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What running gear do you need as a beginner?

Written by Fiona

January 16 2024

As we’ve entered into the new year, numerous people will start to put their resolutions into action – with running being one of the most popular choices. If you are just starting your journey as a runner, you may feel overwhelmed by the selection of fitness clothing and gear that is available in various price points. So, which of these items are truly important and could positively impact your performance from the get-go? This article will guide you through the essential running starter pack for a beginner. 

High quality footwear

Choosing the right footwear is paramount for any runner, especially beginners. Your shoes are the cornerstone of your running gear, providing the necessary support and cushioning.

Fit is the most important factor and much more vital to consider than looks and brands. Go to a running or sports store and try on footwear. If you can find an expert to help with fitting this isa n even better plan.

Good fit includes width, volume, arch support and the right support to suit your gait.

Consider visiting a specialist running store where experts can analyse your gait and recommend the ideal shoe. Investing in quality footwear can prevent injuries and make your running experience more enjoyable, particularly as a beginner.

Running hydration vest pack

A running vest pack is an invaluable item for all runners, but especially those training for long-distances. It allows you to carry water conveniently, without it being in your way, ensuring that you stay hydrated throughout your run.

You could invest in NNormal’s running vest with pockets, as it has the space to store other items too, such as your phone, snacks, etc.

A vest pack is a much better way of carrying water and spare kit than a regular backpack, which is more likely to be irritating and sweaty. Running vest packs are made to be lightweight and breathable, fitting snugly to avoid chafing. 

Comfortable running apparel

Your running clothes should offer comfort and functionality. Choose stretchy, lightweight and breathable fabrics that wick away sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable. A good rule of thumb is to dress for weather that’s slightly warmer than the actual temperature, as you’ll heat up once you start running.

There is no need to spend too much as a beginner, but your kit should include moisture-wicking socks, shorts or leggings, and a comfortable top. Reflective clothing or accessories are advisable for visibility if you’re running early in the morning or late in the evening.

Weather-appropriate gear

The British weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to have gear that is suitable for all conditions. In colder months, layer up with a thermal base layer, a fleece and a wind-resistant, waterproof jacket. Gloves and a hat are essential to keep you warm.

During summer, opt for light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes to reflect the sun’s rays and a cap to protect your face. Don’t forget to use sunscreen, even on cloudy days, to protect your skin from UV rays, as you will be spending a lot of time outdoors.

GPS watch or running app

Tracking your progress is crucial for motivation and improvement, so having a tool that can calculate your distance, pace, time and other insights will be incredibly helpful. They can also map your routes, keeping your runs interesting and varied. Now, this does not mean you need to buy an expensive fitness watch with lots of cool features (unless you want to). A comprehensive running app or an affordable GPS watch will do the job just fine. Remember, if you feel the need to upgrade, you can always do so later down the line.

Post-run recovery tools

Recovery is an integral part of your running routine. You can use basic fitness tools for this, which most people already own. For example, a stretching mat is a useful item to have on hand, as it provides a comfortable surface for post-run stretches or yoga, which can enhance flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.

A foam roller is another great tool, which aids in muscle recovery, reducing soreness and preventing injury. Spend some time after each run to roll out tight muscles, especially in your legs. Incorporating recovery into your routine will help you bounce back faster and run more effectively.

Headphones and a good playlist

Some runners enjoy peace and quiet, while others struggle with the lack of companionship during their runs. Your favourite music or a good podcast can be a great motivator while running. Get yourself a pair of comfortable headphones or earphones (wireless earbuds are a popular choice) and create a playlist full of upbeat tracks to keep you energised and focused.

Alternatively, audiobooks, language courses or podcasts are a great way to use this time not only for fitness, but personal development, too. 

Final reminders

The most important thing to remember is that you do not need to invest a lot of money in order to start running. It’s all about finding the gear that makes you feel comfortable and covers your personal needs at this stage of your running journey. Start with the basics, listen to your body, and adjust your gear as you gain more experience and confidence. Happy running.

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