The Only Two Pieces of Kit You Need to Start Running

It’s been a month since I wrote about some of my fitness goals for the year ahead and a big one that I’ve been struggling with this month is running, thanks to a painful blister that’s taken ages to heal. I’m going running tonight for the first time in two weeks and so I wanted today’s fitness post to be about this love/hate pastime of mine, more specifically the only two items you need to start running.

Sometimes it can feel like there are huge barriers in the way to make us think we can’t do X,Y,Z workout. I’m all for looking and feeling great in your fitness gear but having a pretty pair of leggings isn’t an essential requirement of exercising. One of the best parts of running is that it can be done anywhere, for free – no gym membership required.

I often think that the hardest part of running is self motivation, and just lacing up your trainers and heading out the front door. It really is about that mental attitude and telling yourself that you’ll feel better for a run and trust me, you will. Even if it’s just around the block and back.

So, attitude aside, forget the slogan t-shirts or thinking that you don’t have enough time in the day – here are the only two pieces of kit that you really need to start running.

Running trainersA well fitting pair of trainers

The right footwear can make all the difference when it comes to making it outside for that second run. If your feet aren’t comfortable and properly cared for during your run, you won’t enjoy it, simple as that. Unless you favour barefoot running, the key to finding a good pair of trainers is gait analysis.

This is something that measures how and where the feet fall when you run – it’s about your hips, alignment and posture as much as it is about your feet. Most running shops offer gait analysis, where a qualified member of staff will watch you run on a treadmill, ask you to stand in certain stances and check the position of your arches to determine what type of running trainer you need.

This can be intimidating, but a good running shop will make you feel at ease and make sure you have the right level of support for your needs.

Shock Absorber Run BraA well fitting sports bra

Are you sensing a theme with the whole ‘well fitting’ thing? I cannot emphasise enough how important a correctly fitting sports bra is, regardless of your cup size. Strange but true, I once fitted bras like this for a living, and it pains me when I see a woman running who clearly isn’t wearing the right level of support.

I’d always recommend getting yourself fitted for a sports bra (my personal favourite is the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra) but here are some pointers if you’re shopping for one solo:

Two regular bras do not equal one sports bra – yes, this doubling up technique does exist and no, it isn’t as effective has one properly fitting sports bra
The waistband should be super tight – you should be able to fit no more than two fingers between your back and the bra
Experiment with size – it’s essential that you’re not wobbling around in there, so even though you might be a 32C in La Senza, your sports bra might be a 30D.
Start on the loosest hooks – as with any bra, your new sports bra should be tightest when it’s on the outer hooks, so that you can tighten it as it wears through washing and exercise.
Have a little jump in the changing room – no one will judge you and it will help if you’re in any doubt that your sports bra doesn’t fit properly.

The Sweaty Betty tank tops and Lululemon race shorts can come later – if you have your sports bra and trainers sorted, plus that self-motivation we talked about, there shouldn’t be any barriers to hitting the pavement.

Do you enjoy running? What are your tips for first-timers?

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