My Running Life: Test Driving New Gear

My Running Life: Test Driving New Gear

After you get your shoes, the rest of your running gear should be pretty easy to find by comparison. You can usually find some inexpensive gear that will work just as well as the name brand stuff at stores like Target. When it comes to taking these out for a trial run, however, stores will be less likely to let you run out the door for a quick test. You might also have a more difficult time returning any of these items after you wear them, so unless you’re used to the brand, I suggest trying the clothes on.

Not sure how to ensure you’re getting the right fit on your gear? Here are a few tips.

 

A few of Amy's running finds.


While it’s hard to accurately gauge how running clothes will feel when confined to a fitting room, here are a few things to consider:

 

Fabric type

For shirts, do you want cotton or a tech fabric? Tech fabrics will wick away moisture more quickly than cotton, but they tend to be much thinner and not great for winter running.

Sports bras
If you have a small chest, you should be fine with pretty much any kind of bra, but for women who have larger chests, you might need to purchase a compression bra to keep the girls in check. The last thing you want to worry about while you’re running is feeling self-conscious about your chest. Try on a few different styles and jump up and down in the fitting room to see how much support you’ll have. Yes, you’ll probably feel silly but it’s better to test it out in the fitting room before you purchase than to get out there and realize you need more support.

Built-in support

If you are small chested, you might be able to get away with shirts that offer built-in support. Do the jumping test in the fitting room to see if the support the shirt offers will be enough to keep everything in place.

Short type
Do you want shorts with built-in underwear or pockets? Or are you fine with simple shorts? All this is based on personal preference, so I suggest trying on a few different types and seeing what works. I’d also suggest jumping up and down in the fitting room to see how much movement you can expect from the shorts. It would probably be pretty annoying to have to keep pulling your pants up every few steps, so make sure they don’t ride up too much or slip down.

Socks

Are your socks going to be long enough to cover where your ankle meets the top of your running shoes? You don’t want to leave any part of your foot or ankle exposed directly to your shoes because after logging several miles during a run, you can face some serious blisters or worse. Also, how thick will your socks be? While thick socks might make you think comfort, if they are too thick, they can potentially add up to half a size to your usual shoe size (which can lead to bruised or lost toenails over time).


Even with all this fitting room testing, the best way to see what’s really going to work for you on race day is to wear your gear before you get to the starting line. Pulling your shirt down every few steps will get really old if you’re running a half marathon or any other distance, so make sure that you’ve taken everything for a spin at least once before you lay out your clothes for race morning. It’s better to use your training time to not only prep for the race, but to also test out what clothing will work best for you during your race. This way, you can focus on making it a more enjoyable experience instead of worrying about an annoying shirt tag/shorts that are too baggy/a bra that won’t offer enough support/socks that are too thin and leave you with the worst blisters you’ve ever seen.

 

Amy is our marathon running contributor who will be sharing her tips, tricks and insights on running and getting ready for a marathon. Keep reading her column for more great running advice.

 

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Amy is our marathon running contributor who will be sharing her tips, tricks and insights on running and getting ready for a marathon. Keep reading her column for more great running advice. - See more at: http://www.fitandfabliving.com/index.php/everyday-exercises/7055-my-running-life-if-the-shoe-fits.html#sthash.7DRsSuHT.dpuf

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