The most important component for running is your shoes. You need good shoes. Expect to pay anywhere between $85 - $125 for a great pair of running shoes. Then be ready to buy another pair soon. Running experts recommend having two pairs of shoes and rotating them so that the shoes have time to dry and rubber has time to rebound. Your shoes are the only thing between your body and the ground.

With the right pair of shoes you will experience less pain and prevent injury. Do not plan on getting your shoes at a Foot Locker or other shoe chain. Find a specialty shop in your area, the kind that takes the time to look at how you walk and immediately can tell you if you over-pronate. And contrary to popular belief, specialty store shoe prices are not higher than retail stores. My experience has been that they actually cost less.

 

     
 

Training shoes:
These shoes tend to have more cushioning and support. These are high mileage shoes design to keep your feet stable. For people with flat arches like myself, you will find that training shoes are the only shoes you will ever use because they offer the stability your feet need. For most runners, however, training shoes will suit them find for all their running needs.

Racing flats:
These shoes live up to their name. They are light and flat and designed for speed. They offer very little support and stability. If you are running races and counting seconds, and your feet can handle them, these shoes will make a difference.

Trail shoes:
Trail shoes are like the ones on the left. They are specifically designed for off-road running. The are lower to the ground, have a wider base on the heel, and have threads suitable for various terrains.

 

 

 

Clothing:
Wear comfortable shorts made for running. Or wear spandex/lycra shorts or pants. I prefer spandex/lycra because it does not chafe against my skin. A good pair of running shorts helps with that as well. Wear a good top designed for sports that wicks perspiration.

If you are training for sprint or Olympic distance triathlons, I would recommend getting used to running without socks. You can run without socks in any good running shoe, just use vaseline on your feet where the skin touches seams to prevent blisters.

If you are going to use socks, use lightweight synthetic socks that keep your feet dry. This will also help prevent blisters.

 

Hydration:
If you are doing long runs, you have to drink plenty of liquids. So you either plan your course and leave liquids where you need them. Or you take them with you. My favorite two options are Camelbaks or Fuel Belts.

You carry a Camelbak on your back and drink through a tube. Camelbak makes a variety of products and range from 40 ounces up to 70. They are well designed and do not move around when you run.

Fuel Belts have anywhere between 4 to 8 flasks that hold 10 ounces of water a piece. The belt sits comfortably on your hips and does not interfere with your run.