Running is famed as being for everyone. You don’t need an expensive gym membership, dumbbells gathering dust in the garage, or even a high level of fitness. The wonderful thing about running is that it running is for everyone, and anyone can do it. You might be more of a plodder than a sprinter or prefer to jog around the block over a marathon. None of it matters. As long as you have a pair of sneakers, you can head outside and run. That is the beauty of it.
However, as runners will tell you, once you have the running bug, you can’t and won’t stop, you will run more often, run further, and you probably won’t stop talking about it. What is more, as time goes by, you will find yourself becoming more and more invested in the sport. Fancy running legging will start to appeal to you. You’ll notice new brands of running shoes and may even sign up for a race. What began as a free hobby has suddenly started to cost you, but it is a labor of love, and there are some things you will gladly spend your money on.
Here are some of the top running items that will turn your head, improve your running and ultimately cause you to part with your cash.
Gone are the days when you head out the door in your old joggers and an oversized t-shirt. Fitness apparel is a multi-billion dollar industry. Running leggings are not just about bright colors and bold patterns. They get technical. They can be reflective, insulated, sweat-wicking, breathable, lightweight. They can also come with a hefty price tag. The much famed Lululemon legging is anything upward of three figures but they are one of the best products for runners to wear.
It’s not just the legging that gets technical either tops, sports bras, and socks are in on the action. Whether you want long sleeved performance shirts, high-impact anti-chaff sports bras, or cushioned anti-blister socks, there is something to assist every body part when out on your run.
Potentially one of the most important purchases you will make in your running career is your shoes. Sloping round in an old pair of converse will not do. Getting the right pair of sneakers is vital and one of the best products for runners.
Running in the wrong pair of sneakers is not only uncomfortable, but you might also injure yourself. It could result in knee, hip, back, or feet problems that see you off your feet and off the road. The best way to find the right running shoes for you is to go and have a gait analysis. Many sports or running specialist shops offer these. They will film you running on a treadmill for 30 seconds and analyze the way you run. They will be able to tell if you overpronate, under pronate, are flat-footed, and so on and then recommend the best running shoes for your running style. A top tip; if you find a particular running shoe that works for you, then stick with it. Just be mindful that when new models of the same shoe are released, they can make tweaks to the shoe that may mean they are no longer suited to you. Go back for another analysis.
As a newbie runner, you might be reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars on an all-singing all-dancing smartwatch, but you don’t have to. Smartwatches are brilliant for runners and range in price points and functionality. Entry-level smartwatches can start at under $100 but still do what you need them to. They will record the duration and distance of run and potentially your heart rate and calorie burn. These basic metrics are great for tracking your runs and monitoring your improvement.
As the price of the watches increases so does their capabilities. More advanced smartwatches can track the mode of running you are doing, whether road, trail, or indoor. They can monitor your cadence, average splits, fastest splits, VO2 max, training effort, training load. They can advise you on recovery, workouts, and many more analytics. All this data is stored and can be uploaded to your phone. These watches have become so popular that they are now stylish and adapted to everyday use. You’ll be able to sync your credit cards, diary and messages to these watches. The days of running with your credit card wedged in the top of your sports bra are over.
Smart tech doesn’t end on your wrist. One of the best products for runners worldwide relies on apps when they run. Strava is a great example of this. It will track your run, distance, time, speed, and so on. After your run, the data will upload to a home page for your followers to see. You can follow friends and fellow runners and give them ‘kudos’ on their uploaded runs. It is a great sociable and analytical app. Other such apps include Nike Running, which has similar features along with guided runs to help motivate or inspire you when running.
Bone Conductor Headphones
Headphones are a runner’s best friend but, at times, can be a little dangerous when out on the roads. Noise-canceling headphones are brilliant for zoning in on that podcast and shutting the world around you out but when you need to be aware of traffic and your surroundings, they pose a problem. This is where bone conductor headphones come in. They sit over your ears and rest just in front of them. They don’t sit in them or cover the whole ear, thus still allowing you to hear the environment around you. They work through vibrations on the bone of the head and jaw. Amazing stuff. Market leaders Aftershokz have developed their bone conduction range to be lightweight, waterproof, and comfortable. They are one of the best products for runners that all runners unite over.
When going for a run, one of the best products for runners to take with them is a smartphone and their house key. Smartphones are only getting bigger and as such running with them in your hand is less and less practical. There are several options available to carry your essentials when out running. There is the trusty armband, which straps to your upper arm and can fit a smartphone, a key, and a credit card. They have always been a popular choice amongst runners, but as phones get bigger and heavier, they are starting to lose favor. Another popular option is a running belt, which fits securely around your waist. A running fanny pack, if you will. These usually are much roomier than an armband and can come with handy pockets to store more items. Some even have a space to hold a water bottle or a folded waterproof. If considering buying a running belt, don’t skimp on the price. You want one that is lightweight, secure, and won’t bounce around as you run.
Another one of the best products for runners that is growing in popularity is the Freetrain running vest that sits on your chest. It has space for your phone, gels, key and is famed for giving runners freedom from the uncomfortable armband and bouncing belt.
Another great option is the SCOTTeVEST hoodie that is loaded with tons of pockets for everything you need to bring with you on your run.
Supplements and recovery
Finally, a quick word on supplements. Runners have long used running gels to give them a glucose and energy boost on long runs, and putting one in your belt or band is a great idea. Other supplements often coined by runners are collagen to help the impact and damage on your joints, protein shakes to aid recovery, and the trusty foam roller. Rest and recovery are essential when running. Equally important is stretching and looking after your body. Find a Youtube tutorial to talk you through a foam rolling session and ensure you make time for it at least once a week. You might not enjoy it at the time, it can be a little painful, but your body will thank you for it.