When the first lockdown hit us last year, like most people I decided that it was time for me to do something which I had always wanted to do, but kept putting off. I finally got into running.
I donned a pair of old trainers, downloaded the Couch to 5K app and off I went. I was finally doing it, albeit quite slowly, but I was doing it! Let’s not kid ourselves though — after the third or fourth run I felt like death. By the tenth or fifteenth run… let's be honest, I still felt like death — but I was doing it! And whether I liked it or not at the time, the endorphins I got afterwards made it all worthwhile.
Throughout my amateur journey to becoming a 'runner', I realised that it’s not simply a matter of jumping into some runners, getting outside and off you go. Crazy, I know — but believe it or not there's actually quite a lot of gear which you're going to need to invest in, to make your runs a whole lot easier and way more enjoyable.
Here’s a list of items which I found incredibly useful while I was in the midst of my running phase, for anyone out there who might be thinking about giving it a go.
Download the Couch to 5K app
To be clear, this app is by no means necessary; especially if you're a fitness enthusiast. However, for someone like me who’s only ever run as far as the bus stop, I found the Couch to 5K programme really helpful when it came to building stamina and confidence.
This app is designed to build up your fitness slowly using interval training, so that each run is within your capabilities. It’s an eight week programme which will have you going on 5K runs in no-time!
Get a reflective arm band and phone holder
When I first started running I would carry my phone in my hand, and I’m not going to lie, it was really annoying. Your phone gets sweaty and your hands feel constricted and it’s just a pain. That’s why you should invest in an arm band which has a pocket in it to hold your phone, your keys or some cash.
While you’re at it, you might as well pick out a reflexive one, so that it’s easier for cars to see you when you’re out on your runs.
Wireless headphones are a must
If, like me, you love to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks while you're out on your daily jaunt, then wireless head/earphones are a must. You don’t have to worry about the wires getting tangled while you’re running and you simply forget you’re even wearing them after a while.
I was a bit sceptical at first, wondering if I really needed them. But once I tried them there was no going back — there’s just something so freeing about running wildly, with absolutely nothing getting in your way.
A decent sports bra is essential
Sorry ladies, but there’s no getting around it. If you want to get into running then your comfy bralettes simply won’t cut it, especially if you have a larger bust.
There’s no need to splurge on expensive sports bras with high-end labels either; as long as they keep the biddies at bay, that’s all that matters.
Invest in some good sportswear
Now that you’re mostly kitted out, it’s time to hit the online shops and pick up a new breathable sports top, a lightweight long-sleeved pullover, a sporty pair of leggings that aren’t see-through when you bend over, and a packet of cushioned sport socks. Go for it — treat yo’ self.
Buy a pair of runners that are actually meant for running
Last but certainly not least, you need to invest in a good pair of runners that are specifically designed for running. That means doing a bit of research and finding out what type of shoes will best suit you. Do you have good arches, or will you need a trainer with extra support? Do you usually run on grass or the road? These are the types of questions you should be thinking about when deciding what shoe is right for you.
Good quality runners are quite an expense, so perhaps you should wait a month or so after you’ve started your running endeavours, to make sure that this really is something you want to pursue. Only make the investment when you’re sure the time is right.
Have you got any running tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!