What to wear running
I got back into running about 3 years ago. I remember raking through my wardrobe and coming up with a pair of faded joggers, a grey t-shirt previously used for gardening in and a pair of trainers that hadn’t seen the light of day since having my daughter (2006). It wasn’t a catwalk moment but I was motivated and focused more on getting that first run in the bag. It was also early on a Saturday morning so apart from dog walkers no one would see me (I hoped).
The great thing about running is that you really don’t need to spend heaps of money getting kitted up. If you get more serious you may feel that spending money on proper running kit will enhance your running experience and I would tend to agree but when you first start out it is not necessary. Running is an accessible and inexpensive way to get you fit but is not for everyone. You don’t want to spend heaps of cash on trainers and a running outfit only to use it once! For me it is all about comfort and getting the right kit. When I run I want to focus on the actual run not that my trainers are rubbing or my shorts are chaffing.
If you are a beginner runner and do want to spend some money on running gear essentials there here are my own recommendations:
The pair of trainers I dug out of my wardrobe were old and worn. They were ok for my first couple of trips out and I was walking more than running but I soon realised that they were no good if I wanted to get better at running. So first off decent trainers are a must. You don’t need to spend loads of money, there’s always a sale on but if you can go to a store that specialises in running. Tell them your budget, they will analyse your running style and foot type. A decent pair of trainers will give you a more comfortable running experience and you will be less prone to injuries.
Normal everyday socks can cause blisters as they get wet and sweaty and the seams can rub. Invest running specific socks that wick away the moisture and have no seams that rub plus they stay in place.
Ok one for the ladies. A good supportive sports bra should be top of your list. A decent sports bra will not only give you the right support but you will feel secure when you run wearing one. When I first started running I didn’t wear a sports bra; the constant twisted bra straps and clasps rubbing against my skin was enough to put me off running altogether. If in doubt about what type of sports bra you I would recommend you actually visit a sports shop and ask their advice.
Cotton t-shirts soak up sweat, stay wet and then you get cold. Not nice, eh? Look for Technical or moisture ‘wicking’ t-shirts that sweat away from your body. These are lightweight and some now have the feel of cotton, fewer seems or seamless mean less chance of chaffing. Also once washed they dry very quickly.
I tend to go for light-weight, moisture wicking fabric style running shorts. Sometimes they can be a bit skimpy for me and so I’ve worn a pair of compression shorts underneath for extra support. I’d advise not to go for the heavy jersey cotton style as when they get wet they stay wet. Chaffing can be an issue so apply Vaseline to areas that are prone to chaffing is my advice but the compression shorts can help you avoid that.
Some consider running tights a brave fashion choice and only suited to those hard-core runners. Rubbish! I wear them all the time and have various types dependent on the weather. I find they give me support, keep me cool/warm and depending on the fabric they are moisture wicking so keep me dry! Plus they protect my legs from the elements which helps me focus on run. You don’t have to spend a fortune on them but make sure they feel supportive and fit right before you purchase a pair; I found a fab pair in Primark the other week!
If you are running when it’s dark particularly on roads wear hi-vis clothing. It’s for your own safety. A lot of running clothes have reflective stripes on them but sometimes I don’t think this is enough. I tend to wear a high-vis t-shirt if I do run at night. Yes you ca certainly see me coming and I hope everyone else can too! Plenty of choice ranging from t-shirts to jackets and you don’t need to spend a fortune.
You can run in all weathers but bear in mind you might be freezing when you start but overheating half-way through. Many new to running can make the mistake of wearing too much then over-heat and end up stripping off. It’s distracting, irritating and knocks you out of your stride! The trick is to layer up but make sure you layer up the right type of clothing. Opt for clotting that’s moisture wicking, breathable and light-weight. Base layers are ideal for this. Just don’t over-do it! Think also about gloves and hats. Sometimes it’s just our extremities that need an extra layer. If its cold, I keep my gloves and running hat on the radiator and shove them on just before a venture out for a 5km. A nice pair of warm gloves and hat can help distract me from how cold the rest of my body is when I start out on a run.
Yes you heard me! Chafing can be an issue and quite frankly doesn’t exactly make you eager to go out for another run if you’ve suffered from chafing. So make sure you apply Vaseline to areas prone to chaffing. Wearing seamless running gear also helps but make sure you have that Vaseline in stand-by!
Investing in some running kit need not to be expensive. Lots of high street stores are now starting to do their own ranges. Whilst I love the main sports labels I also buy kit at H&M, Primark. You can also get lots of bargains online as well; my favourites are Wiggle and Zalando. There are plenty of sales and out of town outlets. Once you know what sort of running gear you are looking for you can do a bit of research and get good deals. If you also go to a gym perhaps consider buying running clothes that you could wear for a workout.
Whatever you wear focus on for taking up of running; being fit, healthy or just an opportunity to get out outdoors, wearing the right running kit will help you focus on your running and possibly help to keep it up.