One of the things that makes me the most angry is when fitness magazines say that some sports are free/cheap. Sports like running!
HA. HA HA HA HA HA. Running is *not* free. At least pain-free running is not. And while I’m sure one can get by on shoes from wherever and ratty t-shirts, I’ve been surprised at the amount of gear this sport requires. I’m still new to running, obviously, so I’m sure my list will expand and change, but this is the stuff I’ve found to be must-have.
I’m not picky about tops and bottoms, really—I’ve got capri workout pants from Target, Nike and Reebok, and while I might prefer the Reebok ones slightly more, I’m not picky. I prefer tank tops with a shelf bra (so I can rock a sports bra underneath and have double support) and long-sleeved shirts with any sort of wicking going on.
But none of these are as essential as the three pieces of gear I’m going to show you now:
First, my Vibrams. I have been fitted for running shoes before and they’ve been fine, but nothing feels as good as running in Vibrams. The knee pain I used to experience from running has dissipated, and my body just feels better. I highly recommend them. I was reluctant at first, but they really do feel amazing.
Secondly, a head lamp. I loathe running indoors. Half the reason I run outside is because I like to be outside, but as the seasons change, it’s harder and harder to run during daylight hours. My coach at my running group highly suggested purchasing one for our group runs. Since I primarily run at parks, where there are plenty of roots, rocks and minor hazards, or on uneven Midtown Sacramento streets, this headlamp is my new favorite thing.
Finally, this is really dumb, but the last time I attempted to run, the thing that set me over the edge to stop was a run in the rain in which I got soaked and my iPhone was nearly ruined. This time around, I invested in a running jacket. It’s rain-proof, fleece inside and has a pocket for my iPhone so that it stays protected. I am sure this seems ridiculous to those of you who have actual weather, but California winters don’t require much “gear” — this will be a game changer for me. It’ll also mean no skipping runs due to rain. So. Win? I’m not sure.
If you run, what running gear can you not live without? If you exercise in a different way, what gear do you consider must-have?