Kit and shoes

Whether you’re a running pro or just starting out, you’re going to need the right gear to help you through your training and those 26.2 miles. Perhaps the most obvious place to start is the best place to start, and that’s with your feet. The right trainers for your specific foot type can make all the difference. And while they’ll be pounding away on the streets, keeping the rest of your body feeling comfortable is really important too.

The right kit

It might be tempting to choose your running kit based on how it looks, but this is one time practicality and function have to win out over style. Here are a few top points to consider: 

  • It’s worth investing in technical (or wicking) kit. It works by moving sweat away from your skin to the outer surface of the fabric, where it evaporates. Running in wet kit can be really uncomfortable, so we’d strongly advise you purchase some technical kit.
  • While the prospect of running in the rain is not something anyone would relish, unfortunately it’s going to have to happen at some point (unless maybe you’re training in the Bahamas!). So buying a good quality waterproof is a sound investment.
  • Freedom of movement is really important when running so the last thing you need is heavy kit weighing you down. Ideally you want something that’s light but still ticks the other boxes of keeping you warm/cool. It’s definitely worth a visit to a good quality sports store to check out the ranges available. Although shopping online is quick and easy, the benefit of being able to see how the fabric feels once it’s on you makes a shopping trip well worthwhile.
  • Running leggings or shorts, long or short sleeve tops, the options can seem endless, but ultimately it’s about what works for you; you’re the one who needs to feel comfortable during your training runs and, of course, on race day. And while we can’t wait to see you sporting your Marie Curie running vest on the big day, it’s worth having a few training runs in it too, to get used to how it feels. 

A few other kit bag essentials include:

  • Running hat and gloves – for those colder runs
  • A sports bra (ladies only, of course)
  • Reflective bib – for those early morning or late night training runs 

Shoes

Your running shoes are possibly the most important item of kit you’re going to need so it's important that you get the right ones from the outset. Not only can they reduce your chance of injury throughout your training, they can help improve your performance too. 

Everyone has a different foot strike so it’s important to get the right pair of running shoes to provide the support you need. Some shoes have more cushioning and others more support, so it’s important to find ones that are right for you. 

Whether you have a trusty pair of trainers you’ve run in for years, or are looking to get a new pair, do visit a dedicated running shop and have your gait analysed. The experts there will be able to advise you on the most supportive shoes for you. You may have a local independent shop, or alternatively chains such as Run and Become, Sweat Shop and Runners Need are on many high streets. 

And while you’re picking out the right trainers, make sure you give consideration to your socks too. Running socks mould to your feet, provide drying capabilities, come with extra cushioning and can even prevent blisters and injuries, offering clear benefits over cotton socks. 

It’s worth the investment

Purchasing the right kit and shoes now can seem quite costly, but good quality garments and footwear will not only last, they will also enhance your running enjoyment. If you’ve got a special occasion or birthday coming up, why not ask your friends or family to buy you specific items or give you money towards them? 

No matter what you choose, wear your kit in, especially on your long runs, to save any surprises on race day.

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