If the shoe fits…
The most important purchase for any runner is getting the right pair of shoes. Without getting too technical, everyone has their own running gait and a shoe which suits one person may not suit another. Just because your mate swears by a particular shoe/brand does not mean that they will be right for you. Everyone’s feet, gait and running style are different.
To avoid making an expensive mistake, it’s worth going to a specialist running shop for advice – especially one that has expert staff who can analyse your style of running and recommend an appropriate shoe. Some good local options are Let’s Run (Stokesley), Up & Running (Darlington) and Northern Runner (Newcastle). There are hundreds of online retailers selling running shoes cheaper but – until you know what suits you – nothing beats trying a pair on and preferably giving them a quick try out, preferably via a quick jog down the street or on a treadmill. (Unless you regularly run one, treadmill analysis might not give a true reflection of your running style so always try to have a little run around – even if that has to be a short jog across the shop!)
Spend some time and money on getting the right pair of running shoes – your body will thank you.
Keeping your cool…
There is a seemingly endless range of running apparel available – from lightweight garments to keep you cool in the summer, to thermal body cover to keep you warm in the winter. Wicking fabric is much better than cotton for runners as it’s lighter, dries quickly and doesn’t chafe as much. If polyester is not your thing, opt for fabrics made from bamboo or merino wool as these have excellent wicking properties.
Most runners will tend to accumulate masses of kit but the basic requirements are:
- shorts/capri tights
- a wicking tee or vest
- a long sleeve top/lightweight jacket for cooler weather (ideally, with some reflective/high visibility elements for night running)
Our ladies can count on some friendly support from other club members to help get them running but we can’t provide the most vital support – for that, you need a sports bra. This is an essential item: after a good pair of trainers, its the most important piece of sports equipment you’ll ever buy. Even if you’re fairly flat-chested, the impact of running can cause irreversible ligament damage. To protect your vital assets, invest in a decent, high-impact sports bra.
There is a wide range of sports bra styles available to suit all budgets (and bosoms), but the most important things to ensure are that it fits properly, doesn’t move/rub and is easy to get on and off. (Never underestimate how tricky it can be to wrestle your way out of a tight-fitting, sweaty sports bra at the end of a run!) Good online stores include lessbounce, boobydoo, and shockabsorber and, on the high street, check your local running stores and good old Marks & Spencers.