One of the amazing things about running is that it is so inexpensive. No memberships to pay for no expensive rackets or clubs. However, the equipment below is nice to have. The only item that is really required, though is a good pair of running shoes.
You need a good pair of shoes, and until you get to 30 miles a week, a pair of $70 shoes will be fine. I’ve got several podcasts about shoes, but one thing you should know is that the most expensive shoes aren’t necessarily the best. The most important thing is to get the right shoes for your gait and for the number of miles you run.
My podcasts about shoes:
Mojo for Running #40, Running Shoes, Part 1
Mojo for Running #41, Minimalist Running Shoes, Part 2
Mojo for Running #43, Running Shoes, Part 3
Beginner Runner Village #5, Buying Running Shoes
Love, love, love this little gadget. Any time you are doing any kind of intervals, whether you’re just starting out running, or you just like to run intervals, or you’re timing intervals as a fartlek, this is quite handy.
No gimmick here. These really work. I always wear compression socks in marathons and usually in half marathons. Don’t be careless about size, though. If they’re too loose, then they won’t have any effect.
If you’ve been listening to my podcast for long, you know how I fel about cadence, i.e., stride rate. The best way to practice optimal cadence is with a metronome. I have tried a couple, and I highy recommend this Seiko model and this Seiko model. You can get another brand for half the price, but the one I bought only lasted a few weeks. I’ve owned several of the Seko ones, and they all lasted a year or more. If you don’t want to spend $22, you can download metronome apps for your phone.
Podcasts about cadence:
Mojo for Running #27, Cadence
Mojo for Running #28, Cadence
Beginer Runner Village #13 Running Cadence
This is a runner’s best friend (along with a stick type massagers). If you’ve listened to my podcasts or if we’ve spoken in person or if you’ve read my blog, you know I am a huge fan of deep tissue massage for runners, but no one can get a massage every day, and most people won’t get one more often than monthly. As an alternative to more frequent deep tissue work by a LMT, self massage is essential in the interim. A foam roller is a 2 to 3 foot long by 6 inch cylinder made of firm foam. It works great for massaging your muscles. Download this pdf: How to Use a Foam Roller
Like foam rollers, stick massagers belong in every runner’s arsenal. I put off buying both for years, not believing they could possibly work all that well. Ha! I am a complete convert. I treasure them and use them almost daily. Stick massagers work better, I think, for smaller areas such as calves.
GPS Running Watch
These are really handy but certainly not necessary, and some people get into trouble with them because they get focused on speed on every run, which is a huge mistake and will, actually make you slower. If you use restraint, though, and apply the 80/20 intensity rule, then you can really enjoy one of these little gems. They’ll tell you how far you ran, how fast (average speed/current pace), lap time, time of day, distance, and much more, depending on the model. Impossible for me to recommend just one, but some of the most popular models are the Garmin Forerunner 10, Garmin Forerunner 220. The best place to read reviews is DCRainmaker.com
Handheld Water Bottle
If you run off road, you’ll need to carry water. I like this Nathan one for when you don’t need too much water. Nice that it has a small zipper pocket.
Many people prefer to carry hydration in a fuel belt. FuelBelt is one of the best known brands and Nathan makes some good ones, too.
When you’re out for a run longer than 90 minutes, you’ll certainly need to carry hydration, and the longer you’re going, the more you’ll need, depending on whether you’ll be near a water source. Check Nathan and Camelpak brands.
If you run before sunrise or after sunset, you must have a headlamp. There are lots of good models. I have a Black Diamond that I love. I think if you’re going to run in the dark, it’s much safer if you use a headlamp.
If you run in the dark, it is essential that you have a strobe light or reflective vest or both.
This will help you make the most out of your clamshell exercise, and there are other great exercises to do with it.
Great for ankles and balance.
There is more to running than just putting one foot in front of the other, faster than you would when walking. Agility is a huge factor, and as you improve your agility, you’ll improve your performance in races.
A great addition to your conditioning regimen.