Remember how I told you that equipment isn’t something you should worry about for too long? Well, there are a few exceptions.
1. Gearing up
No, you don’t! You don’t need the most expensive stuff to enjoy running. Whatever it is that you train and compete with, there’s basically just one criteria: you have to feel really good about wearing it. And I don’t mean the colour or the design.
If it’s comfortable and fits you, it’s good to go. Keep it simple and don’t overthink equipment.
As always there are exceptions. Let’s talk shoes. A pair of good running shoes can make you or break you. There’s nothing worse than feeling the blisters grow as you run. You’ll certainly not start to enjoy running this way.
Buying running shoes is not a five-minute deal. You’ll need some patience and a dedicated running store. They'll use their experience and knowledge to look at your feet and your running style and get you the shoes your feet and body will accept.
3. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE WASHING MACHINE
Every time I overhear someone saying “Well I just throw them in the washing machine”, my heart breaks. Yes, your gear needs to be clean and free of bacteria, but a pair of great running shoes is a high-tech piece of equipment and certainly not built to take a few hundred rounds per minute in a washing machine or tumble drier.
Get a brush and clean them by hand, old-school style.
All those little running gadgets that measure your everything. Pulse, body temperature etc. etc. If it makes you feel better to know your pulse each and every second, then go for it. But don’t enslave yourself and run around with your head down on your watch or smartphone. It takes the fun out of running.
So, great if you have a gadget you use every now and then, but get a feel for your own pace without them.
Colin Jackson (48) is the International Sports Director of the Wings for Life World Run and two-time 110m hurdles world champion.