A new year often brings new health and fitness regimes for many people, but unfortunately, not all resolutions become lifelong good habits.
If running is your chosen form of exercise, whether you’ve been pounding the streets for years, are getting back into it after injury or are completely new to the idea, it’s a fantastic way to get, and stay in shape.
But as with any sport getting the right gear before you put one foot in front of the other is vital. Getting kitted out not only means your chances of injury are reduced but it will also help keep you warm and looking good whenever you head out for a run.
The one part of your clothing that you absolutely must get right is running shoes. Regular trainers will not give the support that your ankles, knees and legs need, putting you at risk of injury. The wrong shoes could soon put you out of action for weeks and ruin all your well-made plans for a new you in 2013.
The best way to find out which trainers you need is to go to a specialist running shop for a gait analysis. They will assess the way you run and what level of support you need in your shoes. Whether you opt for Nike, Asics or another top brand of running shoe you will be able to get a pair that are comfortable and allow you to run in a natural, easy style without putting additional pressure on your joints and muscles.
Special running socks will also benefit your feet by drawing sweat away from the skin. This quality, known as wicking, is also the best choice for t shirts and other clothing.
For winter running in the first few months of the year, and quite possibly some of the British summer too, you will also need some thermal running gear. Running tights, long-sleeve tops and waterproof and windproof jackets will help keep the elements out. A pair of gloves and a hat will also keep the chill of the fingers and ears.
In summer you can remove a layer or too, just remember to use sun cream and take a light jacket or overcoat in case the weather turns during your run.
Finally, you should consider accessories such as a GPS watch tracker or a phone app to track your miles, a water belt to stay hydrated and carry keys and phone, and a new pair of headphones so you can listen to your favourite music as you run.