Running is a fairly low cost sport, they say. In order to run you don’t need to pay monthly fees or tie yourself into infernal gym contracts that you can never get out of. (That’s assuming you don’t run on the treadmill of course…) All you really need is a pair of runners, socks, tights, a decent running bra (unless you’re male) and a top. Sure you can then invest into a Garmin or a heart rate monitor or whatever gadgetry. My current (I have done this kind of post before) running essentials are these:
Shoes and socks
Nike Structure 17 at the moment. I just stick to the “Structures” and each time Nike “upgrades” them I can only hope they haven’t messed them up. Seems to be the only shoe for me. As for socks, I have tried many different kinds but always come back to the same pair of Nike socks. I am not even sure what they are called but I suspect they might be the Nike Elite Running Cushion Quarter socks.
In the winter I wear warm fleece running tights though I do also have a thinner full length pair when it isn’t cold enough for fleece but too cold for capris. In the summer, when it’s hot, I wear the ugliest shorts to keep a bit cooler. My most used pair, however, are my beloved capris.
I have a Nike Pro running bra. My running top is usually one of three: in the summer I have a Nike tank top which is made of this super light, almost see-through fabric. It’s lovely when it’s hot. When it gets a bit cooler I usually run in my neon t-shirt which I also usually try to wear for the very early runs when I need to be visible to cars in the poor pre-dawn light. In the winter I have a few long sleeved options but nothing too hot (I sweat like a wildebeest).
I also have a Belkin armband for my iPhone. I tend to just throw this in the washing machine when I wash my kit. My headphones are Yurbuds and my tracker is RunMeter.
And that’s pretty much it. Of course I also always need a black hairband to tie my braided hair and vaseline in strategic places to avoid chafing burns. Oh, and a sheet of Plenty kitchen towel to blow my nose and another to wrap around my keys to keep them from jingling in my pocket. And if it is really hot I will bring my “O” running bottle with a Nuun tablet dissolved into the water. Though lately I have been running without water, even the longer distances.
I am pretty superstitious about my kit and as a result I always wear the same thing. I bang it in the machine when I get home (with Halo detergent!) and it’s good to go by the time my next run is due. The kit has been used very hard and very often and it’s beginning to show…
I have had to order yet another pair of runners. I can kind of feel they are starting to go but the fact that I have again managed to punch a hole into them with my big toes kind of made this unavoidable.
Oh well, according to my tracking they lasted me for almost 980km so fair enough.
The weird thing is though, that the right shoe has the biggest hole – my running sock on that side (always the same socks) looks intact. However, my LEFT running socks does have a hole in it!
So I managed to find the Nikes a bit cheaper on Wiggle. The colour was a bit…bright but I will only have them for a few months anyway before I will need a new pair so I am sure I can live with it.. I have to say though, when I opened the box I nearly gasped (“oh my eyes!”)…
So yes, running is cheap but when you wear your kit as often as most runners do, and you wash it that regularly, even the highest quality stuff begins to meet it’s limitations. So you’ll regularly need new shoes and I suppose I am at a point where I just need to get myself a new pair of socks. And maybe some tights… And a top.. And definitely – a new armband.