3 KINDS OF GEAR EVERY NEW RUNNER NEEDS

One of the benefits of taking up a sport like running is there is a low barrier to entry. You don't need a lot of skill or equipment to get started running. Along the way you'll surely pick up a ton of running gear, but if you're just getting started, there are just three kinds of gear you need before you hit the pavement. 

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1. Running Shoes

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The most important investment any runner needs to make is in a high quality pair of running shoes. That means you shouldn't dig your old gym shoes from the back of your closet or wear those same trainers you've been wearing to your hip hop cardio class all year. The best running shoes are ones that fit your individual running needs. They must be comfortable, sized correctly (usually 1/2 to one full size bigger than your dress shoes), matched to your common running surface and your individual running mechanics.

While the selection of available running shoes may seem dizzying, if you break it down to your specific needs, it helps narrow the choices considerably. Not sure what to buy? Visit your local specialty running store and let an expert help you determine the best fit for you. It may be a little more expensive on the front end than picking up discount shoes online, but it's worth it to avoid wasting money and frustration on the wrong shoes. Are you within driving distance of Fort Worth? We'd love to help!

2. Running Clothes/Socks

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Since it's generally frowned upon to run naked, the next purchase you need to make is running apparel. You can choose your clothing gear to match your fashion tastes. Some runners want bright and outrageous colors from the latest high-quality running clothing manufacturers and others prefer nondescript workout clothes from an off-priced retailer. There's only one rule of running clothes: Avoid cotton. Cotton absorbs water (aka sweat) so cotton gear can weigh you down and show embarrassing sweat spots. Cotton socks hold on to moisture and can cause blisters. Running friends don't let friends wear cotton. Look for synthetic-rich materials, like polyester blends, that will wick away the moisture to keep you cool and dry. 

3. Running Belt

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If you run outdoors, you might want to carry some personal belongings with you during your workout. For safety and maybe selfies, it's a good idea to carry your phone with you. I always run with my ID in case of emergency and usually have a house or car key with me. You could try to shove all these things in your sock (or worse, bra), but a better idea is to purchase a small accessory belt to hold your belongings during your run. Running-specific accessory belts are made so they won't bounce around on your run. With today's modern and sleek designs you won't be mistaken for a tourist with a fanny pack. 

That's about all you'll need to get started on your running journey but I am sure you'll buy many more running accessories over the years. My husband can attest to my own overflowing drawers of gear, but don't feel like you need the latest GPS technology or all the fancy accessories before you get started. Lace up those shoes and answer the pull to the pavement. 

Come see us on Camp Bowie in Fort Worth for all the latest running shoes, clothing and accessories to cover all your running needs. 

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Author: Lea Genders

Lea Genders is a running coach and personal trainer in Fort Worth, TX that specializes in strength training for runners. Visit her on Mondays at Lone Star Walking & Running Company, on her strength & running blog at www.leagendersfitness.com or say hi to her and her favorite four-legged running partner over on Instagram at Runningwithollie