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Running Gear - The "Stuff" You Need

Running is an ideal sport for a lot of people because it does not involve investing in a great deal of expensive equipment or gear. With only a few basic pieces of gear, a novice runner can be ready to hit the streets and start running. Compare this to other sports such as golf, rock climbing or ice skating which all involve the purchase of a great deal of expensive gear to function in the sport. You can also compare this to other team sports such as soccer, basketball and football which may not require a great deal of equipment but do require the participant to find and join an organized team or club to participate in the sport. This is significant because this can make practicing the sport more time consuming, more expensive and less convenient. However, running involves only minimal equipment and can be practiced by the individual either alone or in a group. This article will outline a few of the basic pieces of running gear required and will also discuss a few pieces of more specialized pieces of gear which are not necessary but can make running more enjoyable or more effective.

A good pair of sneakers is one of the most important pieces of gear for any runner. Quality sneakers are very important because they can help the runner to avoid injuries and can also keep him more comfortable while running. If you are unsure about what type of running shoe would be best for you, you should consider purchasing a running shoe from a store which specializes in selling sneakers to runners. This is important because the salespeople in these stores are likely to be much more knowledgeable than the personnel in a store where the sale of running shoes is not the main focus of the store. Many of these specialized running stores even videotape customers running on a treadmill to evaluate their running style before making suggestions for possible sneaker selections. Once the salesperson has made these suggestions, they may ask the customer to run in each of these shoes to determine which shoe is best for the customer. The salesperson can make recommendations for which sneaker seems to be the best suited for the runnerís style of running but the customer will have to determine which sneaker feels the most comfortable.

Comfortable socks are also an important piece of running gear. This is so important because socks which do not fit properly or are not designed specifically for running can cause the runner to develop blisters. This often occurs if the socks do not fit properly and cause the fabric to rub against the foot while the person is running. Some popular types of socks designed specifically for runners have two layers to the sock. The inside layer fits closely to the foot while the outside layer fits more loosely. This type of design protects the foot from movement of the fabric because the inner layer acts as a buffer in case there is any movement from the outer layer.

In addition to functional socks and shoes, a runner should also invest in quality clothing appropriate for the season. This should include shorts or pants and a long sleeve or short sleeve shirt of a thickness appropriate for the current weather conditions. Lightweight shirts with short sleeves are ideal for warm climates while heavier weight shirts with long sleeves are ideal for cooler climates. Additionally, materials which help to wick moisture away from the skin can help to keep the runner cool and dry and can also help to prevent problems which may occur from moist clothing rubbing against the skin such as chafing.

There are other types of clothing which can also be very useful for running but are not exactly necessary to participate in a sport. This includes gear such as hats, raingear, or clothing designed to resist the wind. These specific pieces of clothing can help a runner to feel more comfortable in specific weather situations. For example a hat with a wide brim can be very useful to runners who frequently run in very sunny weather. The hat can prevent sun from getting into the eyes and will protect the skin on the face from the damaging results of overexposure to the sun. Raingear including waterproof pants and jackets can also be useful for runners who do not want to curtail their running just because it is raining. Effective raingear will prevent the runner from becoming cold and wet while running in the rain.

Runners may also wish to invest in high tech gadgets to aid them in their running program. Gadgets such as heart rate monitors, speed and distance monitors and watches designed specifically for runners may not be necessary but they can be very useful. A heart rate monitor is a device which typically includes a chest strap and a wrist unit. The chest strap transmits information to the wrist unit and the wrist unit displays useful information such as the heart rate but may also include information such as the number of calories burned. Using a heart rate monitor can enable a runner to fine tune his training program to ensure he is training at the right intensity. Speed and distance monitors allow the runner to track useful information such as how far he has run, the pace at which he is running and also allows him to store this information for future use. The majority of these monitors utilize a GPS system to supply this information. Most of the high tech gadgets useful for runners can be rather expensive but many runners find these useful tools are very valuable during the training process.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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