Nine Things You Need For Running

You know that myth people tell you…

All you need to run is a pair of running shoes.

It’s a lie. You’re being lied to.

You want to start running. You need a new sport, you want to lose weight, you want that shiny medal, your friends do it and you like peer pressure…whatever the reason, these are the nine things you REALLY need to become a runner.

  1. Running Shoes—Wait! Is this a trick? You knew you needed running shoes. But did you know you need to go to a running store? Make sure someone knowledgeable is fitting you for running shoes and looking at your stride, gait, foot strike, you know, the science-y stuff.
  2. A GPS running watch—Because (much like the tree falling in the woods) if you can’t track your run, did it count? You want to know how far you’ve come! Was it 3 miles like you think it was? Or was it just 0.75 miles—OMG, I’m not at a mile yet?! Without the GPS tool to measure for you, or possibly brag for you on Facebook…it never happened.A GPS watch is one of the things you need for running.
  3. Moisture-wicking running clothes—If you’re running around in a cotton t-shirt, just STAHP! Go buy yourself a moisture-wicking t-shirt from Target. It’s absolutely worth it to cut down on things that go bump and chafe in the night. (I may make a sport out of pointing out people running in cotton t-shirts to my husband, wherein I then get to feel superior because “they must be new here.”) Note: They do still get props for being out there!
  4. Entertainment—Maybe you like the sounds of nature. Maybe you like to have time to yourself to think. Even so, there will be days that you need a boost to get you through that training run, be it 30 minutes, or 20 miles. For some runners it’s music, for others, maybe podcasts or audio books. (Want inspiration to never quit? Try the audio book for Unbroken!)
  5. (Ladies) A sports bra that you love more than your BFF—They’re not cheap. But don’t mess around here. Test them out (a la Cirque du Soleil in the dressing room) and find one that holds in everything it should.
  6. Socks—Runners tend to be committed to their sock brand. Maybe you like the compression of Feetures, maybe you love Balegas. If you don’t know what those are, Amazon is your friend! A pair of plain cotton socks from Walmart is going to make you pay far more than just money when you get blisters.
  7. Hydration—If you have the patience to carry a bottle of water in your hand, good on you. If you don’t, you might need a water belt or Camelback, or one of those hats that holds a beer can with straws to your face…wait, that’s not for running! It’s for AFTER the race. Take your hydration seriously (unlike my blog post) and be prepared.Some kind of hydration system, belt or bottle, is one of the things you need for running.
  8. Your wits—If you’re going to go out there and become “a runner,” (definition: anyone who runs, doesn’t matter your pace!)—keep your wits about you! Safety first. Pay attention. If it’s dark out, no headphones. If you think that car saw you, think again! Don’t ever assume you know what traffic will do. In a collision, the bike or car will always win against the pedestrian.
  9. A sense of adventure—You’re going running! You may as well try a different path, or turn a different direction than you normally would. Get off the beaten path, metaphorically. (Within reason, do not get lost in the wilderness, we would miss you).
    A sense of adventure is ABSOLUTELY one of the things you need for running.

Do you need all nine of these things just for a run around the block?! Yes. Yes you do.

What else should be on this list of things you need for running? What did I forget? Drop me a comment and let me know.

Carlye O'Brien

About Author:

In the real world Carlye is a technical writer, married to a much faster runner with two kids who can also outrun her. But she's good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it... some people like her. She has lived nearly everywhere; right now she lives in Texas.

4 thoughts on “Nine Things You Need For Running

  1. “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by,
    And as it turns out, that wasn’t the race course, so I ended up doing an extra .4 miles out before I realized it, turned around, and finally got back to the course. So, great, extra .8 miles, no chance for a PR… yeah, some difference…”

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