Choosing the right kind of running gear!
Choosing the right kind of running gear can seem like quite a daunting task, especially to the beginner who is just starting out in this field. To begin with, the most important thing you will need for this type of exercise is a comfortable pair of shoes. If you are a newbie to the sport of running and are just checking it out, I would at first recommend trying it for a week or two to see if it’s the right choice for you. It would be a shame to spend a fortune on fancy equipment only to have it lay around in a forgotten cupboard because after all that expense you find that running is ‘not your thing’.
If, however, you do decide that this is the sport for you, the sky is the limit when it comes to the fantastic variety of wonderful products on the market. The most important item in any runners wardrobe is, without a doubt, their running shoes. Billions of dollars have been spent on developing running shoes and for a good reason. Each person has varying needs when it comes to footwear. Do you pronate, i.e. place greater weight distribution on the insides of your feet or do you supinate, meaning that you place the greater distribution of weight towards the outer edge of your foot as you walk or run?
Wearing the wrong shoes can lead to injury and symptoms can include arch pain, heel pain, flat feet, corns, calluses, ankle sprains, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain, hip and back pain. Orthotic inserts are the best way to combat either pronation or supination and will have to be personally fitted by an orthopaedic specialist. Many of the popular running shoes available on the market today are designed to aid people who suffer from either condition and a well-informed sales person should be able to assist you with your selection.
As with any product, each person will find that one type will suit their foot and running style better than another. Choosing the right kind of running gear is really up to the individual’s preference. What is comfortable to one person may not suit another person and in time you will define your own style and preferences. Brand names play a big role in the purchase of running gear today, as does price range and quality. Most manufacturers have invested vast sums of capital in research and you can be assured that most products are of superior quality.
For women, the sports bra is an absolute must when it comes to purchasing running gear. Sports bra’s are specially designed to minimise strain on the Cooper’s ligaments, which provide natural support to the breasts. Firm, comfortable support is a must, particularly for the woman with a larger cup size as running while wearing a bra that offers poor support can become quite painful. Most sporting goods stores will supply a vast range or sports bra’s for the active sportswoman.
Another useful accessory is a high-quality pair of sunglasses that will protect the eyes from glare and cut out damaging UV rays. Choosing the right kind of running gear has reached almost scientific status as there are so many products on the market today. You can invest in a runner’s belt, where you can store your water bottle, energy bars or gels, cash, sunglasses and even your sun block lotion if need be.
The next accessory on the list is the watch. Watches and time keeping have fascinated man since the dawn of time when he first became aware of the cyclic nature of life. The simple routines were matched to the sun’s passage across the sky, but as modern life and extreme demands on our time has encroached into our daily lives, the schedule has made it imperative that we keep accurate time.
Enter the art of the watchmaker’s craft. Watches are not only decorative pieces of jewellery prized the world over, but many now provide extra information, including altitude and the time in various time zones. Some have stop watch functions included, as well as the date and month! Designs are sleek, elegant and as varied as the individuals who wear them.
Running gear is designed to be comfortable, breathable and to minimise chaffing where possible. Natural materials like cotton are preferred, though many include latex or spandex for a better fit. Here again, the outfit can be as simple as a pair of loose fitted shorts and a t-shirt or you can go the name brand route. Manufacturers the world over have invested vast sums to bring you product lines that tout stylish running gear ranging from socks, ankle length fitted tights, knee length fitted tights and brand name underwear offering men boxers or briefs according to personal taste.
Shirts vary from light weight spaghetti strapped tops to the razor back style adopted by many sports bra manufacturers. Shirts can be tailored or baggy, round necked or v-necked, have long sleeves, short sleeves or no sleeves according to your preference. There are even warmer clothes designed for runners who run in intemperate climates. Fun accessories include heart rate monitors, pedometers, body fat callipers, hats and headgear sporting the latest brand names and even cell phone pouches.
Another popular addition to the runners repertoire is music. The iPod has become a popular part of any runners ensemble and everywhere you look runners sporting white ear buds are taking their exercise to the sounds of their favourite music. Many other portable music platforms exist and as with choosing the right kind of running gear for you, it is all up to personal preference.
Whether you are rich or poor, running is a sport available to everyone. All you need is enthusiasm, a dash of determination and at the very least, your own two feet, which have been taking man places since the dawn of time. Still, its wonderful to be able to choose the right kind or running gear suited to you from the wide variety available.