Running is great! It’s free, its great for mind and body, it’s open to all and contrary to popular belief latest research is showing it can be good for your joints. When people discuss this notion with us we do tend to agree, but like so many things, only if it is done correctly.
One of the great things about running is that there are so many challenges available, speed, distance, terrain to name a few and can become quickly addictive.
So if you have been bitten by the running bug (or would like to be) here are the five things that we feel every runner should have, especially if you are looking to take your running to the next level.
- The right shoes
The most important investment! People often ask is what are the best shoes. The answer to this is ….the right ones.
What we mean by this is that there isn’t ‘a best shoe’. The purpose of the shoe is to support and enhance your natural foot biomechanics. So whilst there are leading brands such as ASICS, Saucony, Brooks, New Balance, Mizuno to name a few, we strongly recommend having your feet assessed by an independent running store first. You will be taking a lot of steps in those shoes, and the right pair can become your biggest love.
2. A piece of tracking kit
Whilst it can be refreshing to just run without any information, we are a fan of some stats! It is lovely to know how far you have run and what speed. The good news is that advancements in technology have allowed such technology to be free to any smartphone user. There are multiple apps that track your movements via GPS. However, we have a clear favourite….STRAVA. If you are not aware of Strava we think of it as Facebook for endurance athletes. Download it, press record and enjoy the array of information now available. This will allow you to track your progress and be inspired by your own improvements. You can also see how your friends are doing and how you compare to the local community who run the same routes as you.
If you are looking to go one step beyond we strongly recommend a GPS watch. Again there are multiple with Garmin being the leading provider. These allow you to run with live information telling you information such as distance, pace, average pace, calories and heart rate. A fantastic piece of kit for any runner and also a good item for a birthday or Christmas list ?.
3. Heart rate monitor
We believe strongly in running on heart rate. This could be a new blog as we could go into lots of details on this. However, we believe the heart rate is a key indicator of training at the appropriate levels. So if you are looking to develop your running we believe you would enjoy the information provided by a heart rate monitor. We have used both chest strap ones and wrist ones (included in a GPS watch) and we find the chest strap ones to be far more accurate.
4. Lacrosse ball
This was a subject of another blog that can be seen here. We love the lacrosse ball. This is our ‘go to’ tool for self massage. The smaller size (compared to a foam roller) but stronger density (compared to a tennis ball) make it perfect for rolling out those muscle knots following a good run. Remember prehab is better than rehab. Prevent those injuries from occurring with regular rolling and self maintenance.
Protein allows muscles to grow and repair. Once you stop running, your work isn’t done! It is time to recover. Stretching is a part of this but so is refueling. The replacement of water and electrolytes is very important as is the adoption of protein. Protein shakes are a very popular way to do this. However, chocolate milk is also a great post workout drink to provide a protein hit and leave those muscles ready for the next run!