Watches, Shoes, Apparel, and Other Tips for Beginner Runners

Watches, Shoes, Apparel, and Other Tips for Beginner Runners

Running can be a great way to get outside in nature while getting your exercise in. Running can be for fun or more competitive, and having the right gear, like the perfect shoes, a fitness watch, and comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing, can help you get the most out of every run.

Like with many things in life, when it comes to running, safety should come first. Some of the most obvious tips for running safely include staying in well-lit and populated areas as well as making sure that you have plenty of water. For longer runs, you may also need to bring nutrition supplements. Running can cause injuries from falls or from overworking your body, so it's important to watch your footing when you run and to give yourself days off to let your body recover. And it's always a good idea to let friends or family know when you are going for a run, where you are going, and how long you expect to be gone. Take bear spray if you know your area has bears, and take a whistle for safety to call others to your side if needed.

If you'll be running on the roadways, running against traffic is advised so you can see oncoming cars, and it's also a good idea to wear running apparel with reflective stripes and bright colors that will make you more visible to traffic. Do not always run the same route, as this allows would-be attackers to plan ahead. If you are in an area with a running group, joining them can give you safety in numbers as well as help you to learn the safest and best routes. You should always have your name and other identifying information with you at all times. If you need to run alone, you can carry mace with you; if you have a dog that enjoys running, they can also be a deterrent to anyone looking to cause trouble.

When choosing which clothes to wear running, the most comfortable apparel will use high-tech, sweat-wicking fabrics that are made to dry quickly. Cotton will remain wet and does not regulate temperature well, so you will be cold in the winter and could overheat in the summer. You should consider purchasing clothing that is appropriate for different seasons, including long-sleeved layers for winter and short-sleeved tops for summer. The best running shorts are lightweight and breathable with a key pocket and an underwear lining. These will help store your essentials, like car keys, while also ensuring that you don't have to adjust your clothing during your run.

Many runners use a fitness watch to help them measure their pace and distance. There are many options out there, and the main factors to consider when choosing a fitness watch are functionality and cost. There are simple, inexpensive watches that do little more than tell the time and count your steps, high-end watches that monitor your heart rate, track your mileage, and prompt you when you are having an off day, and dozens of options in between. You will want to consider if you want an oxygen monitor, calorie tracker, distance and pace tracker, on-screen coaching, and sleep monitoring among many other options. Once you have figured out the options you want, you can then narrow down your choices based on functionality and make your pick. Keep in mind that some fitness watches are tailored to runners while others monitor all fitness and health indicators.

When choosing running shoes, it's important to remember that fashion is not the main goal. Consider the support, flexibility, and weight of a pair of running shoes in addition to your budget. Since everyone's feet are different, different shoes and shoe brands may fit one runner perfectly while not working at all for another. The perfect running shoe for your foot should be one that helps keep it in correct alignment with your ankles and knees while offering good support. If a shoe is too heavy, it can make you tire more quickly on your runs and it can slow down your time, making it harder for you to reach new personal records. A shoe needs flexibility so that it can fit your foot and mold to the pavement or other running surface, and it needs cushioning good enough to absorb the shock your joints will otherwise need to absorb. Improper fit or a poor choice when purchasing running shoes can lead to mild injuries like shin splints or more serious injuries like a sprained ankle or torn muscles or ligaments.