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Essential kit for running
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Essential kit for running

Sportswear essentials

When you pack your kitbag there are some things that should be on your checklist. Don’t leave home without them!

  • Good training shoes. Your feet can be hitting the ground with a force of two or three times your body weight. There are also twisting and turning forces involved even in running in a straight line. Make sure your shoes are up to the job. Check out the best of 2020 so far. We have a comprehensive guide on what you should be looking for when choosing your shoes, here.
  • A good sports bra. Okay, so some of the blokes can do without – you can skip on to the next point. Go on, go... Thank you. A sports bra needs to fit well so it controls movement but doesn’t feel restrictive. It may be an encapsulation bra – moulded cups for firm support, or a compression type – that flattens the breasts against the body. Encapsulation is often better for larger breasts. The fabric should be breathable and watch for any slipping or seams that could cause rubbing. (Do you get the feeling the blokes have read all this too?)
  • Water bottle. Hydration is vital to effective exercise. Be sure you are hydrated to start with (you should have pale, clear urine) and stay hydrated. Drink a little and often.
  • Clean kit. No-one would admit to wearing the smelly stuff (‘After all you are just going to sweat in it again,’ they may think) but sweaty kit can build up bacteria leading to not only nasty niffs but also skin irritation. Any slight dampness (urgggghhhh) also raises the likelihood of chaffing. So don’t be a skunk with red-raw skin - keep your kit clean
  • Two towels. One to wipe sweat off yourself and any equipment before and after use. The other as you don’t want to shower with a sweaty towel. Check out our article on running in hot weather.
  • An after training snack. Straight after training your body is most receptive to absorbing energy from carbohydrates. So whether it is an energy bar, banana, sandwich or energy drink look to take on board a snack as soon as the session is over. If you can get 50 grams of carbohydrate plus some protein within an hour of training it makes your recovery far more effective. This article has info on how much you could / should be eating.
  • Training diary. Log what you have done as soon as you have done it (it may be possible to log it as you go along). This gives you something to look back on to see how you have progressed and what it is best to do next. If you leave it you may forget details.
  • Contact lenses. Like a sports bra you only need them if you need them! But glasses can be uncomfortable. Poor vision can cause a trip or not spotting any other kind of hazard. Squinting also introduces tension into your face, then neck, then shoulders, then whole body – the last thing you want when exercising.

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