Running or jogging is always an efficient exercise for our body and the means to keep in shape. It is also a pleasant activity which helps us let out the pressure and anxiety in our everyday lives.
Truth be told what one needs above everything else before they start running in the streets or the track field is motivation. However, in order to get in the mood for running there is a series of basic equipment, gadgets and accessories in the market, which promise to make the whole experience easier and more interesting.
For those of you who are already thinking about it or have started to run on a beginner’s level, we have gathered below the absolute essentials.
If not the most significant accessory, a good pair of running shoes is definitely one of the important things you will need. The right pair of shoes for you should fit perfectly on your feet in order to avoid potential injury. Most of the leading sports apparel brands in the market offer a variety of choices to address any kind of budget.
To many of us probably most running shoes seem similar. However, they usually have significant differentiation in terms of comfort and manufacturing technology, even those of the same brand.
Tip: Before buying your own pair of running shoes it is recommended to get a plantar pressure measurement. This specialized “test” will scan your foot print and provide you with useful information about your feet, the way you step on it, your body structure and possible sensitivities that you should consider while choosing your pair of shoes.
Now you would naturally ask, where do I get this measurement? The answer is that sports retail stores usually have the appropriate plantar pressure diagnostic device so that you may visit and take the test. The whole procedure lasts no more than 5 minutes and provides you with the necessary insights about your feet. Even better, make sure to try on your new running pair of shoes before you buy it.
On Scrooge you can compare prices for a variety of popular running shoes, based on manufacturer, color and price range.
Popular running shoes series include the Air Zoom, Free and Pegasus by Nike, a brand which generally offers hundreds of choices. Equally popular shoe models you may find in Adidas’ series, as well as the GT and GEL series by Asics. Last but not least, for those looking into acquiring a sophisticated pair of running shoes, Salomon is a specialized brand with a good selection.
Athletic & Outdoor Clothing
Athletic and outdoor apparel is equally important for those of you who wish to indulge themselves in frequent running sessions.
Tip: A general advice for all of your athletic clothing and running apparel is to prefer light and comfortable fabrics that will allow your body to breathe throughout the training session. Especially during spring and summer time, where perspiration is more intense, fabrics which allow faster sweat evaporation should be preferred.
Respectively, during winter time do not fall in the trap of wearing too many clothes. Instead go for thermal wear and compression clothing which will preserve your body temperature levels.
Another important factor to keep in mind are the selected sports socks, since cotton fabrics sweat your feet and cause blisters. For this reason, you may prefer socks which have an extra insole cushion specially designed for running. Women should also invest in a good sports bra which is a necessary accessory to ensure higher comfort while running.
If you are planning to do intensive training, then it is a good idea to have a look at thermal clothing, which is based on synthetic materials in order to perfectly fit your body and expel sweat. Last but not least, if you are into late night runs then fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark clothing in necessary, so that you are visible in the distance.
Headphones & earphones
Your favorite music tunes can be a great “companion” for your running sessions, providing you with rhythm and motivation, especially if you can’t actually find a friend to accompany you on your races. You can listen to your music on your smartphone or on an mp3 player, but the headphones which you will choose to have with you during training should fit you perfectly - and we don’t only mean with regards to their design.
Keep in mind that vibrations generated while running do not usually allow for stable position of headphones or earphones on our head and ears. This is why many popular brands have designed special in-ear headphones which can be adjusted accordingly to fit the inside part of our ear. Furthermore, these headphones feature extra parts or adjustment accessories, which enhance ear grip.
Tip: Extra attention is highly recommended when using headphones while running, mainly because at all times you must have full awareness of your surrounding environment, especially when outdoors where you may confront cars, motorcyclists and cyclists.
Wristbands (Activity Trackers)
A proven way to reinforce your will for exercise is to set a number of achievements and push yourself to complete them. Wristbands, commonly known as activity trackers, come into play to monitor and moderate your progress by utilizing integrated sensors. Usually the wristband will count miles, speed and other parameters, informing you at the same time for the progress of your training session as well as your overall activity during the day.
The vast majority of activity trackers in the market feature an integrated heart pulse sensor, while can also be connected with your smartphone, utilizing you phone’s software or a special app to provide you with tips and useful stats.
However, usage of an activity tracker or wristband is not limited to training and exercise. These gadgets can count how many steps we take within the day, how much progress we’ve made for our goals as well as if you had an uneasy sleep.
Smartphone Running Apps
Our smartphone can provide enough -but not all- of the features that we can find in an activity tracker, although it might not be easy to use your phone while you exercise due to its size.
Tip: If you decide to carry your smartphone with you in your running sessions, you sports clothing must have a special pocket or slipcase so that you don’t lose or drop the device. For example, armband mobile cases will allow you to keep your phone on your body the whole time – on your arm, shoulder or waist.
Apart from the specialized activity tracker, there are a lot of available running apps for almost every mobile operating system out there. Combined with your smartphone they can make your life easier and provide you with all the necessary information and stats during workouts. Some of the best apps in the market at the moment are the following:
This app was among the first which realized the assistance that a smartphone can offer while exercising and subsequently it’s one of the most feature packed. RunKeeper can record your performance while running and walking, but can also monitor other sports activities, such as cycling, trekking and rowing.
Performance goals is one of the app’s advantages, as well as the offered challenges for those looking into a more organized running workout.
S-Health is addressed exclusively to owners of particular Samsung smartphones, such as the latest Samsung Galaxy Models, in which it comes pre-installed. Even though its features are found lacking compared to other applications, S-Health utilizes its integrated heart pulse sensor which we meet on the latest Galaxy smartphones.
Nike+ Running App
Α trademark running application is Nike’s proposal, which was initially available only for people who owned Nike’s running shoes with the special sensor. Now, the GPS receiver in almost all of the modern smartphones makes this sensor obsolete. The Nike+ Running App is compatible with modern smartphones providing a beautiful layout for information about our route, speed and other interesting stats. An feature we like in particular is the fact that the application allows us to create our own custom music playlist for our running sessions.
Nike+ running App also has a global community, which means that you can represent your country among the contesting runners with the most miles on Nike’s leaderboard.
Get your pair of running shoes, choose the appropriate athletic clothing and equipment but before you hit the road or track remember: it is equally important to follow a balanced diet and build your fitness state!
Find your own motivation to start running and in the process adjust your workout based on your own life and preferences.
And don't forget...