What Do I Need To Start Running?

The Three Essential pieces of Kit for Running

The essential kit and equipment that you need to start running are few and should never be a barrier to starting to run.

I’d say that you really only need a maximum of three things although some of you will be able to get away with just one piece of kit; running shoes or trainers. This is where I’ll start

Running shoes/trainers

The only thing you need to start running are trainers. Some would argue you don’t even need those, but in Scotland we don’t have wonderfully warm sun kissed beaches with lovely clean sand to run on, so, for now we’ll say you need trainers or running shoes.

Running shoes really don’t have to be expensive. They just have to be comfortable and fit well. Friend and colleague Roger Kerry who’s an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham recommends running in a pair of £20 Aldi training shoes, but Roger only recommends them  because they fit him well and feel comfortable. You need to try on shoes to find your fit. It may also be worth noting, that with some supportive shoes you may feel changes in your knees, hips and groin. Do these feel comfortable too?

Ultimately, the brand doesn’t make much difference. The way a running shoe feels is unique to you. Just because someone else says that these shoes are great doesn’t mean much. What it means is, that these shoes are great for them NOT necessarily for you. People will run in the strangest things. One guy ran a marathon in wellington boots with no ill affects. Just because he did it, it doesn’t mean you should.

A Good Bra

For Women a good sports bra is a must. Now I can’t comment personally on this, but through reading I understand that there are two main types of sports bra; Squash them down, or cup them up. I’m not sure of the benefit of either. I’ve heard some find their breath a little too constrained if they’re too constricted or squashed so go to a good sports shop or specialist shop or department and try them on.

It may also be worth thinking about fasteners. Where do they fasten? Is it easy to get in and out of?  Some, I believe, don’t have fasteners. You have to wrestle your way out. Do you really want to do that with a wet, sweaty sports bra?

Ultimately just start with any sports bra that fits and see how you go with that and change when you feel you better understand what you need. Don’t let your underwear be a barrier to running

A Cap

A cap, for me, is the last essential for running and I think it should be an essential for more people. I wear a cap for two reasons. The first is I wear glasses and live it Scotland where it rains, a lot. The peak on my cap keeps the rain off my glasses so I can see. Being able to see when you’re running is really handy

The other reason has to do with hair. Not only do I wear glasses, but I’m bald. In winter, a cap keeps my head warm but more importantly, in summer it protects me from sun damage. My dad started wearing caps after developing a precancerous growth on his scalp which every so often needed removal . I think why wait for them to develop when a cap may prevent. Prevention is always better than cure, so I wear a cap.

If you have long hair a cap can help tame it and keep it out of your eyes. If you have pony tail length hair  you can take it out the back of your cap which may stop your running bounce turning into a ponytail whip!

Other Bits of Kit?

There are other things you may want, but not need. To start almost any shorts or joggies will do, as will any waterproof. You could even start running in jeans and a t-shirt it doesn’t really matter. although shorts and tops that are breathable and wick moisture  away may be some something you want to look at longer term. Later I will be looking at more technical running clothing, but it’s not important for now.

There is one last essential, a training plan. I like and use the C25K training plan for starting running. This is a free plan available from a number of sources in different formats. I even have a post on it with links to download it. As you can see running doesn’t really need much apart from a little drive. Enthusiasm can come come from joining a group and starting with them.  If you’re in Glasgow why not come and join us down at Glasgow South Road Runners and let our enthusiasm keep  you raring to go?

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