So you have been running and you want to start kicking it up a notch in regard to distance. When you first start you may think you only need a good pair of shoes to run. Well, it is one of the cheaper sports out there and it really doesn’t require too much to get it done, but different kinds of running gear is available that will make you more comfortable and keep you motivated. I put together a list to get you started on increasing your mileage.
-Get yourself a pair of comfy running shorts for your summer running plans. I like Salomon, Under Armour, or Patagonia. and I almost always buy black, but they have them a bazillion different colors. I have started running in a few different running skirts too, which are a fun way to mix it up.
-Running shoes are really important for obvious reasons. You want a pair that is going to work for you. The Hoka One One, Brooks Adrenaline GTS, and ASICS Gel-Nimbus are all great road shoes. I personally have used them all. Hoka’s are my favorite, but everyone is different. One thing to know and keep in mind, running shoes have an expiration date of around 350-500 miles, depending on the quality of shoe. After that point, they can start to cause injury. Try to keep track of the miles you put on them. I have found I get more miles out of Hokas and Brooks.
-I personally have yet to find a really supportive sports bra, but I have found that I can double up nearly any kind of sports bra to be comfortable.
-Compression socks are great for recovery. I sometimes wear them while I run, but mostly after a race or a long run.
-I just started using arm compression sleeves and like them quite a bit. It is nice for when you need a little added warmth on a slightly chilly day. As you warm up, they are easy to take off.
-Wear clothing that is meant for sports. They are designed to wick away sweat, keeping you drier and less smelly.
Devices and Gadgets
-My Garmin Forerunner 235 is my favorite running gadget of all time. It tracks my run, connects to Strava and My Fitness Pal, keeps track of my steps, sleep patterns, heart rate, and a lot of other features that you can customize. There are different faces you can download to fit your style. You can even buy different bands if you get bored of the color.
-Foam rollers are a must for every runner. I have used mine to work out nearly every running injury that has come my way. You can YouTube different ways to use it for specific problem areas or just for loosening up your muscles.
-Body Glide or good old fashioned Vaseline to prevent chaffing. Body Glide lasts longer after application, meaning it does not need to be reapplied as frequently.
-I use cheap headphones, but there is a wide variety of headphones to choose from out there.
-Running logs are available for purchase, but I personally just use free printable calendars online and write in details about my run each day. I also use Strava to help me track my progress.
Fuel and Hydration
-Gels are my go to for half marathons distances or longer. They are easy to carry, consume, and have mostly the right balance of nutrients. Personally, I like GU and Stinger gels.
-Tailwind helps keep you hydrated properly. Water seems to work fine for me until a certain point. Around 20 km or longer, I start to need something a little more and something like Tailwind works great. I just discovered Tailwind single packets, which make it much easier to take along with you on a race.
I definitely have more gear than this in my closet, but this feels like a good list of things to get you started.