What do I need to wear?
The most important thing you need for running is a pair of decent running shoes that suit you and your running style. Our feet have evolved over thousands of years into the ultimate design for moving us from one place to another and we all have slightly different ways of walking and running. As soon as we put on a pair of shoes we compromise our feetís efficiency and effectiveness so itís important to get shoes that match our running style as closely as possible.
Shoes are a common cause of injury, either from buying the wrong model or using a shoe beyond its effective life. Simple things like buying a big enough shoe can prevent a host of toe and foot problems brought on by an ill-fitting model. Everyone has different needs and all sorts of things - your biomechanics, your weight, the surfaces you run on, and obviously, the shape of your feet - mean that one person's ideal shoe can be terrible for another person.
Thereís no single Ďbest shoeí and they vary as much as prescription spectacles do. You can get cushioned shoes, stability shoes, motion control shoes, performance training shoes, racing shoes and off-road shoes. There are also over 150 different specialist running shoes to choose from so finding the right model can be a daunting task but you can make the task easier by shopping at specialist running store where you can get informed, relevant and practical advice. Dale Sports (Sportskit) in the meadow Centre in Stowmarket stock a wide range of running shoes and can give advice on the most appropriate shoe to wear.
Should you not have easy access to the world wide web, the club has two notice boards in the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre. Both have information about the club and news on forthcoming events.
It is also important that you don't run in worn out shoes. Most running shoes usually last between 400 to 500 miles before the cushioning inside no longer performs efficiently, although from the outside they may look fine. You shoeís life expectancy varies depending on the type of shoe, your weight, your foot-strike pattern, and the surfaces you run on. Don't wait until your only pair is worn out. Itís also a good idea to buy a new pair and rotate them for a while.
There's no set running uniform: pick what you feel comfortable in. Depending upon your budget, you may prefer to purchase tops & shorts made from material that is breathable and takes the sweat away from your skin. Itís worth spending a bit more on this so called technical kit as it means that you will stay drier and more comfortable when running. Cotton tee-shirts can very heavy and cold when wet with sweat!
Women often choose Lycra shorts or tights; and non-cotton clothes help you stay drier. Women should buy a high-support sports bra (the more comfortable you are, the more youíll run!). This one comes down to a personal choice as to which one suits you the best so again seek assistance at a specialist running shop or check out the internet sites.
Donít overdress in cold weather. If you pile on the clothes whenever it is chilly you will feel nice and warm in the first part of the run but then you will get too hot which will make the remainder of the run feel as if you are running in a sauna. Wear enough to keep yourself from freezing because within a mile you will soon warm up.
If you would normally wear sunglasses on a hot sunny day, wear them when you run as itís just as important to protect your eyes when youíre running.
As with anything, shop around, there are usually bargains to be found. See the links page for some recommended websites and running magazines like Runnerís World where you can find bargains.