As many of you know, in May I’m running the Capital City Half Marathon for the first time. My 60-day training program is underway and after getting some sage advice from the race’s coach, Aimee Price, I decided to purchase new running gear.
I usually consider apparel and shoe shopping enjoyable. In this instance…not so much. My purchase decisions are largely based on aesthetics, but there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to functional clothing and kicks.
At the top of Price’s must-have list for runners is a pair of shoes that fits well and is designed specifically for running. She suggests shopping at specialty stores where salespeople will watch you run and walk, and recommend a shoe based on your foot strike and running style.
Understanding your personal pronation type will also help narrow your search. (Like most women, I like shoes and I like options, but I found the variety of running shoes on the market overwhelming.) Thanks to Google a little research, I learned the excessive wear on the inner side of my shoes is due to overpronation. This occurs when the outside of your heel makes the initial ground contact, like it does in the “normal” pronation sequence, but rolls inward more than the ideal fifteen percent.
Thankfully, a motion control or stability shoe, like the Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6s I now own, can help remedy overpronation. To determine your personal pronation type, you might want to check out the Runner’s World article here.
Price also told me technical clothing is real, folks. In fact, her exact words were: “It really does make a difference and is not just a gimmick to get us to buy cool, brightly colored tights.”
Since it’s springtime and I sweat a lot when exercising (or, you know, just walking a block for lunch in 60-degree weather), I decided to buy shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt in Nike’s Dri-FIT material, which is lightweight, breathable, wicks away moisture, and dries quickly.
When I found out Nike offers socks in the same material, I had to have them. Sweaty feet are gross. ‘Nuff said.
Additionally, Price suggests we ladies wear sports bras when running− not exactly a shocker. However, I was surprised to learn that the support sports bras offer is just as important as their ability to minimize breast movement. Apparently your chest has suspensory ligaments that hold your breasts up and give them their shape and size. Once they’re stretched, those ligaments don’t bounce back. Yikes.
I found the REI guide for finding your ideal sports bra here really helpful. Good luck finding out which bra I bought. I have no problem coming clean about my überactive sweat glands, but going into detail about my undergarments… That’s entering TMI territory as far as I’m concerned.