It seems like lots of people have gotten into the trend of running these days and almost everybody wants to run races and get out there and compete. Strangely enough, many people who want to run do not necessarily invest or even know which types of equipment is necessary, which are important, and which can be discarded.
Ever seen a newbie runner with brand-new technology and GPS equipment who may not even yet know how to use it or may not yet have the proper stride, form, cadence, breathing, etc? It happens every day; and that is why I am here to present to you the 4 must-have BASIC pieces of running gear for those who want to begin running at their highest efficiency and stick with it over time.
Let's get into the LIST!
- Proper Running Shoes
Proper running shoes, although sometimes considered fancy and expensive, are a MUST. In fact, getting fitted for your running shoes is a MUST for at least the first time you go out and buy them. I never believed this fact myself, but after the first time my wife went to a real shoe store with a real running expert to get fitted, we discover problems in her arch support, in her pronation, in her form, or her fit, etc...it was amazing how many factors were truly at play and it was even more amazing post-fitting how much of a difference it made to get fitted properly. It was night and day: so invest in a pair of properly fitted running shoes: they are well worth the money!
2. Polyester Stretch Clothing
Under Armour and Nike Pro come to mind here. So why is a polyester stretch material as opposed to a cotton such a necessity in running? Body temperature plays a massive role while hitting the pavement; and getting too hot or too cold or too wet from body moisture can be a major problem. In fact, it is often said in the running community that one should dress 20 degrees COOLER than the temperature that will be ran in. In spite or those beliefs, the proper gear material is necessary because water needs to evaporate off the body and not be absorbed in the material as it is with cotton. Polyester stretch material keeps you cool, dry, and even warm when you need it and ALL runners should invest in such attire.
3. Heart-Rate Monitor
This is a strange "must-have" that doesn't seem to need to be on this list at first. However, a heart monitor is KEY if you want to learn how to pace properly, bring yourself to a fat-burning state, and know whether or not you are under-exerting or over-exerting yourself while running. A heat-rate monitor can help you learn your body's limitations and also see it improve itself cardiovascularly over time. I would recommend to anyone at any skill level of running to invest in a heart monitor for their own benefit and to track their progression of "workload" over time.
4. Compression Pants, Sleeves, and Socks
Last but not least, I have added compression gear to the list of must-have basic piece of running gear. Specifically, compression pants, sleeves, and socks for maybe the more experienced runner. Wearing compression sleeves when exercising helps to increase the blood flow to the areas being worn (typically legs and calf areas) and can help those with varicose veins and those with a tendency to form blood clots to improve their overall circulation and recovery. This can be a huge benefit when running with these types of serious medical conditions. For those without medical conditions, the increase circulation can aid in nutrient distribution and heat distribution for a healthier running experience overall.
That's my list of the 4 must-have basic pieces of running gear. I hope you enjoyed the list and I also hope that if you have anything to share, to add, or to dispute, that you will leave it in the comments section below so we can have a nice conversation on it! 🙂