Inside: Running essentials you need to know about before you start running. Feat affiliate links and press samples.
When I first started running I had no clue. I popped on some old trainers and off I went. I was unfit, had no running experience and clueless as to what was needed.
Now, I am not about to tell you that you can’t go running with a pair of trainers alone, but with a few more accessories and tools you can go from not a clue to ‘oh my goodness I am a runner now‘ in no time at all.
If you invest in nothing else, invest in your feet. Seriously. I ran for a good couple of months in those old trainers and my knees have suffered as a result.
Well fitted shoes don’t just mean buying shoes that fit you, it means having your gait* measured and buying shoes that will work for your running style.
You can get your gait measured in a few places. I know that some Decathlon stores offer it but I went along to a local sports shop and had mine done.
Once you know your gait, you can buy a decent pair of running trainers that are made for your gait.
*Gait refers to the walking/ running style of your feet. You may be aware that you are flat-footed and so your gate will be skewed one way. There are a few gait types so you need to check yours and get footwear that will support your feet.
Couch to 5K
I had heard of the app. I had friends that were using it. But for some reason I felt like I didn’t need it.
I was wrong.
Even if (like me) you feel like you aren’t at the couch stage and so don’t need it, the app is brilliant at helping you to keep pace. Without it, I was running ‘until I get to that bush‘ or ‘just until I run past those people‘ and was just not progressing at all.
With the coach talking you through the run and giving you time reminders throughout, you are able to focus and commit to keeping going until it is time for the next break.
It is free to download and is great! Find out more here.
Something to listen to
I personally listen to music as I run but I know some people love to listen to podcasts as they go along. Whatever your choice, having something to stop you thinking about how puffed out you are is a good idea.
I listen through my AirPods and couldn’t be without them. I started off with the wired headphones that come with the phone and they got on my nerves!
I have also been recommended these bone conducting headphones.
They don’t actually go inside your ear, but touch the outside and conduct the sound through the bone. This means your ears are free to listen out for traffic or other runners if you run in a group.
Now I don’t mean normal running shorts as obviously you’ll need some running gear. But something that has set me off track each month has been my period.
I don’t use tampons and so the idea of a pad bunching up or coming loose as I run fills me with dread. I discovered ModiBodi a couple of years ago and swear by their period pants. But when I started running I discovered they sell period shorts for running too – genius!
They make you feel secure and are super comfy. If you aren’t keen on shorts then they also have leggings too which I plan on getting!
A sports bra
Don’t make the mistake I did and go out in a normal bra. It hurts. I thought I could get away with shorts and a t-shirt. Nope.
I got mine from Asos, but you can pick them up anywhere. They make such a difference as they properly squash your boobs down so that they don’t budge at all – leaving you free to focus on your breathing!
I see so many people running along holding their phones. What if they fall and smash it? There is just no need when you can strap it to your arm.
I’ve seen belt holders but the weight of the phone makes the belt come loose and bounce up and down – not ideal at all.
I got mine from Amazon by typing in ‘Phone arm case….’ followed by the make and model of my phone. There are so many to choose from!
This may seem an obvious one but once you start running you’ll soon realise that holding a normal bottle makes your hand ache!
I picked up this one from Amazon and it holds enough water for even the hottest days for about a 5k run. The design means you can hold it without actually having to focus on holding it. Again, anything that you can do to keep the focus on your run.
I’ve put this last as it isn’t really an essential unless you start to take running more seriously.
I like wearing a watch, so getting one that could also link to my running app and also measure heart rate etc made sense to me. I have the Apple iWatch but there are lots to choose from.
I hope they are some useful ideas for you. I never thought I’d be a runner. I have always hated exercise but I think it was because I saw it as punishment.
I run now because it is good for my mental wellbeing. It helps me clear my head and gives me much-needed space away on my own.
I was gifted a pair of Modibodi shorts as a press sample so I could give them a try. All words and thoughts are my own. I have also used affiliate links for some of the products recommended. By clicking them I earn a little commission. It costs you nothing but means you are supporting me as a blogger. Thank you so much.