Choosing the Best Running Gear: A Beginner’s Guide 

A female runner ties her trainers on a road.

June 2, 2023

Your running shoes are the most crucial piece of equipment in your running arsenal. The right pair can significantly impact your comfort, performance, and injury prevention. 

Finding the Perfect Fit 

When searching for the perfect running shoes, focus on fit, comfort, and flexibility. Here are some golden tips for picking the right trainers: 

      • Shop for new shoes in the evening when your feet are at their largest. This way, you’ll avoid painful tightening that might cause blisters when you’re running.  

      • Visit a running specialty store where the staff can analyse your gait, foot type, running biomechanics, and personal preferences. They are trained in delivering you the perfect trainers for your running endeavours. 

        • Leave a thumbnail’s space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. 

        • Don’t under or overpay for off-the-shelf decisions as a beginner. If you underpay, then you run the risk of getting a shoe that will do more harm than good in the long term. If you overpay, then you may just get a running shoe that is engineered incorrectly for your feet. A mid-range shoe (£60-£120) usually offers excellent cushioning and stability properties.  

      Running Clothing 

      The clothes you wear while running can significantly impact your comfort and performance. When choosing running attire, consider the following factors: 

      High-Performance Fabrics 

      Opt for clothing made from high-performance synthetic materials, such as polyester, Coolmax nylon, or Lycra. These fabrics wick moisture away from your body, helping to regulate body temperature and ensure a comfortable run. 

      Avoid Cotton 

      Cotton is comfortable when dry, but once wet, it becomes heavy and scratchy. It can also cause chafing and blisters. Instead, choose moisture-wicking fabrics that will help you to have a more enjoyable running experience. 

      Dress for the Weather 

      Your running wardrobe should be versatile and adaptable, carrying you from the coldest to the hottest months. In the next sections, we’ll provide clothing recommendations for various weather conditions

      Summer Running Gear: Staying Cool and Comfortable 

      During the summer months, choose lightweight, breathable clothing to keep you cool and dry. 

      15 – 20°C 

      At this temperature, opt for a short-sleeved shirt or tank top made from a breathable fabric, paired with shorts or capris. Consider wearing calf sleeves if your legs feel cold. 

      20 – 25°C 

      In this temperature range, stick to lightweight clothing like tank tops, breathable T-shirts, and shorts. A baseball cap can help shield your eyes from the sun. 

      25 – 30°C 

      For hotter days, choose a lightweight tank top and moisture-wicking polyester shorts. This will help to keep you cool and prevent your clothes from sticking to your skin. 

      More than 30°C 

      At this temperature, consider running shirtless (for men) or in a sports bra (for women). If you choose to wear less clothing, remember to apply sun lotion and stay hydrated. 

      Autumn and Spring Running Gear: Adapting to Changing Temperatures 

      Spring and autumn offer pleasant running temperatures somewhere between the extremes of summer and winter, but dressing for these seasons can be tricky due to the changeable weather conditions. 

      5 – 10°C 

      For these cooler temperatures, wear two layers on your torso: a base layer and an outer layer. Opt for running tights or thicker shorts on your legs and consider running gloves or a vest for extra warmth if needed. 

      10 – 15°C 

      At this temperature, a single layer on top may suffice. However, if it’s windy, opt for two layers. Choose running tights or cropped leggings and a T-shirt, or shorts and a long-sleeved shirt that wicks away sweat. 

      Winter Running Gear: Braving the Cold 

      Winter running can be challenging due to freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. Dressing appropriately for the season is crucial. 

      0 – 5°C 

      At this temperature, wear a base layer, a long-sleeved shirt, and a zip-up running jacket to trap heat between layers. Don’t forget gloves, a hat or headband, and thicker socks to keep your extremities warm. 

      -5 – 0°C 

      In colder conditions, add more thin, wind-resistant layers. Protect your ears, hands, and feet with appropriate accessories, and wear insulated running shoes if necessary. 

      Below -5°C 

      For extreme cold, double up on long sleeve shirts and tights, and opt for insulated trail shoes if there’s snow on the ground. However, if it’s this cold, you might want to consider running indoors on a treadmill. 

      Running Socks: The Unsung Heroes of Running Comfort 

      Investing in high-quality running socks can significantly improve your running experience. Look for socks made from moisture-wicking materials, with a good fit and extra padding in the heel and rear of the foot where you will impact the ground most often and require that extra bit of cushion. Consider compression socks for additional support. 

      Running Accessories: Enhancing Your Running Experience 

      While not essential, the following accessories can improve your running experience and help you achieve your goals. 

      Smart Watch 

      A sports watch can help you track your running time, splits, pace, and more. Look for a watch with GPS capabilities to accurately measure your distance and speed. The Fitwins Virtual Challenges are all fully compatible with Fitbit, Garmin and Strava, so if you connect one of those via your Smart Watch, then you can keep track of your distance achievements with ease.  

      Wireless Headphones or Earbuds 

      Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks while running can make your runs more enjoyable and can help to drive your pace if you create a bespoke playlist for your runs. Try to avoid the wired variety, as the cables will be certain to become a hindrance. Choose good quality, well-fitting ear buds, or over-the-head headphones with a secure fit, moisture resistance, and good sound quality. 

      Heart Rate Monitor 

      A heart rate monitor can help you train more effectively and avoid over- or undertraining. Some advanced smartwatches, such as Apple Watches and the FitBit range include built-in heart rate monitors, so consider this feature when purchasing a sports watch. 

      Hydration and Nutrition: Fuelling Your Runs 

      Proper hydration and nutrition are essential for successful running, especially during warmer seasons. Invest in a hydration belt, vest, or handheld water bottle to ensure you have access to water during your runs. For longer runs, consider carrying energy gels or chews to maintain your energy levels. 

      Safety Gear: Staying Visible and Protected 

      Running safety should always be a priority. Equip yourself with reflective clothing, a headlamp or running light, and ID tags to stay visible and protected during your runs. 

      Essentially, by investing in the best running gear for your needs can significantly enhance your running experience. By following the tips in our guide, you should be well-equipped to tackle any running challenge, no matter the season or temperature. Remember to prioritise comfort, functionality, and safety, and enjoy your running journey.  

      If you’re new to running, or have lapsed in your exercise regimes then consider taking on a virtual fitness challenge like the Fitwins Virtual Challenge. Our monthly challenges provide you with a series of great benefits, including giving you a boost to your motivation when it feels like an extra hour in bed feels like the best course of action. No matter whether you run on a treadmill, at the park or across mountainous expanses, you will take a virtual tour of famous cities and their landmarks, hitting milestones on your way to your fitness goals.  

      With Fitwins, you will join a global leaderboard as you add the miles to your monthly running distance, and can earn yourself exclusively designed heavy duty medals that are delivered directly to your door. Our fitness app connects to Strava, Garmin or Fitbit if you use them, or you can record directly on the app with our GPS-enabled telematics system.  

      Simply download the app for free and register for your account. You can join the challenge immediately for free and see how it works for you. When you hit any of your goals, you can easily upgrade to a medal entry to earn yourself real, tangible rewards for your effort. Go on, you deserve it! 

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      FAQ

      Not sure how virtual fitness works?

      The easiest way to learn is to try Fitwins for yourself! The app is free to download, and you only pay for challenges you take part in, so why not take it for a test drive?

      In the meantime, here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about how Fitwins compares to other virtual walking challenges.

      No! We believe that flexibility is the key to fitness success, so instead of forcing you to complete a set distance, we let you set your own goal.  This means you can be flexible in how you complete YOUR challenge: so if you are smashing your target, you can raise the bar and aim for more. 

      All entries into our challenge will receive a great medal, with a ribbon specific to the challenge type.

      For our “iconic challenges”, your ribbon will have a unique design related to the challenge. For our regular monthly challenges, your ribbon will reflect the total distance you covered.

      Running and walking ribbons are awarded based on 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175 and 200+ miles. Cycling ribbons are for distances of 50km, 100km, 200km, 500km, 1000km, 2000km and 3000km. 

      Absolutely! Not only that, but all the distance you’ve covered since the start of the month will count, as the Fitwins App syncs with Strava and logs all activities from the start of the month, regardless of what date you sign up for the challenge. 

      If you are hitting the streets with your app activated, verification is completed automatically by sycning with Strava. You can focus on completing your challenge, and we’ll take care of the rest.

      If you’re using a treadmill, exercycle or other stationary equipment for some of your challenge, you’ll need to log this manually.

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