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Running Gear Guide for Beginners

Congratulations for your decision to join running as sports. Millions of Runners before you have walked this path successfully. Trust me, it's going to be a journey full of emotional experiences. Pain and pleasures are the part of the it all. This blog is meant for beginner's amateur athletes. If you are experienced runner, you may want to forward this to some of your friends who want to start running.

To enrich the experience of this journey, one needs to have certain gears in one's possession. Again, it's up-to you how much you want to invest in these gears. Running is primarily a low cost sport and what I am going to recommend here is all optional.

Let's start with the apparels. You need tees and shorts. It's recommended that you wear dri-fit (copyright Nike) or similar clothing also called as breathable wearing. Avoid cotton clothes. Cotton clothing may be OK for short distance, but long distance beyond 10km this may start getting uncomfortable. Dri-fit clothing is a mandate if you sweat profusely.

Other two things should also include Technical material which are underpants and socks, avoid cottons. Given, your feet sweat too, having dri-fit socks is an another mandate. Keeping in mind that we are running long distance, we should be critical in the selection of socks. Wrong selection may lead to chaffing of feet or boils, which in turn will lead to uncomfortable runs.

Let's talk about head protection . A cap is an obvious choice of many and it's helpful. Bandana is another choice, it's versatility allows it to be of use in many other ways, other than just a headscarf. During winter season having covered ears reduces the chance of infection. Bandana or a warm cap is best choice for winter season. Again it's personal choice, I recommend you try Bandana, warm cap or cap in few runs and if you feel comfortable then only use it for long distance. As my head sweat my bandana gets wet and it keeps my head cool by holding sweat in one place and not allowing it to drip down all over my body.

Tracking your runs. I like this saying.. What you measure.. is what you can control and what you can control is what you can improve.. This saying is true for improvement in your health through your running statistics. When you begin you may not want to track full range of parameters. At a beginner level an Android based app such as strava, Nike etc are good enough to track your duration, cadence, pace and mileage. Make sure that these apps are not in power saving mode. Make sure that you buy a arm band for holding your phone.

In recent improvement in technology wrist based smart watches had shown significant improvement in tracking running statistics. As beginner and if you have Cardiovascular risk then it's recommended that you run a control run with control heart rate. Dr Maffeton had done great work on this subject and running at a HR which is 180 minus your age have a significant improvement in your aerobic base. Wrist watches such as from Garmin specifically forerunner series is very helpful in tracking performance. Though Heart rate measure through these watches are not very accurate, but fair enough to know the trend. In my coaching I openly recommend them. It helped the runner to understand how fast he or she should run or walk. So with these watches what we track is duration and HR. Distance and pace are performance parameters which will improve as base improve. So smart wrist watches play a critical role in your running journey.

Beside that these smart sports watch act as a great interface for your coach. Running is a simple sports and many who have coach can vouch how a training program helped them to reach higher in endurance. Looking at the statistics generated your coach can get into your shoes and can feel the run which you had ran many miles away from him. This gives a transparency to coach and this feedback helps him to modify program that suits your growth.

When a runner joins the tribe the first question he hunts for is shoes. Should the beginners be trained to run Barefoot? If we go in little deep here running barefoot will restrict new runner and probably as Coach I would like to see some restriction so that beginners don't push hard and injure themselves. Whatever the environment condition you may be in, you need shoes. Running shoes should be one number higher than your formal shoes. Your toes should have good play. You need to learn how to tie shoe laces for running. Which brand? How much I should invest? Which color? All these questions have personalized answer. Go for a brand which suits your feet, which means when you shop for the first time you may have to visit multiple stores to check your comfort. Shoes are available in all budgets, look for discount sale where you get little old model in good deal. Buy shoes according to your budget. How long should I wear a shoe? Till you are comfortable in that shoes.

One of the essential resource runners need is water. Every runner needs to hydrate during run is different. Hydration planning is very essential for long distance runner. It's recommend that you go out for a run using your hydration belt or bladder which can carry a water bottle (500ml at least) and a Mobile Phone. Some runners prefer to run lighter and may carry a small bottle with hand grip. Some prefer to keep it in pocket a small 200ml bottle. Hydration belt allows you to keep your hands free. When you use it you can avoid one time use Plastic bottles and prefer to refill and support green planet.

All activities of Runners are not done on road. Strength training is off the road and probably need more gears. Runners should limit their activities to self weight as heavy weight exercises may lead to muscle obesity which reduces running efficiency. Following are the gears

1. Yoga mat. More thick better for you. Usually strength training sessions happens in public places. You should keep this yoga mat different than one you are using for home.

2. Loop Resistance band: Loop band are required for ankle and knee based resistance exercises. Usually a pack gets multiple resistance and based on the exercise and your muscles level you will appropriately use the band level.

3. Open resistance band: If upper body strengthen is your goal then exercises based on open resistance band is must. Theraband is the brand to look for. As per TheraBand color code scheme, green and blue is recommended for women and blue and black for men. Consult your coach which band you should use.

4. Kettle bell: At least once in day of the week you want to put stress on your key muscles a 12-18kg kettle bell serves a good purpose for the same.

These are the minimum gear i recommend. It's up to you how and when you want to add them as you progress in your journey. As i said in the start of this article there are many who had walked this path so consulting follow runner or coach is always a good idea to validate your running needs. HAPPY RUNNING!!

Uday Bhosle

Integrated Wellness Coach

Life | Nutrition | Physical Coach

+91 9819326452

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