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Take up running, shop smart

When deciding to take up running, it can be very tempting to rush down to the nearest running shop and stock up on the latest and most expensive kit. Six months later and hundreds of pounds worth of gear is likely to be taking up space in a wardrobe, never again to see the light of day.

To begin with, running is a frustrating and difficult exercise. Inclement weather, aching muscles, and the suspicion that running for longer than 15 minutes without collapsing in a heap is an impossible task, means many people give up in the early stages.

But for anyone who is serious about the task, here are a few key pieces of running gear to set a budding runner on the right track to success.

Running shoes

It's a good idea to buy running shoes from a specialist running store, where staff are trained to analyse an individual's gait and match them with a pair of trainers to suit their running style. There are different types of runners for road-running and cross country terrain, and for advanced runners who are planning to take part in a race.

Running clothes

Always run in something comfortable and weather appropriate. Choose a technical fabric that will allow the skin to breathe, release sweat rather than absorb it, and keep the body warm in cold weather. Running skins or compression garments help increase the flow of oxygen to the muscles and reduce the build-up of lactic acid. But remember: when starting out over short distances, a t-shirt and jogging pants are more than sufficient. Women, meanwhile, should always invest in a correctly fitted support bra.

Accessories

The most important accessory for a beginner runner is a reflective bib. Make sure, especially when running in the dark, that you are visible to motorists and other traffic at all times.

Visit upandrunning.co.uk, run4it.com or sweatshop.co.uk for more information

 

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