What Do You Need to Get Started with Running?
Running is a great type of exercise that comes with many health benefits such as being good for your cardiovascular health and your joints while also reducing your risk of developing cancer. Running can also be brilliant for your mind as the activity provides me time, soothes stress, keeps your mind sharp and makes you happier too. Another benefit of running outside is that you get to spend time in nature which is also great for your physical and mental health.
Most new activities require purchasing a lot of equipment but running is a relatively cheap hobby to start – you only really need very little gear. In this article, we’ll look at the items you need to get started with running.
- Running Trainers. The main thing you need to run is a pair of decent running trainers. They don’t have to be the most expensive ones but they do need to fit you well and suit your style of running. When starting out, you can go for a pair that feel good on your feet and then as you get a bit more experienced, you can go to a specialist running shop that can help you find your next pair after looking at how you run. Look for shoes that are especially made for running – not just any trainers, and always try them on in the store if possible instead of buying online. When it comes to running trainers, it’s a good idea to size up half a size or a full size as your feet will get warm and swell a bit as you run. When trying on your shoes in store, make sure your feet don’t slide around but that there’s still some extra room available.
- Sports Bra. If you have breasts, you’ll also need a sports bra with high support, preferably one that’s been designed for running. Again, try in store if possible to ensure a good fit and the right support. You want it to be tight to hold your breasts in place but not so tight that it digs in or feels uncomfortable.
- Running Socks. Just like it’s a good idea to have hiking socks when wearing hiking shoes, running socks are ideal for running. They are breathable, help prevent blisters and also help keep your shoes in place. It’s important to look after your feet and running socks don’t need to be expensive – you can find good ones in Decathlon for budget-friendly prices for example.
- Running Clothes. If you already do other types of exercising, you might not need any running-specific clothing. Joggers or gym leggings make great running bottoms – if it’s warm, you might prefer shorts. Any t-shirt or sports top that you find comfortable are fine. If it’s cold, add a jacket that is comfortable to run in. For summer, a cap will protect your face and eyes from the sun. In winter, you might want to wear some gloves and a hat to stay warm. If you’re running in the dark or near the road, add some hi-vis garments to ensure that you’re easily spotted by car drivers.
Those are all the clothes you need. A smartphone or a smartwatch is also very useful to help you track your runs and your progress, and to listen to music, audio books or podcasts if you wish. A thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the volume is not too loud as you need to be able to still hear the world around you to be aware of any potential dangers.
Something that you need that’s not a thing is motivation. Find what your “why” is – why do you want to run? Listening to some inspirational audio books about running before you start or while it’s all still new is a good way to get motivated to get started or to keep going. Some of my favourites include Run Mummy Run and Beginner’s Luck for Non-Runners. I also recommend using Couch to 5K to help you get started with running in a manageable and sustainable way.
Running has now become part of my morning self-care routine a few times a week and I’m really enjoying seeing the progress and taking time to do something for my own health and well-being.