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Starting Running- what gear do you need?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15,706 ✭✭✭✭ RayCun


    One of the great things about running is that its so easy to get started. You don't need to join an expensive gym (or a club, though they're pretty cheap), pay fees every time you run, or get lots of equipment. All you really need are clothes - and only the runners will cost more than a few quid.

    1. Clothes
    2. Running in winter
    3. Getting started
    4. Running further
    5. Timing


    Clothes

    Top - a t-shirt, a long-sleeved top, or a singlet

    Your top should be a wicking fabric, not cotton. Cotton will trap moisture, get heavy, chafe more. A wicking material will draw the moisture away from your skin, making it easier to get rid of excess heat and also offering some protection from rain. Examples include Nike Dri-fit, Adidas Climalite, Mizuno Drylite... you get the idea. A lot of races will give running tops to entrants, so you don't need to buy too many.

    You will warm up pretty quickly when you're running, so for most of the year a shortsleeved top is fine.

    For your lower half - shorts or running tights

    Running shorts should be light and also made of wicking material.
    If it's colder, you could wear some running tights - though this is a bit controversial - or running trousers
    Everyday tracksuit bottoms will have the problem that they're not made of the right material, so they'll get heavy and cling when they're wet, and be too hot when it's warm.

    Socks don't have to be anything special. The Aldi and Lidl running socks are very popular, though some people swear by more expensive brands. The key consideration is protection from blisters, so you need socks that will help get rid of moisture, and fit well.

    (Taken from this thread )
    To get blisters you need 3 things
    1. heat
    2. moisture
    3. friction
    eliminate even one of these and you won't get blisters.
    1. ventilated shoes and not running in the sahara will help with this but it's the most difficult to eliminate completely as your feet are already quite warm and running makes them more so
    2. wicking socks (and ventilation again) will help with this. Socks a personal thing. I love toesocks and hilly thin skins but many boardsies swear by twin skins. Try a few types to see what works for you.
    3. proper fit is the key to avoiding friction. get your trainers properly fitted by someone who knows what they are talking about (not the work experience guy on Saturdays in lifestyle sports). learn how to lace your shoes for running. Many of us have dodgy feet (in my case second toe longer than big toe), buy your shoes accordingly.
    If you do get blisters, compeed plasters are the best treatment.

    Shoes

    Don't buy some runners because a friend wears them and says they're good. There is no right pair of runners for everyone. The right pair for you depends on
    - the shape of your foot
    - your gait
    - the amount of miles you intend to run in them
    - your weight
    - the conditions you'll run in

    Go to a shop where you can get expert advice, not some random tracksuits-and-runners shop. Gait analysis is a useful tool, but the main thing is that the staff in the shop know what they're talking about.


    Running in Winter

    Remember that you will generate heat from running, so you don't need to pile on too many layers. A long-sleeved top and running tights might be enough. You could add gloves, hats, and a jacket - things that you can take off when you've warmed up.

    Reflective material is a priority in winter - either bright clothes, or a reflective belt/jacket on top. If possible make sure that the reflectives are on the moving parts of your body, arms and legs.

    A headlamp is useful if you're not running in daylight, or under streetlamps.

    Running in winter might also mean running on ice or snow. Check out this thread for advice and opinions


    Getting started

    Not really equipment, but - there are a few common mistakes people make when they start running
    • they dash off on a run, get out of breath and shuffle home thinking they can't do it
    • they train too much, get hurt, stop running
    • they train too little, get out of the habit, stop running
    • they settle on an easy routine, and never improve
    All of these problems have the same solution.
    Set yourself a target, and follow a proper training plan to get there.

    If you are just starting out, follow the couch25k running plan. This is a simple programme, that anyone can follow, works for any standard, and will get you to the point where you can run a 5k. Loads of people on boards have followed it. It's three sessions a week, no more than 30 minutes each session, which is enough to keep you improving but should be easy to fit into your life. (If you need to repeat a week, repeat a week. If you're having trouble completing the runs, slow down)

    Find a 5k a few months away (see the Events subforum), and make that your target. Having that target in mind will make it easier to stick with the programme.

    If you've run your first 5k and want to get faster, or run further, then set another target and follow a training plan. There are plans out there for every distance (the Hal Higdon ones are very beginner-friendly), and following a good plan will ensure you get the right mix of training and build consistently.


    Running further

    As you run longer distances, three issues will become more important - hydration, nutrition, and chafing.

    Hydration
    If you're running for less than an hour, a drink of water before you start and more water when you finish is probably enough. If you're running for longer, you should plan to drink some water on your way around. Very roughly, a 500 mls bottle of water if you're running up to 2 hours, another if you run up to 3 hours.

    But this will depend on how fit you are, how fast you're running, how hot the day is, and your general condition. You should be well-hydrated before your run (straw-coloured urine), drink when you're thirsty on your run, and drink when you get back. If you weigh yourself immediately before and after your run, the weight loss you see is down to loss of water - that will give you an idea of how much you should be drinking.

    In a race (over 5 miles distance), there should be water stations every 3 miles. On a training run, your options are to bring water with you (in a camelbak or waist pack), bring money with you and stop into a shop on the way, or go out beforehand and stash water along the route.

    Nutrition

    You will also have to think more about nutrition for longer runs. You have to make sure you have energy to run - the best source is slow-release carbohydrates, such as porridge. But you don't want to run too soon after eating, because the food will sit uncomfortably in your stomach. Most people prefer not to run for an hour after eating something substantial, but everyone is different.

    Over longer distances, many people use energy gels. These are carbohydrate rich, and fairly easy to digest while running. There are a lot of different brands and flavours, but two basic types - the standard gels, that should be washed down with water, and isogels, that can be taken on their own. Everyone has their own preferences, so try a few different types. And try them in a training run before using them in a race.

    Finally, remember that you put in is going to come out again, one way or another, so plan ahead. You don't want to have to make a pit-stop halfway through your run. Know what schedule your body is on, and what food your stomach will react to.

    Chafing
    As you run longer distances, you'll notice you start to get sore in different places - where there's a seam in your clothes, and around the nips (for men)
    Use Bodyglide (or vaseline, but it's bad for your clothes?) around the affected areas.
    Use plasters, micropore tape, or nipguards to prevent the dreading bleeding nipples.


    Timing

    The cheapest option is to use a stopwatch to time your run, and use mapmyrun (or a similar site) to measure the distance.

    Next cheapest is a watch linked to a pedometer (the Nike + for example)
    The pedometer isn't great for accuracy - basially you calibrate it by running a known distance, it says "okay, that km took X steps" and from then on calculates distance run by counting steps and comparing to X. Which is fine, as long as your stride length doesn't change. If you recalibrate regularly, it should be within 5-10% of your actual distance. When you upload your run it will tell you (roughly) how fast you were going at different stages.

    A GPS watch (such as a Garmin, see megathread) uses a satellite signal to calculate your position... and your position a second later... and another second later... and so on. It uses this data to calculate how far you've travelled, and how fast (and will usually have a range of other features such as programmed workouts, heart rate monitors, etc). They usually cost at least 150 quid.

    If you have an iPhone, there are several apps you can use to track your time and distance, such as Runmeter.


    And some other stuff you might use...

    Epsom salts in the bath, to help with sore legs
    Arnica gel and tiger balm, heat rubs
    'the stick', for massaging muscles


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Comments



  • Just started doing a bit and this is exactly what i was looking for ..thanks a mil




  • I often use Google Earth and its 'Ruler' tool to measure out runs. I find ir great.




  • Two questions folks:

    1. where would I find BodyGlide in Dublin?
    2. is it worth my while spending €35+ on under armour long sleeved tops?

    cheers!




  • PGL wrote: »
    Two questions folks:

    1. where would I find BodyGlide in Dublin?

    Running or cycling shops for the BodyGlide. Where in Dublin are you?




  • RayCun wrote: »
    Running or cycling shops for the BodyGlide. Where in Dublin are you?

    living in the Lucan area, so I'll try Stagg Cycles in the village.

    thanks


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  • PGL wrote: »
    Two questions folks:

    1. where would I find BodyGlide in Dublin?
    2. is it worth my while spending €35+ on under armour long sleeved tops?

    cheers!

    Anyone got a view on under armour clothing? I'm doing the 8k Run for Mark in the Dark next Wed at 7.30pm, and am mindful that it could be cold. I don't want to have too many layers on, but don't want to have too little i.e. one adidas climalite wicking t-shirt. So I want a happy medium. Would be sufficient to wear a long sleeved wicking top over my t-shirt, or would I be better off wearing a long sleeved under armour top underneath my t-shirt?

    cheers folks




  • I reckon if you invest the money in a decent top it will stand to you as it will perform as you want it to and it will last. I am in the market myself.

    Check out some marino wool base layers also before you purchase. expensive but amazing material. (ice breaker from HH for example)

    Also there is a lot more discussion about these things in the cycling forums (try searching for "base layers")




  • Check out TK Maxx in Blanchardstown, last year I got a couple of long sleeved UA tops there for a reasonable price.

    And while you're there check out 53 Degrees North a couple of doors down, they have some decent long sleeved running tops in their running section at the back, plus plenty of base layers from a number of companies. As BobMac says merino wool is quite good, but Icebreaker is a separate company to Helly Hansen. I've tops from both companys, prefer the Icebreaker over HH though mainly because the Icebreaker is merino wool and therefore doesn't hold the stink like the HH gear does as they're man made materials. Having said that, the HH tops were my favourite before I got an Icebreaker.




  • so I take it from your comments that a base layer under my t-shirt is the way to go, as opposed to wearing a regular long sleeved wicking top over my shirt, even though its more expensive?




  • to be honest, I'd just wear a tshirt myself. It's a race - you run fast, you get warm :D

    bring an old top to wear before the start, and tie it to a tree or something to collect later


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  • PGL wrote: »
    so I take it from your comments that a base layer under my t-shirt is the way to go, as opposed to wearing a regular long sleeved wicking top over my shirt, even though its more expensive?

    I agree with Ray.

    Maybe a base layer and a t-shirt on top. Its not that cold.

    I assume that you have no experience of running in winter. What do you normally wear ?




  • PGL wrote: »
    Anyone got a view on under armour clothing? I'm doing the 8k Run for Mark in the Dark next Wed at 7.30pm, and am mindful that it could be cold. I don't want to have too many layers on, but don't want to have too little i.e. one adidas climalite wicking t-shirt. So I want a happy medium. Would be sufficient to wear a long sleeved wicking top over my t-shirt, or would I be better off wearing a long sleeved under armour top underneath my t-shirt?

    cheers folks

    Its 8kms my friend. String vest and speedos should be sufficient.http://b-static.net/vbulletin/images/icons/icon12.gif
    HTFU




  • PGL wrote: »
    so I take it from your comments that a base layer under my t-shirt is the way to go, as opposed to wearing a regular long sleeved wicking top over my shirt, even though its more expensive?

    PGL - just go out and run and adjsut what you wear as you feel like it !
    This is Ireland not some extreme climate environment.




  • I don't think a string vest and speedos would look great on me so i'll pass on your words of wisdom Rawhead!

    Up to now I have done 90% of my running on a threadmill in the gym. I have generally only run outdoors in the summer. However I appreciate that threadmill running is a not-so-cheap immitation of outdoor running, so I plan to do more outdoor running during the winter.

    There are obviously a few hardy bucks here that love the cold, or else have not been in this lovely country over the past 2 or 3 winters. However clearly the majority do not agree or else base layers would not be so popular.

    Would appreciate the views of those who have used / use base layers, as they are the only ones qualified to comment....

    cheers




  • Why don't you just go out for a (reasonably fast) run this evening, at about 8pm? If you're cold after 5 minutes of that, you need more clothes. If you're not...




  • I use my 'base' layers as the only layer. If it's cold and late in the evening I'll go with a long sleeved top, otherwise a short one. Bar the height of the winter I'd never feel the need to layer up with two tops, and even at that it was just a long sleeved top and jacket.




  • Thanks for feedback folks. I will "suck it and see" so to speak and decide then if I need to dig deep for a base layer.




  • There is no particular need to cover up your arms or legs in even very cold periods of the Irish winter. You lose more heat through the extremities. I find I can wear my normal summer attire in the winter (t-shirt and shorts) but would wear a pair of gloves and perhaps a wooly hat as well.




  • Ha, I was genuinely trying to figure out what 'gloces' were, thought it was a French word or similar for something like arm warmers until I realised it was a typo.




  • PGL wrote: »
    Thanks for feedback folks. I will "suck it and see" so to speak and decide then if I need to dig deep for a base layer.

    If you are going to run all winter, a base layer is probably a good idea. I always wear one, but you might be surprised how quickly you warm up and how little extra winter gear you need.

    As ray has said, go for a run some evening and see how it feels.

    Everyone is different. My hands seem to take an age to warm up so I wear gloves, but I usually have to stop to take them off half way through a run.


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  • ThisRegard wrote: »
    Ha, I was genuinely trying to figure out what 'gloces' were, thought it was a French word or similar for something like arm warmers until I realised it was a typo.

    :o fixed




  • I've a weather station and if it reads less than 9C I go with the base layers, over and there really is no need you warm up in about 5 mins. Also under 3C for gloves :D




  • Re base layer,

    I was in Pennys today and saw what they had called a thermo layer for 9 euro.
    Moisture control,Quick drying,heat retention top,pants too,for that money i am going to chance it as my runs are short plus astro soccer will need such top too..




  • PGL wrote: »
    I don't think a string vest and speedos would look great on me so i'll pass on your words of wisdom Rawhead!

    Up to now I have done 90% of my running on a threadmill in the gym. I have generally only run outdoors in the summer. However I appreciate that threadmill running is a not-so-cheap immitation of outdoor running, so I plan to do more outdoor running during the winter.

    There are obviously a few hardy bucks here that love the cold, or else have not been in this lovely country over the past 2 or 3 winters. However clearly the majority do not agree or else base layers would not be so popular.

    Would appreciate the views of those who have used / use base layers, as they are the only ones qualified to comment....

    cheers

    With respect every runner is both qualified and entitled to comment. You make it sould like ireland is in the high alps.




  • First thing you need are two legs.




  • You don't need two legs at all.




  • I have always been a big fan of Under Armour base layers, but only really during the summer, the heat gear is great but I have always found that with the cold gear I get too warm in them.

    Recently bought a Helly Hansen Dry base layer, its not compression fit but still fitted. Ideal for the Irish climate as its not too warm, it wicks moisture away from the skin very quickly as its made of polypropylene and can be used under a short sleeve top, or long sleeve running top. Costs €35 but would highly recommend it to anyone considering getting one for their winter runs.




  • This may not be the place for this questtion but maybe someone here could give some advice. What do people running wear in the pouring rain? I'm aware that it is coming into winter and the weather will be getting colder and wetter. I have read the email page linked elsewhere on this forum about running gear but I am looking for some key things a beginner on a budget can get. Another problem is darker evenings so will have to be reflective? I saw a yellow addidas reflective jacket the other day in lifestyle. Would it keep you relatively dry, breathable yet reflective? Don't think it was climacool. Was also looking at Nike dri fit pieces. Opinions please?




  • sillymoo wrote: »
    This may not be the place for this questtion but maybe someone here could give some advice. What do people running wear in the pouring rain? I'm aware that it is coming into winter and the weather will be getting colder and wetter. I have read the email page linked elsewhere on this forum about running gear but I am looking for some key things a beginner on a budget can get. Another problem is darker evenings so will have to be reflective? I saw a yellow addidas reflective jacket the other day in lifestyle. Would it keep you relatively dry, breathable yet reflective? Don't think it was climacool. Was also looking at Nike dri fit pieces. Opinions please?

    Try this thread on jackets to see whats available...
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056430442

    The main point being, if it's bucketing down, nothing will keep you completely dry, so try and go with what will keep out a shower.
    The more waterproof your jacket, the more you'll sweat inside.

    If wet, I go for a long sleeve base layer to shield my arms from the sticky sweat generated by the jacket on top.
    I picked up one of these on sale for €25 a while back, its a cycling jacket but doest he job fine and is super lightweight.


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  • I'm thinking of joining a running club and I've never done running ever before. Any specific reccomendations on cheap starter clothes?


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