Improving your running skills, form, endurance and strength form a crucial part of training for many sports, including football, tennis and even rugby. If you’re training for one of these sports or simply picking up running for its own sake, there are a few key pieces of gear you’ll want to invest in.
Using the right gear and equipment can be really important in training – both for your ability and your safety. Here are six good investments to make if you’ve picked up running in 2022 and want to get the most out of your training.
Many newbie runners fail to recognise the damage that can be done when running in the wrong shoes. Purchasing the correct running shoes is crucial – not only for your performance but for your health. The wrong shoes could slow you down, naturally, but they could also hurt your feet, ankles and even your knees and hips.
You might get a small injury that puts you out for a few days or weeks, but you might also cause long-term damage when running with the wrong type of shoes. If you’re planning on running, consider really investing in high-quality running shoes, and ensure that they fit your foot comfortably before committing.
Prioritize factors beyond appearance. Comfort, fit, support, and functionality are more important. Consider your foot type, pronation, running surface, and any medical conditions. Properly selected shoes can improve performance and reduce the risk of injuries. While it's okay to appreciate aesthetics, don't let appearance be the primary factor in your decision. Rather than purchasing shoes for their looks you can stylishly enhance your sneakers with trendy details like off-white shoelaces, adding a touch of elegance to your overall appearance.
Outdoor running means you’re going to be exposed to the sun – all the time. This can be pretty harsh on your skin, as well as your eyes, and it’s important to consider your health and safety in these instances. First of all, sunscreen is a non-negotiable point every time you step outdoors!
However, to protect your skin and eyes, you can also wear a hat and protective eyewear – yup, sunglasses for running. Today, you can get prescription sport glasses if you need vision correction – this is especially helpful for those who don’t use contact lenses and can’t put other types of gear over their specs.
Some of us don’t have a schedule which allows for early morning runs, or even post-work runs. In these cases, you’ll need to be running in the evenings or even after dark. Whatever it takes to get that session in! This requires another type of protection though – from the dark.
Night-time runners need to make sure that they’re visible at all times, not for them to be able to see, but for others to be able to see them. Reflective clothing (even just a vest) will enable drivers to see you coming from a mile away, protecting you from an unexpected end to your run.
We’ve already spoken about the importance of a good shoe, but there’s more to it when it comes to performance. Your clothes need to work for you too. Heavy, warm clothing might weigh you down and impact your performance, so investing in some light, breathable clothing is a really good idea.
Instead of running in your usual sweatpants and T-shirt, consider grabbing some nylon leggings and a breathable, sweat-wicking shirt designed for sports and training. In this way, you won’t be weighed down or feel too hot or clammy, allowing you to push through the heat and sweat and grab that personal best time.
Tracking your runs with a watch or heart rate monitor is not essential, but it’s definitely helpful and could benefit you in various ways. Fitness trackers aren’t always 100% accurate, but they can give you a great idea of your metrics, pace, and distance and even show you how you’re improving over time.
This makes these devices an incredibly useful tool for your training, helping you to plan your runs, pick up the pace where necessary and track how you get better and better each week. Remember that often, different fitness trackers are designed for different types of exercises, so try to pick something that will work well for you as a runner, or if you’re into other types of training too, a more general device.
Finally, this might not be an item to wear or gear that will help enhance your run, but it’s a crucial thing to have nonetheless. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – this quote can apply to the fitness world too. Throwing yourself into running with no plan or idea of what you’re doing can be dangerous.
Make sure you have a coach, or simply find a good, well-structured running plan online that will help you through different phases of training. You’ll need to start slow and build your way up week by week.
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