So starting running can be tough if you don’t know how to start. Or where to start. So here are a couple of things that will make life a little easier. I feel like a lot of these things are no-brainers to starting running. But then again, to assume that would mean I started running without a brain (on some days a fair assumption) since most of these were things I was CLUELESS about.
1. Sweat wicking clothes- I wish this didn’t have to be stated, but considering that the first several months of running with the track club at practices and in my daily runs I wore cotton tees and long down to my knees basketball shorts that I would sometimes have to hold up to make sure they didn’t fall off- just wanted to reiterate the importance of wearing the right gear. Invest in a couple running outfits you are comfortable with. If I can recommend anything it would be to get shorts with built in pockets- the more the better. They are amazing/necessary for storing your keys, fuel, chapstick during a race, money (if you need to uber it to .1 miles before finish line and then jump out and pretend to win the race).
These are pretty much my favorite shorts ever and the only ones I will wear for a race anymore.
2. A run tracker- This can be a running app- like Runkeeper (free in the App Store) or a Garmin (or any similar GPS tracking watch out there). The only way to track your progress and improvement is to actually know your stats. It’s pretty cool going back and looking at how you’ve improved and challenging yourself on your pace and distance on the daily.
3. The right socks- GUYS! Plain old cotton socks aren’t gonna cut it when you’re actually logging miles. Finding your holy grail of socks may mean the difference between blisters everywhere and feet that you don’t have to be shamed by. Everyone has their preference. I can run in most types of running socks for daily run but for any races I use Compression socks (long or short ones) since I feel like this keeps the swelling in my feet limited.
4. Cinderella Shoes- Nothing can more quickly derail your running career than the wrong shoes. I hear friends constantly telling me that they feel like their shoes are the cause of random pains and uncomfortableness on the run. They are probably right. Your shoes are everything. Invest the time in finding the perfect fit for you. Every brand has different features, so it makes sense to go to a running specialty store and tell them what you’re working with (low arches, high arches, shin splints, etc)- this will help them offer you shoes that can get you hopefully moving pain-free quicker.
5. Foam Roller/RPI Travel Stick- These are crucial for recovery and preventing injury. Recovering right means you’ll be out there running again sooner after a hard run. I used to be a lot more faithful with rolling my legs out- but I usually try to do it after races to help with recovery. Staying in on a Friday night? Knock yourself out watching every way you can foam roll here.
6. ICE ICE BABY- When I first started running, I was super concerned about shin splints since I had them so bad in high school. I actually wore compression sleeves every day after my run that had pockets that I would put ice in to help deal with the inflammation in my shins. I was a lot better about icing my shins back then- but now that my body is pretty used to the mileage it is a lot more low maintenance. When you’re building up mileage, it is a good idea to be really proactive so that you stay healthy and don’t get injured and discouraged from running right off the bat.
There are so many other things that are helpful - but these are just some of the crucial things to have in your run-arsenal and in NO time you'll be out there beating Wilson Kipsang (ok, not really -but hopefully you will recover better and not chafe so bad during a race).
This morning I had another shoot for Competitor at 6 am (hello, sunrise). Normally I do a morning run but 1. there was no way I could do a run before the shoot and not show up looking like a drowned rat, 2. I knew I would be doing a lot of running around so I didn't want to overly fatigue myself. We ended up shooting for 2.5 hours in downtown- which mostly involved tons and tons of sprints and lots of bounding up and down stairs. By the time I was done, I was exhausted (and happy- don't be fooled- I loved EVERY MINUTE of it). I don't recommend it on 3 hours of sleep. Excited to see what kind of shots came out of this shoot. The one from last week was with the New Balance kit- and today we started off with an Asics kit and then did some New Balance shots at the end. I definitely was really impressed with the New Balance 1400's- they are a good, lightweight shoe with lots of kick to them. Nothing like a couple of hours of sprints to convince you that a pair of shoes has some potential.
Hope y'all have a great day- and go support the economy by buying some new rungear. Or if you don't, I will for all of us.