Saturday, 26 March 2011

Running Essentials

Today’s run was awesome! You know those runs that leave you with the, “I’m getting stronger!” feeling? The ones where you had to dig a little deeper to get through, and so when you reach your goal it’s that much sweeter? Well, today was one of those. I have a mantra I repeat to myself whenever the going gets tough, and today I had to pull it out big time haha! My mantra: ‘You can handle this for now’. The last time I used that mantra was during labour…today’s run was not as hard as labour thankfully, but it did stretch my mind in the same “can I do this?” way. I highly recommend acquiring a mantra before training officially kicks off on Monday – it will get you through the rough spots, the times when motivation is lagging, and onto the “I did it!” celebrations.
Today’s run, broken down:
Surface: Treadmill
Incline: 2%
Warm up: 3 minutes
Running: 42 minutes, intervals of 45 seconds at 5-6 RPE (for an explanation of RPE see this post) then 15 seconds at 8-9 RPE. One walk break of 30 seconds at the 34 minute marker.
Speed Range: 5.0-8.0 mph
Cool down: 5 minutes
Total Distance: 4.56 miles
Running is a great sport for anyone to get into because it requires very little equipment. To be honest, you could head out the door in a pair of jeans and tennis shoes and run. But the chafing would be enough to glue you to the couch for a solid week! (or more.) So, in an effort to make running as comfortable as possible, here is my guide to the essential gear.
Shoes: I’ve tried a lot of shoes, and keep on coming back to the Nike Zoom Vomero’s. One brand (which shall remain nameless), meant for wide for-footed people like myself, caused a stress fracture in my foot when I was training for my first marathon. Do I think it was the a faulty shoe? No, simply put it as the wrong shoe for me. Find your perfect fit by trying on a lot of shoes and seeing what is comfortable for you. In the Mach/April issue of Impact Magazine, catch an article about the importance of comfort in a running shoe on page 16 (“If the shoe fits, run with it” by Miranda Barrett.) This article debunks the advertisments companies put out there about their shoe making you stronger/better/faster, and focuses on the importance of comfort over any other element a shoe can offer. So, find a comfortable running shoe – it’s a simple as that!
Sports Bra: If you have little to no chest count yourself lucky, as you can get away with a simple sports bra (I’m in this category when I’m not pregnant or nursing.) But, for the ample breasted women out there, Oxygen magazine put out a review on sports bras in the March 2011 issue on page 76 (have you bought your copy yet? Seriously, this magazine is golden!) which is a great read, and a fabulous guide for finding your perfect bra.  Try before you buy – bras that rub, even if they’re cute, will sit in your drawer until you donate it to charity.
Clothes: Like I said, jeans and a t-shirt can do, but the chafing will sideline you for a good while (think back to elementary recess, when you’d run with abandon during “girls chase boys.” If you had thighs then, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) So invest in good quality running clothes. I say invest because it is better to get a few good quality pieces you won’t be replacing every season, then to spend a couple dollars at Walmart, get pieces that are alright, but leave much to be desired as far as function go, and be constantly needing to buy new running clothes. My favourite investment pieces are from Lululemon. I bought two pairs of my favourite running shorts from there two and a half years ago, and I still use them, and they’re in perfect condition. My favourite tops are also from there, as well as my socks – what can I say, they make solid clothing! If you haven’t perused their clothing, check out their website here. Their prices are higher than Walmart, but like I said, it will last!
Monday is coming quickly, so take this guide and get shopping for the items you need to be comfortable (read: chafe free, with happy feet, and a ‘bounce’ free chest) during training.  
What are your favourite running essentials? Do you have a shoe you’ve committed to?


  1. Great Blog Katie. I've read all your posts now and feel inspired to follow your example. I wish I had trained between babies, but I guess training after all the babies is still good...and since you are one of my babies I guess it all works out in the end anyway. Proud of you! xoxox

  2. Katie! I love your blog! I would love to exercise more but I don't have any equipment at home - just me and some hand weights. Do you have any recommendations for those of us without a treadmill?


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