Whether you are just entering the world of being a runner or you’ve been running for enjoyment your entire life, there are certain items that you need to have for a successful run. For new runners, finding the proper running gear can seem overwhelming and intimidating. Fortunately, there is no need to worry — we were all beginners once upon a time! Here is a list of 5 essential items that every runner needs to make every run more comfortable and enjoyable.
Every Runner Deserves Peace of Mind
Every person is diverse with different goals and aspirations; the same thing goes for runners. Whether your goal is to get a run in before work or after a stressful day, having the proper gear is crucial for any runner. If you’re an early bird, lunch-break, after-work, night owl, or a weekend runner, you understand the struggle of letting your everyday worries slowly melt away with the sweat of your run. With everything else you have to be concerned about throughout your day or week, let’s make finding the correct running gear not one of them.
So, What Do You Really Need for a Stress-Free Run?
1. A Ziploc or Storage Bag
For some runners, carrying personal items like a metro card, ID cards, credit cards, or cash is unavoidable. Luckily, there is an inexpensive (and less tacky) alternative to the ‘fanny pack’. Something as cheap as a Ziploc bag can help keep your personal items safe—without having to worry if it will get wet or damaged from the dripping sweat running down your body at the same tempo as your feet hitting the ground.
2. Dehydration Is the Devil
Being the most important liquid to all living organisms, drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself hydrated is crucial for a prosperous run. What if you don’t like carrying a water bottle in your hand for the entire length of your run? No worries here either— there are multiple brands that offer a hands-free hydration system. My personal favorite hydrating item for hikes or long runs is my CamelBak Ultra 4 running pack. Its waterproof, holds 2 liters of water, has space for individual water bottles, completely versatile, and can double as storage bag since there is extra space for personal items—no doubt, one of the greatest investments for any long-distance runner!
3. Protect Those Nipples, Thighs, and Sensitive Areas
I’m pretty certain that there is nothing worse for a runner (besides having a serious injury) than getting chapped nipples or chaffing between your inner thighs from an otherwise awesome run. The best way to prevent this is making sure your skin doesn’t get dry enough for this to happen. Of course, you can use Aquaphor or petroleum jelly but this can be a bit messy. My ultimate favorite anti-chafing and anti-blistering balm is Body Glide. It’s non-greasy, effective, sweat resistant, and (the best part) it’s vegan approved!
4. Knowing Your Foot Type and Running Style Is Extremely Important
The most important item to a runner is definitely their running shoes. They come in a massive variety from exceptionally minimal to super supportive, so finding the perfect shoe for you is easy once you know what to look for.
- Do you have flat or high arches? How does your foot hit the ground when you run? How many miles do you run per week? Knowing the answers to these questions is super imperative when looking for the ideal shoe that makes running more comfortable for you. Deciding on the right running shoe is essential in avoiding injury and finding what fits your exact running needs.
- Don’t be shy when you are shoe hunting—ask a trained shoe expert at your local running store for advice, they usually have the best tips and are very welcoming to finding a solution to your shoe dilemma. Try on as many pairs as you need, I usually try 5-6 pairs, and jog around the store before purchasing any running shoe. Take your time and do the proper research before you buy!
5. Wick That Sweat Away and Protect Your Skin
It is essential to know what to wear when you’re running. Now, you are more than welcome to be fashionable while you run, but the most important quality in finding the right fitness or gym clothing is comfortability.
- For women, it is critical to wear a high-impact and supportive sports bra to avoid the irreversible effect that gravity can have on your breasts when running.
- For men and women, wearing clothes and socks with technical fabric will guarantee a better run than in your average cotton t-shirt or socks. Unlike cotton that stays wet once you sweat or get wet, this material will help you stay dry, wick sweat away from your body, and help prevent chaffing in the brutal summer heat.
- While we’re talking about the summer heat, it is also crucial to protect your body from harmful sun rays. As a runner, you probably spend a lot of time outside; therefore, you leave your skin open to the damaging effects of the sun. You can’t go wrong with wearing hats, visors, and plenty of sunscreen. Use a waterproof sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB sun rays for the best protection.
Whether you’re a beginner runner or not, having a successful and comfortable run is what it’s all about, right? Keep in mind that no matter how slow you start off, you are still lapping everyone else sitting on the couch. Stay motivated and don’t be intimidated by the overwhelming options of running gear. Stick with the basics and do plenty of research to find the right gear that works for you and your personal needs. Now, go kick some butt and make all your worries melt away with the sweat of your run!