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Running essentials: a new runners guide

I’ve mentioned here a few times that I’m now running five to six days a week. I finally feel like I’m in a good groove with running for the first time in my entire life. The funny thing is, though, that it never feels easy. I’m clearly in better shape. I can run faster and longer than before, but I still find it mentally really hard some days and physically, I’m still out of breath and have sore legs sometimes.

With that said, I started off doing a 12-13 minute mile a few months ago and felt completely defeated but kept on going. I just did a 5K last week at a 9:22 mile. That’s a huge change in a  couple of months and so even though it feels hard still, I have proof that I’m getting in better shape.

running

You can too. Maybe walking is better for now. Or maybe you can make time for an exercise video at home. Whatever it is that can work for you, I encourage you to start today. I made every excuse in the book for myself for nearly a year until I felt physically just bad. I felt heavy and had frequent headaches. I had low energy and was kind of irritable. I wasn’t my best self so I just started.

I’ve learned to appreciate the mental challenge of running, but some days are much harder than others. After chatting with friends who I call “real runners,” I’ve slowly found the best gear to help make running easier. I now only own four pairs of running bottoms, six tops, three sports bras, one pair of shoes and a few pairs of running socks. I got rid of things I didn’t feel 100% comfortable in, so while I have to do more laundry, I always have my most comfortable running gear available. Here are my recommendations.

For your feet
Brooks Glycerin 13
I just purchased these and I went from having shin splints to a really comfortable ride with no more pain. They are incredibly comfortable for me. But, they are an investment. You may be better off heading to your local running store. Have them check you and help you decide what’s best for you. If you aren’t running daily, you can probably get by with something else and save some money. That’s what I did for a long time and it was fine.

To hold your stuff
Spibelt.
A friend who runs a lot recommended this to me a few months back. I was tired of carrying my iPhone and remembered not liking the arm bands when I used to run with them. This has been a huge change for me. It’s very comfortable, holds my phone, keys and any other necessities.

Handling your hair
Headbands. I get really distracted when my hair gets in my eyes, nose or mouth while running. I have to wear headbands. Some people hate them, so this may or may not be helpful for you. .

What to wear
My favorite running pants.
I actually pick these up at Nordstrom Rack for about 40% off. They are comfortable. Be sure you get the ones with the wide waist band-so much better.
My favorite running shirt. Love this one! But my true favorite is one I got from a race a couple of years ago.
My favorite sports bra. Target’s bras continue to be my favorite.
My favorite socks. I don’t think Gold Toe socks are meant for running necessarily, but I started using them because my real running socks just felt too thick. These are so soft, comfortable and I don’t actually notice them which I consider a win.

Are you a runner? Any recommendations for winter? I plan to run a little in winter, or at least run to the gym which is pretty close to my house. I’d love some help deciphering winter gear too.

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