People say that when you have a good pair of running shoes, you’re good to go. This is generally true, but if you want to make the most out of your running experience, you need to invest in some things. Following are some of the important running gears and accessories that, although not required to make you a certified runner, can make your running comfortable and trouble-free.
- Shorts. Many varieties of running shorts are in the market today, but there are two that seem to stand out from the rest. One is the compression tights. Resembling cycling shorts, compression tights are made of fabrics that fit the body tightly so that when the runner is on the move, the muscles are held firmly. This compressive feature offers little chance of chafing. Also a favorite choice among runners, full split shorts have a slit on either side, which allows for the free movement of the leg. Although split shorts are typically short in length, they provide runners with unobstructed and easy stride.
- Shirt. Gone are the days of cotton shirts. Shirts with wicking quality, usually made of polyester, are the best choice for running. These types of shirts absorb sweat from the body and keep the temperature low. Thick, long-sleeved shirts are recommended for use during the cold climates and thin, short-sleeved shirts are for warm climates. For extra support and comfort, women are advised to wear sports bras.
- Socks. The best pair of running socks prevents blisters. Other sock brands also promise to keep the feet dry and in perfect condition even after running several miles.
- Reflective vest. When worn, a reflective vest keeps the runner visible, making it very useful to people who run along the roadside or in the dark. It helps avoid accidents and calls attention when the runner is injured. In place of a reflective vest, some runners use reflective stickers, reflective jackets, and LED armbands.
- Heart rate monitor. This is important to people who like to keep track of their heart performance and improvements in the pulse. With a chest strap and wrist unit, the heart rate monitor displays information on the heart rate and calories burned. Depending on the results of the heart rate monitor, a runner can figure if his training is working and at an appropriate intensity.
- Running watch. Because of its multiple uses, a running watch is almost a necessity. It can record distance, time, and pace. Most running watch models today also have a heart rate monitor function, and those that are even more advanced have GPS capabilities. GPS watches can monitor route and distance information, which can be downloaded and stored to track performance. They are a bit expensive, though.
- Running belt. One of the important running gears, especially among distance runners, the running belt carries important items such as phone, keys, camera, and energy bars and gels. Most running belts are not bulky and do not bounce and budge while the runner is on the move.