It’s summertime. If you’re like most people, this time of year inspires you to spend many hours outdoors and under the sun as possible. Hitting the beach, throwing a backyard barbecue party, or going out for a boat trip are great ways to take advantage of the gorgeous weather—particularly on the weekends. However, if you want to make sure that you get your outdoors time in every day and not just confine it to Saturdays and Sundays, then taking up running is the perfect way to do it.
Whether you prefer running before work to get yourself going in the morning, or taking a jog in the afternoon to wind down from a long day, there are a few items that every runner needs to have in his or her arsenal. Use the runners checklist below to get yourself ready for a summer full of running, exploring, and enjoying the great weather while it’s here!
1. High-Quality Running Shoes
If you’re going to be running on a regular basis, then you need to invest in a pair of dedicated running shoes. Your ratty old tennis shoes from 10 years ago won’t do: you need a high-quality pair of shoes that is built to withstand the pounding repetition of distance running while still providing you with support and padding. Running with a bad pair of shoes can cause blisters and other foot injuries, but it can also cause issues throughout the rest of your body as well, from shin splints and leg soreness to chronic back pain.
Check out Amazon.com to survey the running shoe market: Asics, Nike, Puma, and Adidas are popular brands, but there are many options available. If this will be your first official pair of running shoes, it’s also a good idea to visit your local running/athletic store. There, you can get your feet sized by a professional and can try various pairs and brands on to see what is most comfortable for you.
2. Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers (from companies such as FitBit, Garmin, Samsung, and others) are all the rage as of late. The idea of these devices is to monitor everything from the number of steps you take in a day to your distance travelled, to calories burned, and beyond. You don’t need a fitness tracker just to undertake a running hobby, but it’s not a bad thing to have if you want to get some definitive statistics about your exercise.
In particular, it’s a good idea to keep a running log that tracks your distance, time, and more. Runner’s lore says that running shoes need replacement after every 500 miles, so tracking the distance of your runs is a good way to stay proactive about following that guideline. Of course, if you run the same route every day, you probably already know the distance. However, if you are looking to vary the distances of your runs, or to explore new trails, parks, and neighborhoods every day, then a fitness tracker might be the best option available for monitoring your distance.
3. Running Belt
Runners always face something of a dilemma when it came to carrying money, credit cards, driver’s licenses, car keys, or snacks on their runs. Most running shorts or exercise pants don’t come with very secure pockets, and no one wants to carry all that stuff in their hands when they run. To simplify matters, eHolster designed a special running belt with double pouches. Featuring two reflective stretch pouches, the belt allows runners to store everything from their wallets to their protein bars to their smartphones securely, while out for a run. There are even headphone grommets on the pouches so that you can listen to music without having to carry your expensive mobile device in your sweaty, slippery hands!
4. MP3 Player
Many studies have been done on the effects that music has on exercise performance, and while there haven’t really been any concrete findings, the consensus is that music pushes people to exercise harder and for longer. There’s something about running with a great soundtrack that takes your mind off fatigue and makes you feel invincible, and as a result, a great playlist can be an essential component to ensuring an enjoyable, athletically satisfying run.
These days, many runners just take their smartphones when they head out the door for a workout. This option is convenient because phones can multi-task as fitness trackers, GPS units, and communication devices—as well as mp3 players. Other runners prefer smaller, lighter-weight music players—which is why the teeny tiny iPod shuffle remains popular.
5. Sports Headphones
Regardless of which type of mp3 player device you prefer for your workouts, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality pair of sports headphones. Apple’s earbuds, while fine for listening to music at the office or at home, are an awful mix with the jarring motion of running and will surely fall out of your ears. On the other hand, you won’t want something as big and bulky as the popular Beats By Dre headphones when you are going for a run.
Good athletic headphones, like Yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition, will not only include rubberized tips to stay in your ears, but they’ll also often be noise cancelling to help drown out the sounds of traffic and other distractions. Some modern sports headphones are even wireless, capable of linking to your device via Bluetooth, so that you don’t have to deal with the annoying cord bouncing around while you run.
The five items above in our runner’s checklist don’t make up everything you will need to be a day-to-day runner. Here are a few more items to help make sure you are as comfortable as possible while out on your run.
- Breathable exercise shirts and shorts
- Lightweight visor or cap
- Athletic sunglasses
- Don’t forget sunscreen
But ultimately, the great thing about running is that you don’t need a ton of expensive gear to enjoy it. There’s no sport that is more accessible or easier to get into, and we hope you will celebrate that fact by making this summer a season of running, fitness, exploration, and athletic accomplishment!
Have other items you don’t see in our runners checklist that you can’t live without on your run? Let us know below…