If you have a goal of learning to run, we get that starting can sometimes feel a tad intimidating. But having the “right tools” at the outset can make for a more pleasurable introduction to the sport.
Here are some suggestions:
- Running shoes- Treat your feet. Perhaps the single most important piece in your running arsenal is your footwear. Ditch the cross trainers and the old sneakers you have had in the back of your closet. If you’ve been using the same running shoes for the duration of the pandemic….its time for a new pair! Running shoes break down, even if left on the shelf. The support and cushioning provided by a good pair of shoes can keep you comfortable and prevent injury on your runs. If you wear orthotics, talk to your provider about the correct shoe for you. While it’s certainly a challenge to have your gait analyzed or your feet perused during a pandemic, it’s worth a call to a store that specializes in running gear to get some recommendations.
- Dress for success. While your comfy cotton t-shirt might make for good Pj’s, not so for running. Work out gear sports moisture-wicking properties, anti-chafe seams, and UV protection. Nothing can put you off your next run faster than the recollection of chaffed thighs and a sweat-soaked T. For those of us who fall into the Clydesdale vs racehorse category, I find that longline bike short type bottoms are a blessing. The recent versions with side pockets are great for housing your phone without it bouncing about.
- Socks. Unless you are a fan of blisters and sweaty feet, 100% cotton socks are not your best bet. Running socks are available in variety of styles, some containing cushioning or arch support.
- Running belts. It seems these days we are carrying about a medley of “stuff”…phones, PPE, sanitizer, water bottles and keys. A running belt can house the collection and make it easily accessible. A quick word on hydration; the key is to be hydrated BEFORE you run. For a 5km distance, having sufficient water on board before you head out should carry you through. That said, if you want to wet your whistle while you run, or anticipate being out for an hour or more, the running belt might be a good solution. Fill your water bottle with water, there is no need for fancy sports drinks for our 5k.
- Sun screen and bug spray. Be cognizant that a sweat proof or waterproof version of sunscreen is best for the face. It’s no fun when it ends up in your eyes….lesson learned.
- Positive attitude. Running is a fabulous sport, but it takes a bit of time to get conditioned. Be patient with yourself. Some days go better than others. Be kind to yourself.
Now that you have all your tools, it’s time to start running! Remember, take it slow and build up gradually over time. And don’t forget to stretch!