List Of Important Running Gears And Accessories

People say that when you have a good pair of running shoes, you’re good to go. This is generally true, but if you want to make the most out of your running experience, you need to invest on some things.

Following are some of the important running gears and accessories that, although not required to make you a certified runner, can make your running comfortable and trouble-free.


1. Shorts.

Many varieties of running shorts are in the market today, but there are two that seem to stand out from the rest. One is the compression tights. Resembling cycling shorts, compression tights are made of fabrics that fit the body tightly so that when the runner is on the move, the muscles are held firmly. This compressive feature offers little chance of chafing. Also a favorite choice among runners, full split shorts have a slit on either side, which allows for the free movement of the leg. Although split shorts are typically short in length, they provide runners with unobstructed and easy stride.

2. Shirt.

Gone are the days of cotton shirts. Shirts with wicking quality, usually made of polyester, are the best choice for running. These types of shirt absorb sweat from the body and keep the temperature low. Thick, long-sleeved shirts are recommended for use during the cold climates and thin, short-sleeved shirts are for warm climates. For extra support and comfort, women are advised to wear sports bra.

3. Socks.

The best pair of running socks prevents blisters. Other sock brands also promise to keep the feet dry and in perfect condition even after running several miles.

4. Reflective vest.

When worn, reflective vest keeps the runner visible, making it very useful to people who run along the roadside or in the dark. It helps avoid accidents and calls attention when the runner is injured. In place of a reflective vest, some runners use reflective stickers, reflective jackets, and LED armbands.

5. Heart rate monitor.

This is important to people who like to keep track of their heart performance and improvements in the pulse. With a chest strap and wrist unit, heart rate monitor displays information on the heart rate and calories burned. Depending on the results of the heart rate monitor, a runner can figure if his training is working and at an appropriate intensity.

6. Running watch.

Because of its multiple uses, a running watch is almost a necessity. It can record distance, time, and pace. Most running watch models today also a have heart rate monitor function, and those that are even more advanced have GPS capabilities. GPS watches can monitor route and distance information, which can be downloaded and stored to track performance. They are a bit expensive, though.

7. Running belt.

One of the important running gears, especially among distance runners, running belt carries important items such as phone, keys, camera, and energy bars and gels. Most running belts are not bulky and do not bounce and budge while the runner is on the move.

How To Choose The Best Running Shoes

Although running barefoot was the preference of many running legends, it can’t be denied that running shoe is your most important equipment as a runner. It acts as your first line of defense against any danger and injury, while helping you achieve your fullest potential.

But because running shoes greatly affect your performance, choosing the best pair should be a careful process. To help you, here are a few buying tips.


  1. Know your foot type. There are three types: neutral-arched, mid-arched (overpronators), and high-arched (underpronators). One way of identifying your foot type is by checking your footprint. A neutral-arched foot shows a distinct curve along the inside of the foot, which connects the heel and the toe. This type of foot pronates normally, meaning that when the foot lands, the outside of the feet rolls inwardly in order to absorb shock. The mid-ached foot, in comparison, rolls far too inward so that the print shows a slight curve along the outside of the foot.

Mid-arched foot print looks almost like an entire foot; hence, the nickname flat foot. Among the three, mid-arched foot is the most prone to injuries. High-arched foot, on the other hand, doesn’t pronate enough, which is why its print has a very pronounced curve, showing a narrow band that links the heel and toe. Because the outside of the foot doesn’t evenly roll inward, it gets much of the stress.

  1. Choose the shoe that is compatible with your foot type. For neutral-arched foot, stability running shoes are appropriate. Made with supreme durability and cushioning, stability shoes offer medial support. Mid-arched foot runs best with motion-control shoes that function to reduce excessive foot inward rolling. Although quite heavy, they are durable, have firm midsoles, and adapt a straight shape for support. To promote foot motion, people with high-arched foot need to wear cushioned shoes. These have soft midsole and curved or semi-curved shape.

  2. Take note of the size. And make sure that the shoes fit you right. Some runners, however, mistake the appropriate fit for tightness. But with tight shoes on, you might end up with blisters and black toenails. The shoe with the right fit has about half-inch space in the toebox, leaving enough room for the foot when it swells during a run. The best shoe, without cramming it in, keeps the foot in place so that when you run or walk, the heel does not slip up or down.

  3. Try the running shoes on. Run with them. Jog with them. Walk with them on a treadmill. In other words, never leave the store without finding how the shoes work in your feet. To make a better judgment, use the socks you normally wear when running. Another important point: Try shoes on in the afternoon, when your feet are in their largest size. And because both feet have different measurements, one is always larger than the other, make sure to measure both and go by the size of the larger foot.

  4. Avoid being floored by style. When it comes to running shoes, function comes before style. So don’t be tempted to buy the handsomest, most stylish, and latest pair in the market; rather, get the shoes that will most likely allow you to perform superbly.


Common Running Injuries: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Although running is perhaps the simplest form of sport and exercise, it is highly susceptible to injuries. Running injuries are not uncommon among runners—novice or long-time.

And if you’ve been running for a while, you most likely have experienced any of these common injuries:


1. Runner’s knee

Also referred to as iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), runner’s knee is characterized by the tenderness of the iliotibial band (ITB), the connective tissue outside the thigh, and causes friction between the ITB and thigh bone. Runner’s knee results from overpronation, overtraining, tight ITB either naturally or due to lack of stretching, wrong shoes, weak hip muscles, and too much hill running.

People with runner’s knee feel pain and inflammation outside the knee. Pain is most pronounced when running downhill or on cambered surfaces, when knees are stretched, and even when simply walking upstairs and downstairs. At the onset of pain, running must be immediately stopped. Intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), cold therapy, and massage can reduce the pain. In severe cases, especially when the injury does not respond to any treatment or rehabilitation, corticosteroid injection is performed onto the site of injury.

2. Shin splints

Shin splints is a widely used term to refer to the pain at the front of the lower leg. The injury is commonly caused by intense running, bad footwear, running on hard surfaces, and poor ankle flexibility. Runners with shin splints experience pain inside the lower half shin, which usually extends to the knee, at the beginning of the run. The pain subsides while running but comes back after with a more stabbing intensity. Redness and lumps in the shin may also develop.

Treatment is centered around abating the pain, especially during the early stage when the pain is intolerable. It includes rest, massage, and cold therapy. Intake of NSAIDs is also advisable.

3. Achilles tendinitis

Because it is no longer considered an inflammatory condition, Achilles tendinitis is now often called Achilles tendinopathy. It is a condition in which the Achilles tendon, a band of tissues connecting the calf muscles—gastrocnemius and soleus—to the heel bone, is inflamed, and which may eventually cause degenerated tissue and scarring. Achilles tendinitis is generally caused by overworking the tendon, either by subjecting it to excessive pressure or forcing it to work under abnormal conditions. Factors include weak or tight calf muscles, excessive uphill running,  wrong shoes, abrupt changes in distance and speed, and weak ankle joints.

Achilles tendonitis is categorized into two: acute and chronic. The pain associated with acute tendonitis only lasts at the beginning of the run and may ease during and after the exercise. It doesn’t stay for more than a week. Chronic Achilles tendonitis, on the other hand, can go for weeks and months. Pain is consistent all throughout the run and when walking up or downstairs. Tenderness and redness may be apparent at the site of injury. Lumps may also develop.

Like other running injuries, Achilles tendinitis can be treated with NSAIDs. Massage, heel pad, casting, ultrasound treatment, and rehabilitation are also effective ways to correct the injury. In the case of serious injury, surgery is performed to remove the scar tissue.


Losing Weight With Running

Running is one of the best ways of losing weight, as attested to by many experts and the hundreds of thousands of runners who had lost weight.

If your immediate goal right now is losing weight, running is one of the best alternatives. It is almost without cost. It might even be the cheapest weight loss program bar none.


The doctor

The very first person you have to see and talk about your plan of losing weight is your doctor. Only he would know for sure everything about you, your body, your health and the things that may be good or bad for you.

After you get your doctor’s permission, begin to implement your plan of losing weight through running – gradually at first. For some, walking for a short period of time is a good start.

Walking will first help you improve your cardiovascular health. After which, you may begin to do some slow jogging. Follow this up with running after a time.

Your body needs to be familiar with the new regular activity. Your trainer and your doctor could give you a timetable.

Slow and gradual

Once you are into regular running according to plan, you do not do sprints right away in the hope of losing weight faster. Also wrong would be to overdo the length or the time limit of your running, again in the hope of losing weight faster.

Starting out slow and gradual in your running program can give you the room to modify, change, or scrap some parts of your program until you are comfortable and satisfied with it.


Changing your workout routine is one very important consideration in your weight loss program. To those who do not understand this, there is a big tendency that runners might abandon their running routine at this time.

After some time when a runner had already been deep into his running program, the body stops losing weight.

The simple explanation is that the body readily adapts to any new situation and can become accustomed to a running program. By this time, the body becomes very efficient and only requires fewer calories to do the same amount of work.

The unfortunate side effect is that the body stops losing weight as well.

After weeks of running, and after losing some amount of weight, you may find that your weight loss slows down. Sometime later, you will notice that your weight stays as is, unable to lose a single pound.

One way to resolve this is to vary the distance, length or intensity of your running. You may increase the length to about 3 to 4 miles, or lengthening the time each day, or perhaps running at a faster pace.

Doing this can challenge the muscles anew. The body cannot become more efficient and has to burn some calories to complete the new additional requirement.

In addition, you can help challenge the body by doing some changes in your diet. A potent combination in losing weight is increased activity levels and dietary changes.

All in all, keep to your schedule and your program. After a while, your weight goal can be achieved and you will stile enjoy the activity of running.


Indoor Running

Among runners, there are two opposing camps debating on the merits of running indoors, particularly on top of a treadmill. One faction is very vocal in its dislike of these man made contraptions that are very popular equipment in spas and gyms.

The other group is equally at home running on treadmills as well as doing their jogging outdoors. These runners do not particularly like one over the other. Most often, the reason they give on why they use treadmills is convenience rather than preference.


Treadmills are preferred and popular in smog-filled urban areas and outdoor running are enjoyed by those in suburban places where smog is not yet a menace.


There are many reasons given by treadmill users and fans regarding their preference of the gym’s most-used equipment.

Treadmills are consistent and familiar all throughout. Aside from the safety factor in running indoors, treadmill users like the familiarity aspect of the equipment. What is more, you can set the speed and the incline of the contraption.

In treadmills, you do not have to worry about rains, extreme heat, or snow. In the comforts of a closed indoor space, you can work out to your heart’s content.

You can safely wear your iPods and headphones and listen to your favorite music while exercising. (For relative safety, use of headphones for music listening had been discouraged for outdoor runners.)

Running outdoors

On the other side of the discussion, there are runners who will brave the most inhospitable weather like a heavy downpour rather than run on top of a treadmill.

For them, the visual stimulation of the sights afforded them during their runs adds up to the appeal of outdoor running. Some runners who can run up to 10 miles outdoors get bored after only a couple of miles on a treadmill.

More treadmill uses

For anti-treadmill runner, there are other ways to make treadmill use more exciting than usual. One can open some seldom-used controls of the machine and use them to your advantage.

One way is to incorporate sprints in your workouts. After warming up for about 10 minutes in a leisurely pace, increase the speed and do a sprint for about 2 minutes.

Afterwards, slow the pace and do some jogging for a few minutes until your heartbeat falls to about 120 beats a minute. Speed up the machine again and do a sprint for another 2 minutes or so.

Another way is to take advantage of the pre-programmed courses on most of the new models of treadmills. These courses include several changes in speed and incline. Runners who have tried them swear they are no different from those natural elements they meet in outdoor running.

Still another use of the treadmill for runners is to use them to train for faster speeds, say, if you are angling to enter in your local 5K run. Begin by incorporating short sprint intervals in your treadmill running starting as short as 30seconds of your desired speed.

Once the 30-seconds intervals become easy gradually elongate these intervals into longer and longer time frames until you can run the entire course at this speed.

Who says indoor running is boring?

Dressed Up For Running

Running, one of the world’s most popular sports, is actually the most ideal of them all. What makes it ideal is the fact that it is a very simple, healthy kind of sport and that it does not entail buying any expensive gear at all.

The benefits are the same but the investment needed is so low. With just the basics (clothing and a sturdy pair of shoes), one can simply get up and run.


Other sports need some very expensive sets of equipments (golf, rock climbing), while others need an organization for one to be able to join (basketball, football).


The most important piece of equipment for a runner is a good pair of running sneakers. Quality is important because it avoids injuries and gives comfort while running.

For newcomers who are not savvy enough about running shoes, the best places to go to are stores that specialize in selling running shoes.

(Some athletic equipment stores are also big enough to carry a wide selection of these shoes. They are the second best ones after these shoe specialty stores, in case there are none in your area.)

Shoe specialty stores have clerks that are very knowledgeable about their only wares. Sometimes, these stores videotape their customers running on a treadmill first. This is to check on the customers’ running styles before making any suggestions.

After making suggestions, the sales person may ask the customer to run in each of the candidate pairs to further determine what pair is best. (Of course, the customer will pick his preference according to what feels most comfortable.)

Socks are also recommended because they are part of the running gear. Socks that do not fit properly or are not designed for running can cause blisters and other foot injuries.


A runner should also invest in quality clothing fit for the season. Shorts or pants, shirts in short and long sleeves and with the right thickness should be carefully matched for each season that the runner intends to run.

Clothes which can wick moisture away from the runner’s skin can help keep the runner cool and dry.

Additional gears

Other pieces of clothing that a runner may bring along include such things as hats and raingears or extra clothing designed for wind protection and other weather situations.

Hats with wide brims protect the eyes from the sun. Waterproof jackets and pants are for runners who do not mind some rain and still do their running.

Some seasoned runners or those who are health-conscious bring with them gadgets to help them in their running program. Speed and distance monitors and watches designed for running are useful but not exactly very necessary.

Heart monitors help the runner tweak his program to ensure he is training at the right intensity. Speed and distance monitors give out data such as how far he has run and how fast his pace he is running.

These little devices (now installed with a GPS system) also allow storing information for future use or reference. Nowadays, some runners fight off outside noise distractions (and probably boredom, too) by listening to music while running. Safety experts, however, discourage this practice while running outdoors to prevent car accidents, muggings and other dangers.


Fueling Your Running

Like a car, a runner who wants to operate at his most optimum potential needs his particular set of fuels. He needs the right combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to fuel his running.

Each of these food groups has a specific function to fulfill in the body. Getting the right amount and mix of these important nutrients is the right step on-wards to success in your sport.



The primary fuel for exercising muscles and for high-intensity exercises are carbohydrates. The athlete’s body needs around 50 to 65% carbohydrates in his food intake to support training.

Lacking enough carbohydrates causes the body to under-perform and cannot burn fats as effectively as it should during workouts. It should be the staple of your diet before, during and after each exercise, including intervals throughout the day.

Carbohydrates abound in such food as whole grain breads, pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, corn, beans, and low-fat dairy products.

These days, many people make do with easily digestible carbohydrates from sports drinks or gels. Consult your sports nutritionist for the exact amounts of your carbohydrates requirements.


Proteins are important because they build and repair muscles, ligaments, and tendons – all essentials in becoming a strong athlete.

You can get your proteins from such sources as egg whites, poultry (with the skin), fish, ground turkey or chicken breast, lean ground beef, game meat, nuts, tofu and soy milk and low-fat dairy products.

They are more important after workouts than before or during. This is because proteins help the body repair itself after strenuous activities like exercises and workouts.

The more you run (or train as an athlete) the more you need proteins to a point. Your needs depend on how many hours a week you run, or if you are trying to lose body fat or if you are lifting weights.


The last food group, fat, helps sustain prolonged exercises at lower intensities. Our bodies have enough stored fat to fuel prolonged exercise.

However, fat is difficult to use for quick energy. This is why carbohydrates are the choice fuel during most exercises.

Athletes need about 20 to 30% of calories from fats. Healthy sources of fats include fatty fish (salmon for omega 3 fatty acids), nuts and natural peanut butter, avocado, olive oil, and canola oil.

Unfortunately, most people get too much fat in their diets. What is worse is that too much of these fat come from unhealthy fats (saturated and trans-fats from sausages, burgers, French fries, donuts, sweets and many more).

Correct balance

For an athlete, achieving the right balance of these three all-important food groups is the first step to fulfill your potential. Your day-to-day diet had to be adjusted accordingly to support your training.

Since everyone is different from the next person, it is important that your diet is suited to your exact personal body needs. You can only get these exact data from a nutrition professional how can develop and plan a personalized nutrition plan for you.

Remember, running (especially competitive running) can be as strenuous as any other energy use-intensive sports. Your body fuel should not be taken lightly.


Running as Part of Weight Loss Systems

There are logically numerous weight loss systems these days that are introduced and marketed to help people trim fats and excessive pounds. Many people note that these weight management systems are impressive and are well targeted. The most popular and proven effective are those that involve physical activities like regular walking and running.

More emphasis is given to running, which is identified by experts as a good form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise.


Perhaps, peoples’ greatest concern now aside from earning more money is to have a perfect shape or a sexy body. And because fashion and sexiness have always been associated with well-maintained bodies, people think being skinny or slim is equivalent to being sexy and beautiful. Do not be surprised to see more people running around the open park especially in the morning. Running is a cost effective way to sweat and bring about cardiovascular challenge to the body.

Running is as effective as using a tread mill. In fact, this exercise machine has been developed and manufactured to facilitate running indoors. You must be wondering why tread mills do not fail to be included in basic gym facilities. Indeed, running is a good form of exercise. It is effective in making people sweat and in the process speed up metabolism of stored fats and calories.

Losing weight is not as easy as anyone could think. You would surely assert that it is far easier to gain weight than to lose it. How could you find and get the perfect weight loss systems that would help you attain your target weight? Choose programs that not only focus on diets. Systems with recommended physical activities and exercises like running would truly be more effective.

Because there are many weight loss systems now available and introduced in the market, all you have to do is to collect and then choose the system that would go with your preferences and lifestyle. There are weight loss systems that are too strict, while there are others that are easier to take. Some weight loss systems would recommend or mandate taking in diet pills or a weight loss supplement to suppress appetite. As mentioned, on top of the drugs, there would also be recommended exercises to be executed regularly, plus nutritional or diet plans.

If you are taking a weight loss system, it would be important to abide by the recommendations. Strictly following instructions and mandates of such weight loss programs would be of great help in ensuring that you would eventually attain your target weight. Incorporate daily, yet simple exercises into your lifestyle. Running in the neighborhood every morning is a good aerobic and cardiovascular workout to help the body accelerate metabolism and fat burning.

To choose the best weight loss systems, you could ask your friends or doctors for recommendation. Other than that, weight loss program providers usually heavily advertise their weight loss systems so you would not miss the programs. Online ad pages would also help you choose and purchase the weight loss system you are eyeing. Take note that the systems would surely help you get that ideal weight you are aiming to have.

If running, walking, or doing simple physical exercises are required by the systems perform the exercise tasks regularly. Nobody said losing weight would be easy. It could be hard to shed off excess weight but it would be obviously and logically be worth it.



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Running: A Form of Workout for the Legs and the Body

Are you in search of a perfect workout to achieve the perfect shape for the legs and body? You need not consult your fitness trainers nor check out exercise workout regimens. In fact, you do not need to spend significantly in enrolling in a gym membership.

The best workout that experts could recommend to you is running. It may sound a bit odd, but running up your stairs at work, home, or escalators should take a good part of your own physical training and rigorous daily routine.


Running up several flights of stairs could serve as an effective cardiovascular exercise. Doing so could surely help your body burn thousands of calories per minute. If there are stairs at home or on your way to the office, consider running up or running down them. When you start the activity, be sure to do it right. Yes, there is a proper way to run so you would not injure yourself and your body would reap the benefits of the physical task.

The first thing you should do when you are running is to check your own body posture. The body definitely needs to be upright. The shoulders should stay relaxed throughout the activity. Raise your feet as high as you comfortably could and at the same time swing both of your arms as you continue moving up (as in running up the stairs) or down (running down).

To make the activity a good form of workout, run about 20 steps up before walking down to where you started. Do the task for several times until you recover your own breath. Try not to run double steps at once. It is normal to run out of breath and feel too tired when running. You would notice that when you run regularly or everyday, your body could manage to comfortably run longer. In the process, your hips, thigh, and your abdomen would get better shapes.

When running up or down the stairs, do not forget the fact that there surely are risks or dangers in doing so. Be very careful especially in putting your feet on each step of the stairs. When you walk down, do so quite slowly, not too slowly. You may use banisters if you are feeling too tired and at the same time shaky.

Running up you stairs could in fact physically train most of your body muscles all at the same time. If you do so regularly, your fitness level could further improve quickly. Expect your overall personality to also improve, especially your mood. This is because for sure, your life would get brighter and better if you see many inches vanish from your waist. Initially, try running once every week.

On the succeeding weeks, increase your workout. Run up to three times weekly. A 20-minute running session would definitely do your body good. However, as a form of warning, never run more than your body could actually endure. Do not compromise your overall safety when running.


Tips For Long Distance Running

Are you shooting for your first long distance running event? For some long-time runners, training for such an event—5 kilometer, 10 kilometer, half marathon, or marathon—is not so much of a problem. For first-time distance runners, however, training is quite laborious and boring.

If you are currently undergoing training, the following tips can help you get by and prepare you for an experience as exciting as long distance running:

long distance

  1. Take some rest days between the trainings. Doing so will give your body ample time to recover energy and reestablish muscle stamina. Some runners have a week or two of rest in between days of hard workouts. For relatively easy workouts, they schedule at least one day-off.

  2. Mind your pace. Running long-distance is less about running fast, but is more about covering as many miles as you can. To be able to do this, you need to conserve your energy and run slow during the first few miles. Change your pace as you progress and approach the finish line.

  3. Work on improving your speed. Allot two to three days of fast running per week. There will be times, however, that your body won’t feel like working at a faster speed. Don’t push, as your body is trying to recover energy.

  4. Increase your mileage. Successful distance runners increase their mileage at a gradual pace. Some of them add two to three miles after every week of training, while others have an easier approach, only adding a few more strides at the end of every run. But because your body works differently, you can design or look for a training plan that can help you increase your mileage at a proper intensity.

  5. Put some diversity. To take the monotony out of your training, make sure to run different routes from time to time, run at different paces in a single session, and run at different paces on given days. The thing is, because running is most likely the same each day, you need to make it a little more exciting, something you always want to look forward to.

  6. Have a running partner at certain points of your run. It’s okay to run solo, some runners even prefer it, but without someone to talk to the entire run, training gets impossibly boring. Try to catch up with someone, or agree to meet with a fellow runner halfway through the run. Of course, you have to be willing to change your pace to encourage small talks.

  7. Listen to music. Long distance running is a mental activity as much as it is a physical challenge, so you need to get motivated and inspired to keep your body moving. Music does it well by keeping your mind off the physical discomforts of running and relaxing your mental state. During a run, bring an mp3 player with you and load it up with inspirational or your favorite music. Make sure your player has enough battery life to last the entire run.

  8. Bring energy foods with you. Not only will they pump up your energy level, they also will give you something else to do other than running. It is also wise to have water or energy drink to keep you hydrated during your training for long distance running.