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Essential running gear

Updated on March 7, 2007

The appeal of running for many is that easy, they say "all you need are some sneakers", but the truth is you need some basic clothing and accessories and getting the best of these basics is vitally important.

Decide what you need

It is important to decide what you need before you go shopping. It is easy to get carried away once in the store and go way over budget, and it is just as easy to forgot something, so creating a list before you go will help you. Composing a shopping list is easier said than done, but asking yourself a couple of questions can help:

What type of weather do you run in?

Include the following basic items for all weather: shorts, singlet (sleeveless top), T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, jacket, and running tights or pants. Sports bar sunglasses

If you run in cold weather also include: gloves and a headband or hat

If you run in warm weather also include: a shirt absorbent shirt, made from fabric that pulls sweat away from you and dries quickly

If you run in the rain also include: a rainproof jacket and hat

If you run in the snow also include: grips for the bottom of your shoes so you do not slip on ice or snow

What distances do you run?

For long distance running you need shoes designed for lots of mileage, use also need the right type of socks to keep your feet dry and blister free. You'll want to pick up some type of energy bar or gel to be consumed while running, look for something that is light and easy to digest while running.

For short distance you probably also want to add energy bars to you list, but they don't necessarily have to be for eating on the go, they can be for after your run, so feel free to get heartier bars since you won't have to worry about digesting them on the go..

Do you run in the evening?

If so make sure you ad things such as reflective vests, reflective stickers for shoes, and reflective jackets to your list.

Use the salespeople

Knowledgeable salespeople are great resources, so use them. Don't be afraid to ask a question abut a piece of running gear, even if it sounds silly to you. Salespeople are usually up-to-date with the latest consumer reports on products, so ask them about it! One good thing to do is to bring your old running shoes with you when shopping for new ones. Knowledgeable salespeople know how to evaluate your needs from looking at your worn shoes.

Try things on

It is a good idea to try things on before you buy them, make sure they fit right and feel comfortable. You don't want any chaffing or rubbing. Jogging in place, as silly as you might feel in a dressing room, is a good way to get an idea of how the clothes will move on you when you run, clothes don't always feel the same when you are standing still and when you are moving. Look for clothes made from sports performance fabrics that contribute to both comfort and efficiency, you want fabrics that pull sweat away from you, and dry quickly.

Make sure things are washable and durable

Your running gear gets a work out when you work out, and also gets thrown in the wash quite a bit, you want to make sure the things you are purchasing are going to last. Read consumer reports about products and read labels on the clothing to find out about how you have to care about the material.

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