Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get in Gear

Now that we've covered a bit about training plans, let's talk about the gear you need to to help you get off on the right foot. 

It's a run, not a runway.  
Let's just establish this upfront. This ain't no fashion show. Sure, we all dream of gliding down the trail in a perfectly styled mix of Sporty Spice meets Nike ad. But Honey, if that dream doesn't die by the first mile, you can bet the third mile will do it in when you get a literal taste of what I like to call the Active Lifestyle Facial--the road-tested beauty formula of snot meets sweat. Let's just say this. If you still look pretty when you're finished, you didn't do it right. 

A spring in your step.
I can't stress this enough: Professionally fitted running shoes are a must. I know it's fun to be matchy-matchy, especially when you have to spend the equivalent of a week's grocery budget on one stinkin' pair of shoes, but don't be tempted to select your shoes based on color or style or what's available in the clearance section at TJ Maxx. Instead, concern yourself with finding the right fit, including the proper amount of support to address pronation. Experts at your local running store can analyze your gait and help you find the perfect shoes to support your stride.

Running shoes generally need to be replaced every 300-500 miles, depending on the type of miles you've logged. I like to keep track of my miles on Dailymile so I always have an accurate count and don't have to rely on my fuzzy mathematical memory. 

Music in your ears.
I know many of you out there are purists. You could run for miles just listening to the birds, the sound of the wind in the trees, the cars honking at you to get out of the blanketedy-blank way, and the sound of me whooshing past you as my new favorite running tune propels me forward. But for the rest of us normal folk who need a bit of music to beat the boredom and keep the pace, there are some great options for MP3 players and earbuds designed to stay put. My personal favorite (and I've been through a few) is this one--as it incorporates my old school Shuffle with wireless headphones that won't fall off even after I reach speeds of 50 mph. (Because that totally happens. All the time.) 

Time on your side. 
For as little as $10, you can find a sports watch with a clock and a timer. If you plan to run outdoors, this accessory is essential for keeping track of your pace, not to mention ensuring you make it back before the kids get off the bus or your lunch break ends. You don't need a fancy dancy GPS watch to get started (though that would be fun and those are wicked cool). Just strap on a plastic Timex, click over to chrono mode, and run like the wind.

Speaking of time, it's seems I've run out of it. I promise to write more soon, to include info on getting app-tly equipped, winter wear and hydration belts.


Any questions about gear so far? How's your training going so far? Please comment with your questions or share what gear, shoes, etc., you've found to work well for you.  Thanks!


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1 comment:

  1. Ha. I remember after the triathlon going over the professional pictures with a friend and she asked, "Do you always smile when you're running?" I said, "Of course not, but I always do when I'm being photographed." Of course after NOT drowning in the lagoon I might have been in some kind of euphoria. Suffice to say that I have never smiled when running for any other reason. It's very true what you say. If you still look pretty when you're finished, you didn't do it right. And if you did do it right and you still look pretty? I don't want to talk to you.

    And I concur about the shoes: they're the one essential above all other things. I recently got a new pair of Mizunos fitted at my favorite running shop (after years of adherence to the last model I was fitted to, by New Balance) and they make my running experience so fabulous. They're so exactly right for my pronation (fancy word!).

    I just use regular headphones when I run, and I've never had a problem. All my timing, music, mapping, etc. is done through my iphone, so I have a handy little armband that attaches with velcro, and the touchscreen works through it so no fiddling mid-run. I got it at TJ Maxx for maybe $15. It's not fancy, but it works great.

    Whew, longest comment ever.

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