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How To Start Running - The Gear

Picture from Nike, this is their track near their HQ. 
So you decided you wanted to start running. Perhaps you were inspired  by the London Marathon, by a Nike "Just Do It" commercial, or the Running High series. Or you saw all those runners having a blast in the spring sun on your way to work. You want to run too! In this blog posts I'll give you some advice and tips on how to start with running.

You might be al little intimidated, you probably can't just run for 30 minutes straight, so where do you start? Well, basically, you don't need much, motivation and fun is the key. But I do recommend you get some proper shoes first.

Why you need running shoes
You might think you can run or your trainers or sneakers, or perhaps your tennis shoes, but they do not offer the support and cushioning or damping you need. When you run, your body takes up to 3/4 times your body weight. In other words, your feet have to carry a weight around 200-300kg with each step.

This cushioning is not available in your regular sneakers. Aside from the cushioning, perhaps you pronate in a away, meaning that your feet lands and turns towards the inside or outside. If you do this, you might need a shoe with added stability. I run on the Gel Kayano 19, which offers me stability because I overpronate. If I don't wear the right shoes to support me, I might increase the risk of injuries. My legs have to keep up and therefore the knees and hip starts to twist as well. Not a good thing. Supination is the other way around, you feet goes outer wards.

After the ongoing debate about wearing running shoes might actually increase your injury right, just buy the shoe that is right for you. I am having troubles with my shin (shin splints et al.) and I am currently training in the Nike Free 5.0. Though I still pronate, I actually run much smoother in these Nikes then I did in my Asics.
End of edit:

Go to your local running store and make sure they analyse your run. Are you a neutral runner or a over pronator? What is your gair? Your running style? How do you land? Heel strike, midfoot and forefoot? Are you stomping when running with your shoes? They might be to heavy for you (support wise).

Don't forget to mention what type of ground you run on and how many miles. A shoe for road running and endurance is different than a shoe for trail (off road) running. There is also a difference in training or race shoes, e.g. race shoes are often lighter.

Don't buy your running shoes solely on your pronation/supination!

You can easily start with a pair of training pants or a cotton tee. However, it is recommend to avoid wearing cotton. Cotton soaks up your sweat and holds it and may cause chafing. Sport gear that isn't cotton is made to wick your sweat away. Next to that, running gear often has flat seams and other fancy things to make sure you don't get chafing.

Also, running socks are awesome. I have several from Falke, they have extra cushioning, flat seams and are overall very nice.

Start easy!
Unless you were born ready, you have to start out slow. You don't want to rush it and get injuries! You can use a scheme, or an app to help you get going. I used the 5K Runner: 0 to 5K, I started with running 1 minute, than walking 1 minute and repeat. After a few weeks I ran for a full 10 minutes and after 8 weeks I did 5K in little more than 30 minutes.
If you don't want to use an app, you can find plenty of free schemes on the internet.

Keep in mind that you may have build a stamina because of other sports, that your muscles need to adjust to running as well. So start out slow, and build up gradually.

Rest well
It easy to get so excited you just want to go. It's important to take a day off. When you run you basically injure your muscles, tiny stretches occur and when they heal, your muscle is stronger. But you have to allow it to heal. If you are using an app or a scheme, you probably walk around 3 days a week. If you walk every other day, you have a nice interval of training and resting. Listen to your body, don't overdo it!

Keep it fun, to stay motivated you have to like it. Try to keep it fun by running with music in or with friends, or on a moment you like most. Take your favourite route and so on.

Remember, it takes time for your body to adjust. If you keep it up for a few weeks you'll see progress, you start to like it more and it becomes a part of your life.

Happy running! (If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!)

Update: Added more information about shoes and type of ground/workout.
Update 2: Added more about pronation.


  1. such good advice! i also used the 5k runner app to start, and it worked great. the info about the way you run is interesting - i'm going make sure i get professional help when i need to buy new running shoes soon! x

  2. Hi Miho! Be sure to tell the shop person how many miles you run and on what type of ground (road/track/sand) etc. On a road you need more damping, while in a forest or off road you need more grip.
    There is also a difference in shoes for short and long runs. Also for real racers there are lighter shoes available.
    Hope you can find a good shoe, let me know if you have any more questions for me!

  3. I will definitely be participating in this series. You know I am very much interested in it! Just have a lot to do, including a post for Jane. I'll get it to you some time in May, if that's okay with you. And that track is amazing! Every track should look like that, surrounded by trees and nature; then I wouldn't mind doing track work so much! -Jess L

  4. so right about shoes and socks. i have running shoes with custom orthotics that was made for me so it really provides the support i need. and i love socks from mephisto!

  5. Hi Jessica, that's fine with me! :] We can post your answers in June then. Thanks again for wanting to join! Much appreciated! Would you like me to email you in May or do you get in touch with me?

    I know right? I ran on a track last week for the first time, but I found it quite boring. It wasn't such a nice track as the one from Nike!