All the gear…

…No idea. That’s the classic joke you hear when taking up a new hobby: you spend a fortune on beautiful clothing and expensive kit, long before you do any working out – and if you browse designer fitness retail sites like Sweaty Betty or Lululemon, you can easily imagine the vast retail potential for very little purpose. Part of the glorious universally accessible nature of running is that it costs nothing. You can simply head out of the door, and the stuff required to enjoy a run is minimal. (Necessities: a good sports bra for women, and a decent pair of shoes for everyone, but otherwise you can run in whatever you’ve got – regular shorts and a t shirt.)

So this is true. You don’t have spend a fortune and you don’t need expensive kit. But if you want to run fairly frequently and you have a few spare pennies, a bit of what you fancy? Well, it might help. (If you have zero interest in clothing you could try re-framing this staying-motivated tip in terms of technical kit like a GPS watch or bluetooth headphones…) Having a fresh new running vest or cool pair of shorts sitting in the drawer, just waiting for that first trek out, can definitely pique my interest in the next run…

Pros for some new gear:

  • Running clothes get sweaty and need to be washed regularly, so if you’re running more than once a week you’ll need to have more than one top and pair of shorts / running tights
  • Technical running tops (like this dhb Zelos Support Tank), made from synthetic non-wicking material will help you to stay cool in the heat (and for women, tops with reinforced internal support can make running fast more comfortable)
  • Running shorts and tights usually have a zip in the back into which you can fit a phone (and a house key), if you use one for music or to track your run then you don’t need an armband or body belt
  • Because they’re washed a lot, sports kit wears out faster than your regular casual clothing, giving you a solid excuse to browse sale items and pick up something gorgeous…
Some running tanks from Wiggle, Adidas infinite Series shorts, USA Pro shorts with a back zipped pocket, and my cherished Asics Gel Nimbus 16s

Some running tanks from Wiggle, Adidas Infinite Series shorts and USA Pro shorts with a back zipped pocket… high vis, light and fresh running kit for the summer, plus my cherished Asics Gel Nimbus 16s. (Not very fresh at all.)

Running four times a week means I’m in sports clothes a fair bit of the time. Wearing bright cheerful kit, which I like and feel good in is, quite simply, nicer – plus it genuinely improves the physical experience of running to have clothing that draws sweat away and provides support for all the bits that jiggle when you move fast! So whilst I definitely endorse the no-frills benefits of running, I’d also suggest that you pop some fun things on your birthday or Christmas list too, so that the people around you who are already encouraging you to get out there can boost your motivation through the medium of synthetic fibre… Good places to browse are online shops like Wiggle, and high street stores like Sports Direct and TK Maxx, all of which usually have massive reductions on quality kit.

So as motivators go: yeah, shopping is a bit frivolous. But every now and again a new piece of kit can refresh your sense of energy and excitement in the pursuit of serious discipline and growth. Lure yourself out of the door through the sheer force of fabulousness!

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