Essential Running Kit

Running is one of the most simple forms of exercise there is. Not everyone runs, or wants to, but for those who do, it can be very rewarding in lots of ways. As a Personal Trainer, you’d think that I’d recommend buying lots of kit, but the reverse is true. All you really need are the basics, which are (starting from the bottom up):

Running shoes: these need not be highly technical or technicolour trainers, but anything you feel comfortable running in. If you start running and encounter niggles or strains, the first thing to do is to look at your footwear. It may be worn out, or simply just old (if you leave a new pair of trainers in the back of a cupboard for a few years, the cushioning will perish and be less comfy). I like Run and Become on Queensferry Street as all the sales assistants are dedicated runners themselves.

Tracy running in Pilrig park

Socks: often overlooked but the choice in sock can make a difference between a comfortable run and blisters. Cotton socks are good, and in the colder months, try fine wool socks to keep feet dry and toasty.

Bottom half: Admission – I do not own any running tights. These things never existed a few years ago. However if you like em, wear em. As long as your trousers stay up (no drawstring trousers) and are comfy, that’s the important bit. I run in an old pair of comfy long trackies. I find in the colder months I need to keep my legs warm so long trousers are my preference.

Top Half: Something fast-wicking. Many ‘technical tees’ that you receive at the end of a race are rubbish quality. It’s worth your comfort to invest in a top that wicks moisture away from your body, otherwise you end up soggy and clammy. If you use a running jacket, find one with good pockets, and high viz strips. Ladies, make sure you have a secure sports bra – it does make a difference.

Optional:

Hat and gloves: you can buy running hat & glove sets that can easily be stashed in a pocket as you warm up.

Snood: Fab for autumnal weather, I use mine as a scarf when I set out, then as a hairband as I warm up.

Water bottle: I use a small donut shape bottle (around 250mL) and put very weak Ribena in it. A weak carb solution is better absorbed by the body than plain water, which can make you want to rush to the loo. I only use a bottle for runs over half an hour.

Music: I never used to run with music as I like to hear the environment around me. However I have found that training with music helps me run faster, so sometimes it can be a good thing (just be aware of traffic etc, especially if running in the dark).

House key: get a spare cut and hang it on a ribbon around your neck when you run, under your clothes. You’ll not even notice it and you will never lose it! Some people attach it to their shoe, under shoelaces, however I find this quite uncomfortable.

Personal Trainer Tracy Griffen teaches many folk how to get running, or improve on what they’re doing. This article first published in October 2015 Trinity Spotlight.

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