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Running: A Few Essentials to get Started

Updated on February 15, 2012

The sport of running dates back further than anyone can probably document. Because of its simplicity and the lack of equipment needed, it can be done by almost anyone and anywhere. In the distant past, running was likely used to aid in hunting for food and was a necessity. Now running is done both competitively and casually. While most people just run to keep in shape, from time to time, it is fun to compete in a local race. Whether you are looking to run competitively or just for fun, there are some important things to help optimize your experience.

The first important thing is to come up with a plan. Yes, even if you are just a casual runner a plan is good. I realize this may sound kind of regimented, but it is for your benefit. By having a plan, it sets a specific course for your running. When training for competitive running, a plan is crucial to follow because it is your guide to make sure you are prepared for the event. It will ensure that you have run enough miles or paced workouts to adequately prepare your body for the competition. With casual running, the plan helps keep you accountable. It is very easy to get lazy and slack off; a set plan can help us to stick with it.

Along with the plan comes setting goals. If you are training to run a race, you might just have a goal of finishing it. If you are a more experienced runner, you could have a set amount of time that you want to finish the race in. You can also set incremental goals as well, such as the amount of miles you want to run each week. No matter what type of running you are doing, a goal gives you something to work towards. Having something you want to achieve can make running easier. Once you reach that goal, a great sense of fulfillment will be felt and possibly serve as future motivation.

The most important piece of equipment, and really the only, is a good pair of running shoes. There are so many different types of athletic shoes, but it is crucial to wear shoes that are specifically made for running. Shoes are designed for individual purposes and types of movements. Running shoes will provide your feet with the best support and comfort. This will help to prevent injuries. Take the time and effort to find a pair of shoes that fits you correct. There are so many different brands to choose from, and there is probably one that fits your feet best. Comfort is extremely important with all of the impact on your feet and joints caused by running. It might take a few miles worth of running on a pair of shoes to break them in. If you run competitively, you might also consider buying a pair of running spikes.

The next most important thing is clothing. Socks are crucial. Socks that are too thin or too thick could easily cause blisters by the way they rub. Good athletic socks will help to keep your feet comfortable. Also, wearing athletic clothing that fits you correctly is important. If clothing is too tight, it could hinder blood circulation. If clothing is too loose, it could be bulky and in the way. The last thing to maybe consider is having a watch or some sort of timing device.

Once you have factored all of this stuff, it’s time to get running. You can find a good park or map out some routes around local roads. It’s always important to keep your muscles loose and stretch. Drinking a lot of water and keeping hydrated is important to any runner as well. The most important thing now is to go out and enjoy yourself.


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    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 5 years ago from Ohio

      @ruby - I am very anal about that because I had to have foot surgery a few years back. I understand the importance of good shoes. I'm glad you enjoyed this piece.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      I like how you say the most important equipment is our shoes and socks. It makes it hard to be a good runner if our feet our in pain. Thanks for these reminders to take care of our feet, knowing shoes are the most important equipment!

    • Joelipoo profile image

      Joel 6 years ago from Ohio

      @joe - If you run from the door to the car, you can avoid walking. Problem solved.

      @eddie - Thanks for the comment and all the positives. A plan is really key just like you said.

      @Dexter - Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing!

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Your right joelipoo, the plan is crucial! With out a plan, you plan to fail. Running is a challenge for most people, so why not challenge yourself, and try to beat your time each time you run, even if you finish you course 15 seconds faster, you will have something to celebrate. Good advice , voted up and useful.

    • joejagodensky profile image

      joejagodensky 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm trying to figure out how I can avoid walking from my back door to the car. Thanks for the informative Hub.