I am still training for the 10k portion of the Reggae Marathon next month and I’ve actually run 10k! I couldn’t run further than a few blocks when I started in July so that felt like a huge accomplishment. I was going to share how I stay motivated but when I reached this milestone I’d planned to shop, so let me tell you what I learned about gear.
equals me here?
I headed to one of Toronto’s more venerable runner shopping spots, The Runners Shop. It’s not the easiest place to find, located inside what looks like an office building, but it is worth finding. Here’s what I learned:
Bra and shoes
This is all the essential gear you need, saleswoman Selina Abetkoff informs me, which is one reason to patronize a shop that really specializes in running. Here’s what I learn about both.
A sports bra that works
To run you really do need a sports bra that works. It’s worth investing in one that has:
- Proper support: up-and-down and side-to-side as well as fabric that breathes.
- Proper fit: Any bulging may result in chafing, and anything too loose will end up making you sore, not just across the front but also can impact on your back muscles.
I discovered there are indeed sports bras with adjustable straps, so look for that, and there are even ones with individual cups to minimize the “uniboob”.
I ended up with a Moving Comfort bra which cost, all in, about $50. But it really is very individual so pick a shop, go in, and be prepared to try on a lot of bras – and jump up and down in them.
I did not have time, dear readers, to become an expert in shoes, and I’m guessing you probably don’t either, so that’s why I’m about to say: When picking shoes, go to a real running store. Set a budget, and then let them guide you.
I would have chosen my previous brand that I have been wearing for years, and then chosen anything labelled “running” that looked pretty. Instead I spent a lot of time running up and down the hallway in different pairs of shoes as Selina asked me questions about what felt right, what didn’t, and watching me run. Apparently I had no major issues to address, but if I had, there would have been shoes to address them.
The winning pair fit my narrow heel, have room in the toes, feel light and are – well – “bouncy”. They are also the most comfortable shoes I’ve owned in about my life, and I’ve run about 50k in them so far and have no pain anywhere, nor blisters. The Runners Shop, and I presume others, keeps track of them for me so down the road they can recommend similar styles. I spent about $140 on the Brooks I ended up with, but there were choices at the lower and higher end of the price scale.
They were not the prettiest though, in my opinion. Something had to give.
So here’s the deal with gear. Get the basics first rather than the cool GPS watches that practically monitor your brainwaves. But take the time to go into a specialized store, and find the proper fit and style.
Do you have favourite gear or a tip to share? Comment below!