It’s been a long time since I held a medal as well as a glass of wine but now I’m training for the Ealing Half Marathon on 30 September – my first race as a mother of two! After my son Rory, now 2, was born I did the London Triathlon 4 months after his birth as a goal to shed the baby weight but the fitness motivation after my daughter Isabella didn’t come immediately. She’s just turned 1 and so my trainers are back on as is the rest of my kit.
Talking of kit, when you’ve had a break from sport and start back up again the amount of gear you need is surprising. Get it wrong and you risk injury as I know from personal experience. I’ve suffered everything from cuts and blisters to joint injuries in the past when I haven’t been adequately prepared. If you’re thinking of starting running for fitness, which I highly recommend for both the mental endorphins and the physical weight loss benefits, then this is what I recommend:
I have Asics Cumulus trainers like the ones above but I didn’t make the decision lightly, I did my research. If you’re trainer searching, I’d recommend visiting a sports shop or specialist running shop that will film you running and asses your gait and how your foot hits the ground. Runners Need are good for this as is the Asics flagship store near Oxford Circus in London. They will advise you on what type of shoe to buy and the appropriate amount of cushioning in the sole.
In the past, I gave myself an Achilles injury because I went running in fashion trainers. When your fit repeatedly hits the ground on zero cushioning, it puts a huge amount of strain on your joints.
After trainers, a bra is vital. No matter what sized breasts you have, they will attempt to get in the way when you’re running. Chafing is not funny and nor is wearing it too loose and ‘bouncing’.
Pay close attention to the fabric as you will sweat when running and when sweat collects under the breasts, you’ll get rubbing. As well as sweat-wicking fabric, look for ones with anti-microbial properties so it takes the odour away. Knix has worked on that technology and they have a fitting guide on their site explaining how to measure correctly.
Don’t just get any old pair of trainer socks. If they’re too thin, they’ll slip down when you run and cause blisters. If they’re too thick then they’ll make your feet sweat and you could risk atheletes foot. You want ones with some cushioning but not too much.
Consider compression socks as these can help drain away lactic acid so you recover quicker after the run. They can come in some really funky designs to cheer you up when you’re slogging round the course.
If you go out for long runs then you’ll need some water along the way. It’s impossible to run when dehydrated but carrying water in your hands hinders balance. I recommend getting a belt with two water bottles in and filling one up with a sports drink and one up with plain water.
What are your running essentials? If you have any tips I’d love to hear them as I feel like such a novice. I’m @livelikeavip on Instagram and Twitter.