One of the things I love most about running is that getting started isn’t all that costly. I mean…cheap? I’m there.
If you’re new to running, you do need to invest in an item or two, but the rest you probably already have at home, at least if you’re a tried-and-failed-a-hundred-times fitness chaser like me. (Ahem.)
Here’s what I wear to get out there at dawn before anybody can see me flailing around.
1. Running Shoes
This is the single piece of gear you really do have to buy as a specialty item, if you don’t have a pair already. Landing comfortably, a proper fit and having some grip are absolutely essential no matter what surface you’re running on.
Running shoes are usually called just that: running shoes. Not hiking shoes, athletic shoes (though that’s kind of a crossover depending on the shoe), or casual walkers.
Running puts a BIG impact on your knees, spine and hips. So you definitely need a shoe with a shock-absorbing sole. Another option is to buy those nifty Dr. Scholl’s inserts – just make sure you’re buying the kind for running.
IMPORTANT: If you’re buying inserts, be aware that you may need a slightly bigger shoe. Inserts that are specific to running lift your foot about 1/4″.
2. Compression Pants
The reason people wear compression pants isn’t because they’re giant flopping behemoths trying to run without jiggle (represent) but because compression pants keep your thighs from chafing. Trust me, chafing blows. Avoid! Avoid!
Compression pants or shorts keep your thighs separated from one another in a way standard shorts can’t, and they also make your butt look cute. (Score.) If you buy athletic or runner pants they’ll probably also have slant pockets for you to hold your phone, which is a cool perk.
3. A Comfortable Top
You can buy wicking-style shirts if you’d like. My personal preference is that wicking shirts make me feel overly wet and that they just feel too “close” on my body. But I’m weird.
I wear a cotton tank top. It’s old, it has dots of home hair color on it, it’s pretty loose and to me, it’s heaven, basically.
4. Knee Brace
You can ask your doctor if you need a brace, and what type of brace to wear.
I grabbed a pair of flexible, inexpensive compression braces. Naturally, I chose the pink ones. Because pink.
Running causes friction on various areas of your body. If you have a well-fitting shoe, this should be minimal, but over time, if you don’t wear adequate socks you’re going to feel it.
Right now I wear a slightly thinner sock (it’s summer) but still thick enough to provide protection. If you’re wearing shoes that go up a bit on the ankle make sure the socks are high enough to go above the shoe’s ledge.
Sports bras. Arghhhhhhhhh.
Again…this is something that some women swear by. I have not yet found the sport bra that doesn’t make my Betties look like pancake batter that’s slightly gooing out the sides.
Believe it or not, I just wear a standard-issue hold e’m, don’t fold ’em big-boob bra. I’m a 38DDD and at the speed (extra extra slow) that I run, they aren’t smacking me in the chin or anything.
Please note that the above isn’t every woman’s running uniform. You can literally start with just good shoes and yoga pants that are close enough to your body not to tangle your legs together – that’s it. Done and running.
On the other hand, as you progress in your running, there’s tons more gear (holy crap) to help your run in a zillion different ways.
Stay tuned – the next time I find something I love, I’ll have my debit card out and my hands on this keyboard.