7 Running Gear Essentials Video
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Video:7 Running Gear Essentials

with Laura Wilson

This video explains seven running gear essentials, including footwear, running accessories, and clothing.See Transcript

Transcript:7 Running Gear Essentials

Laura Wilson here for About.com. I love the simplicity of running. I don't have to pay for a gym membership or fancy equipment, and I get to enjoy the outdoors while I workout. But, to avoid injury and stay comfortable, it is essential that the gear you do need for this sport is just right.

<h3>Good Shoes Are the Most Important Running Gear Essentials</h3>
Your shoes are the most important tool for a safe and injury-free run. Make sure you buy from a reputable running-focused store; the clerk should examine your feet and gait both with and without you shoes. <br><br>
Typically, stores will even let you try running around the block in your new shoes. If your feet overpronate or underpronate, you may want to invest in custom-made orthotics to insert into your shoes. And if you run regularly, make sure you buy a new pair of shoes every year.

<h3>Synthetic Clothes and Socks Are Essential Running Gear</h3>
Most running clothes are made of synthetic fabrics, which will wick moisture away from your body and dry faster than cotton. These fabrics prevent chafing in hot weather, and will keep you warm in winter. Also, invest in clothes with reflectors so you can run safely any time of day.
The socks you choose are almost as important as your shoes; they are your barrier against blisters and athletes foot. Again, stick with synthetics, or in winter, with blends like SmartWool.

<h3>Water and ID Are Essentials for Running</h3>
Depending on the time of year and your running distance, you may want to invest in a waterbelt or Camelback. You can also choose to run routes that include water fountains instead.
Your mom would insist - always run with an ID and a little cash. You never know what can happen. There really isn’t a need to invest in an extra holder or belt; most running pants and shorts now include a pocket or pouch.

<h3>A Running Watch and Sun Protection Are Essentials for Running</h3>
For a runner hoping to improve performance, a running watch can be a good investment. It will help you track your goals, and make it home in time for dinner. Personally, I use my iPod to keep track of time, and now, if you have the right shoes, you can even sync it to measure your mileage.
If you run during the day, make sure you wear sunblock. If you need additional protection, you can wear a hat or visor. Some runners use polarized sunglasses as well, but I prefer not to have them slipping down my face.

<h3>Foam Stretching Aids Can Be Essential Running Gear</h3>
Finally, I strongly recommend that every runner invest in a foam roller or a set of stretching aids. The repetitive movements involved in running often cause your leg and back muscles to tighten up, sometimes causing injury. I use a foam roller to stretch out my IT band, and this little tool to ease my calves and glutes.
These seven running gear essentials, while simple and inexpensive, will help you make the most out of each run. For About.com, I'm Laura Wilson.

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