Being a running coach, I almost instinctively do an inventory of the shoes, socks, shorts, shirt, jacket… of runners I meet out on the road. I am often amazed at what I see people running in, not because I am a gear snob, by no means, I actually admire those I see striding along in old tennis shoes, sweat soaked cotton T-Shirt from their last high school sports tour clinging to their back. I am thinking, “your run could be so much more fun in better gear, but kudos for being out on the road!”
You see, once you have experienced the moisture wicking, auto drying, cool flow, ultra-light, energy rebound…technologies of “real” running gear, everything else feels a bit like a sufferfest. I guess it is similar to cycling on a Postman bike after experiencing a real racing bicycle.
Of course, good gear does not come cheap, however you only need a few basic items since good gear is usually quick drying making it easy to wash and wear the next day (even dries quick in hotel rooms!). Plus it is made to last many many sweaty miles.
Here is my top 10 basics list in order of priority:
- Real running shoes – be willing to pay a little extra and buy from a specialist running store. Remember, this is an investment in hours of running happiness (plus, you don’t want to be spending the money you saved on physiotherapy bills).
- Real running socks – these should be seam free, fit snugly on your foot (no bunching bits) and have stay dry technology.
- Real running shorts/tights that allow free movement and use stay dry technology.
- A Real running t-shirt that uses stay dry technology. Also good to get a shirt with nifty reflector stripes if you are going to be running in the dark a lot.
- A long sleeve t-shirt for colder days.
- Running gloves for those who live in very cold areas.
- A running cap made of light stay dry fabric. This is not only for keeping the sun off your head, a cap is great for keeping the rain out of your eyes and your head warm on wet days.
- A wind/rain jacket. Go for something thin and light that fits to your body (you don’t want a big flapping jacket).
- Running sunglasses. This is a luxury, but really great for preventing frowning into the sun and keeps your face relaxed.
- A head torch if you run in the dark a lot.
So why not reward your hard training with a little gear spoil. It’s worth it!