Running is an activity that many perform in their daily lives. People who are uneducated about the vital aspects of running apparel put on anything they see laying on their dresser and go out. Well, you may ask, “What’s the problem with that? I do the same thing. It’s just a little run.” You may think that now, however, incorrect clothing can prevent and restrain you from performing at your highest ability.
I’m going to break this down for you in two parts to provide a detailed understanding. First, and the most obvious, clothing made specifically for running is essential to fully achieve and grasp your full potential. Secondly, proper shoes are essential for any physical activity to protect your body and allow you to run properly.
Seasonal Running Gear and Clothes
Just like styles in clothing change, different seasons require variety in regards to running gear and clothing. Think about it, would you wear a puffy jacket in the middle of June? Of course not. For mild weather, you want to wear a short-sleeved top that is soft, sweat-absorbent and lightweight. It’s vital to wear absorbent tops to prevent your sweat from overtaking you and overheating your body. With a good pair of tights or shorts specifically made for strenuous activity, you’ll see a major difference in your activity capacity.
For hot weather, wear apparel that doesn’t restrain your movement and allows the breathability throughout your clothes. For example, cropped tanks and shorts made out of material such as nylon and athletic wool contain your sweat. It may sound unorthodox to wear wool in the summer, but a thin layered top made of wool absorbs almost a third of its weight in moisture without feeling soaked. Heat is a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and wool prevents the bacteria from spreading anywhere else, yet naturally fights it. This, in turn, prevents any unwanted sickness, especially in hot weather. Likewise, nylon is a synthetic material that is more
moisture absorbing, durable, stretchy, lightweight and has a quick drying time which is perfect for hot weather.
For cold weather, wear clothes that keep you covered and warm, but still don’t restrict your movement and once again allow breathability. Long sleeves made from wool and polyester will keep you warm, while thermal tights made from elastane and polyester will do the same and will still have a breathable non-restricting fit. Wear socks made with acrylic and as mentioned before, polyester to keep your temperature up. Lastly, if the temperature drops too low, wear a jacket made of technical fibers on top of your other clothes to keep you warm.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Running Attire
1) Pockets are a great feature that is incorporated into most running fitness apparel. Many running clothes don’t have pockets, creating a hassle for the runner to carry everything. So when you’re purchasing clothes, look for tights with pockets, jackets and other practical running gear to hold your essentials like your phone, ID and credit card.
2) If you’re someone who runs for long periods, look for outfits with compression material. Similar to most traditional athletic clothing, compression fabrics are tightly fitted around the skin and maintain support for the body when performing physical activities for long periods. They also aid in increased blood circulation. It regulates your body temperature and allows for fast recovery afterward.
3) Hot weather calls for sun protection. The sun can have severe negative effects on those who run outside if they don’t take the necessary precautions beforehand. Other than wearing sunscreen, wear visor hats to protect your face and reduce sweat, as well as buy SPF clothing specifically made to reduce risks of getting skin cancer.
1) It is crucial not to wear anything with cotton when running. Cotton creates chafing, takes longer to dry, and will leave you uncomfortable for hours. It is especially dangerous to wear in winter because your clothing stays wet and when you walk outside, you are much more susceptible to getting sick. Rule out any clothes made out of cotton including cotton socks.
2) Never wear any heavy layers. Heavy layers will over-exert you and cause over-exhaustion, which can be especially dangerous if you have pre-existing medical problems.
3) Under no condition do you ever want to wear deteriorated shoes? As a person who has horrible ankles, I know all too well how important this is. Worn out shoes have no protection, stability, cushioning, and increase stress on all your ligaments and joints which will make you more prone to injuries. The activity of running itself can be dangerous due to inevitable actions like tripping or falling in the environment you’re running in, which is why it’s vital to wear shoes that offer protection of your surroundings.
Extra Running Gears
Wireless headphones: Though not necessary, it allows smoother movements when running. It’s also not in the way of your legs like wires usually are, which means you’re less likely to trip and they won’t fall out as easily.
Sports watch: Again not mandatory, but helps track your running movements, the calories you’ve burned, and will measure distance and time your runs. For beginners, it’s especially helpful to track your progress.
Apps: Most people take their phones on runs and there are many apps you can utilize to encourage and help you. Running apps can give you tips and workouts to do depending on your goals. Along with that, listening to music motivates and pushes people into accomplishing their fitness desires.
Sunglasses: Proper eye gear protects you from the UV rays outside, blocks the sun from getting into your eyes, and helps you focus. Many people squint when they run due to the sun, which results in them having accidents and losing focus. Sunglasses will prevent that and will enable you to run safely and effectively.
Are you Wearing the Correct Running Shoes?
There are many components in shoes that make them suitable and effective to run with. They must provide protection, stability, comfort, cushioning and must absorb shock waves. The ideal running shoes should have:
Foot space: When you run your feet swell, so you must have enough space in the front of your shoe to allow you toes to breathe. You don’t wanna be uncomfortable while running or else it could result in more injuries as well as causing blisters and infections. Your running shoe size should be half a size larger than your normal daily shoes.
Stability: Make sure that your shoes are firm and provide stability, especially if you’re prone to injuries. Firm cushioning will downplay your stress and protect your ligaments and joints.
Arches: Make sure that the arch in your shoe matches with the arch in your feet. When it matches it’ll give you more comfort when running. If it doesn’t fit your arch, you may need to buy an insert.
Heel security: Make sure your shoes hold your heel in place for stability. If not, there’s a higher possibility of rolling your ankle.
Ready to Run
This information will help you select the best running attire that will empower you to perform at your full potential. Hopefully, this will guide you to make the best decisions about your running activities.
Clothes, shoes and other running gear all come together to create ease in your running workouts. The more knowledge you have regarding your attire, the more likely you are to succeed in your short-term and long-term goals.