5 best running essentials

Running kit every runner needs

I’ve drawn up a list of five things every runner should have. If there is something on the list that you don't already have, then now might be a good time to invest. So here goes...

Written by Scott Overall

Scott is a British long distance athlete who represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympics. His marathon PB is currently 2:10:55.

Running shoes

Without a doubt, the most important thing a runner needs is a pair of RUNNING shoes. You wouldn't believe the number of people I see running in the wrong type of footwear. There is simply no need for it with the number of specialist running stores around the country now. Everyone has a different foot strike and you can get a pair of running shoes to provide the support you need to match your foot strike. Some shoes have more cushioning and others more support, so it’s important to find ones that are right for you. Wearing the wrong footwear can do some serious damage to your feet, and also cause other injuries. So if you don't want physio vouchers as your number one on this list, get the correct pair of shoes!

Runner in snow

Foam Roller

There are many advantages of getting a massage, but they can be expensive. Yet there are alternative devices to aid recovery. A foam roller is perhaps the most basic yet must beneficial tool for this, because rolling muscles over the roller can help a huge amount in between runs. Basically it is a DIY myofascial release. If you're running a number of miles during the week then you want to take care of your legs and prevent injuries. 10 minutes on a foam roller every day is something that everyone can make time for.

A training partner

Running is hard at the best of times, but running on your own is even harder, especially in the winter. I have mentioned a number of times about how running with someone makes things a whole lot easier. Having someone there to meet up with, and also push you in training can help no end. Just make sure you find someone that is a similar standard to yourself, otherwise it might prove complicated. You are always going to run faster in training when you have someone else there, as that competitive streak will always come out! Even better than a training partner would be a training group, however these might be harder to find. But it is worth having a go so get down to a local athletics club.

GPS watch

I was reluctant to put this on the list as I think sometimes runners can get too reliant on watches, especially on the easy days. I am a big believer in running how you feel, so if you're tired, slow down. Every training day doesn't have to be HARD. If you have a device on your wrist telling you that you’re running slower than you did last week, you'll be tempted to up the pace. Trust in the training you’re doing, and don't get wrapped up in what the watch is telling you. Obviously there is a time and a place for knowing how fast you're running and then they are an invaluable tool. So used in the right way, I would put this on your wish list for sure! 

A goal

Why are you going out running in the rain, wind and snow? Why are you skipping Saturday nights out to feel fresh Sunday morning? The reason, because you want to run FAST! You want to do everything possible to make sure you get the best out of yourself. With this in mind you should have a goal, a target, and a focus. It could be a race, a time goal, or even a position in a race. Just make sure you have a goal in mind while you are out there slugging it out in the depths of winter!  

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