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On Your Mark: Equipment to Start Running

Running is a great way to get fit and lose weight. Starting on your running journey requires motivation to take that first step, but also it is important to have the right equipment to make the transition from a walker or jogger to a runner.

Starting a running program requires a combination of essential equipment to ensure comfort, safety, and performance. Equipping yourself with these items ensures a comfortable, safe, and effective running program, allowing you to focus on building fitness and enjoying your runs.

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Running Shoes & Socks

The most crucial item is a good pair of running shoes. These shoes are specifically designed to provide support and cushioning tailored for running, helping to prevent injuries and enhance your running experience. When choosing running shoes, look for a proper fit, adequate arch support, and cushioning that matches your foot type and running style, whether it’s neutral, stability, or motion control. Proper shoes can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and improve your overall comfort during runs.

If you are buying a new pair, make sure you break them in slowly with short runs or wear them around the house for a while. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on the best brand name shoes - you just need something reliable and ones that feel comfortable for you. There is nothing worse than blisters to ruin the start of your new fitness regime.

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Running socks are also important. Unlike regular socks, running socks are made from moisture-wicking materials that prevent blisters and keep your feet dry. They often feature seamless construction to avoid irritation. Look for socks made from breathable materials like merino wool or synthetic blends that fit snugly without bunching.

Running Clothes

Although it might be tempting, you don't need to buy the latest trendy gear. What's important is that your running clothes are comfortable and functional for an enjoyable running experience.

A lightweight, moisture-wicking running shirt helps keep you dry and comfortable by pulling sweat away from your skin. Running shorts or tights should also be made from breathable, quick-drying material. Look for options with a secure waistband and a length that suits your preference. Women should invest in a good sports bra that offers adequate support and reduces movement during running. A proper sports bra made from moisture-wicking fabric ensures comfort and helps prevent discomfort during runs.

The clothing needs to be suitable for the environment that you will be running in. For runs in cooler or unpredictable weather, a running jacket is necessary. A good running jacket is lightweight, windproof, and water-resistant, offering protection from the elements while allowing your skin to breathe. Look for a jacket with reflective details for visibility, and features like adjustable cuffs and hems for a customized fit. Safety is also important, especially when running in low-light conditions. Reflective gear enhances your visibility to others. Reflective vests, bands, or clothing with built-in reflectivity can help ensure you are seen by drivers and other runners.

A running hat or cap can protect you from the sun and keep sweat out of your eyes. Choose a hat made from lightweight, moisture-wicking material that fits comfortably.

Sunglasses with UV protection are crucial for protecting your eyes from harmful rays and reducing glare, which can be distracting and uncomfortable during runs. Choose lightweight sunglasses with a snug fit to ensure they stay in place while running.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is vital, so carrying a water bottle or hydration pack is recommended. Hydration gear ensures you have easy access to water, preventing dehydration, especially during long runs. Look for a hydration solution that is easy to carry and fits comfortably, with enough capacity for the duration of your run.

Running Watch

Monitoring your progress with a running watch or fitness tracker can be highly motivating. These devices track metrics like pace, distance, and heart rate, helping you set and achieve your running goals. Look for a watch or tracker with GPS functionality, reliable heart rate monitoring, and a user-friendly interface.

Running Belt

While not essential, a running belt is useful for carrying small items like keys, a phone, and energy gels without hindering your movement. Choose a belt with an adjustable fit and minimal bounce for the best experience.

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