What do Beginning Runners Really Need?

Susan S. Paul, MS Training Program Director for Track Shack 
It’s the season for New Year's Resolutions! Are you, or someone you know, considering taking up running in the New Year?  Running is such a simple, effective, and economical form of exercise that it’s a top choice for many but will you succeed in becoming a regular runner?   

Did you know that half of all new exercisers drop out within the first three months?  Why do some exercisers succeed while others do not? Well, apparently success is up to YOU because the experts tell us that success depends primarily upon the level of readiness on the part of the participant.

So, if success depends upon your "readiness" level, then the next question is, can you improve your "readiness" level?  The answer is Yes! Absolutely! 

And, here's how to stack the odds in your favor.... according to a recent study on exercise adherence, the two biggest factors identified as helpful to success were group support and appropriate gear.  Now, seriously, that really should come as no surprise. Think about it, would you send your child off to soccer practice without the right gear or without signing them up with a team and a coach? Of course not! So, apply that same level of care to yourself. 

Set yourself up for the best of success by joining one of our training programs and getting the right gear before you start. Doing these two very simple things will give you the best opportunity to fulfill your goals. 

Check out Track Shack, the local running and walking headquarters for more information on these essentials and Group Training Programs. Group training is a cost effective way to have a coach and group support. And, here are my recommendations for the right gear to get you started.  Happy Running! 


1) Shoes Yes, having the right shoes for you are a non-negotiable item and worth every penny. Get a proper shoe fit by an expert at Track Shack and make sure you are in the perfect shoe for you. The right shoe provides comfort, but even more importantly, they also make you a more efficient runner which reduces your risk of injury.
2) Women sports bra  Men NipGuards®.   Women need to be fit for a supportive running bra and men need to protect their nipples from chafing. 


3) Watch It doesn't have to be an elaborate GPS system. A simple watch with a stopwatch function for measuring the length of time you exercise is perfectly adequate. A watch allows you to note your progress and increase in gradual increments.  If you want to measure distance and/or your run pace and other running metrics, then purchase a GPS system. 
4) Socks – Moisture wicking fabrics and a good fit are key for comfort and avoiding blisters 
5) Running belt A running belt can hold your phone, keys, water bottles, snacks, etc. This frees up your hands and reduces the worry of what to do with these important items while you run.  Many belts are reflective so they also provide some safety measure.     
6) Body Glide® – A lubricant that helps eliminate chafing and blisters. Apply it anywhere you might experience friction like your feet, inner thighs, and under your arms.


7) Sunglasses – Depending upon the time of day you run, sunglasses can offer important protection 
8) Mittens or gloves – Now that it's cooler, it's important to keep your hands warm on chilly days
9) Foam roller – Assist your recovery between workouts, promote your flexibility, and boost your circulation by rolling tight muscles with a foam roller. It's easy to do, even while watching TV! 
10) Tech running clothing – Short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, shorts, and running tights in fabrics made to wick away moisture from your skin. This will help keep you comfortable in a wide variety of temperatures.  Layering up shirts keeps you warm when temps are chilly. Remember, the more comfortable you are, the more you will enjoy your new sport! 

Group training programs for youth and adults start in January and are offered year round. Our training programs support youth adults along the journey to attaining better health and fitness. For more information, run to TrackShack.com.

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