these for a first time runner. They take a little getting used to and you are a little more prone to injuries. I would visit a local running store and have them “fit” you for your best match. Most running specialty stores will watch how you run, either on a treadmill or outside the store and determine a few types of shoes that would work best. Don’t just buy a pretty shoe, buy one that fits well and is comfortable.
And lastly for new runners, I would suggest purchasing a digital watch. It helps to know how long you’ve been running and be able to use the stop watch feature. You can purchase an inexpensive Timex from Target or Walmart. You don’t need a fancy heart rate monitor and GPS watch. My watch looks something like this.
Keep it simple and focus on the running. The other running gear toys will come later down the line as you get more technical. Right now make your goal to run and stick to a program.
If you’d like to have me design a personalized running program for you feel free to contact me and check out more information on my services page.
Do you have any running goals this summer?