Tech gear can be used for the serious runner.
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When it comes to fitness, you can't find a much cheaper method of exercise than running. When compared to the equipment necessary for other types of exercise, like weightlifting or kickboxing, running requires little in the way of gear, which helps you keep costs low. Of course, like any type of fitness, new-school equipment and tricked-out accessories can be added to improve your training, but all you need is a solid pair of running shoes to get started.
The single most important piece of running equipment is your running shoes. Regular cross-trainers won't cut it for a serious runner -- you'll need lightweight shoes fit to your foot and stride for the best experience possible. Having your foot professionally fitted for your specific type of running means you'll get an excellent fit -- head over to a running shoe or fitness store at the end of the day, when your feet are likely to be the most swollen. You'll also need to replace your shoes every 350 to 500 miles, as recommended by the Michigan State University Extension.
While you can definitely run in regular workout clothes, if you're going to run frequently, athletic clothes designed for runners might serve you best. Look for clothing that fits close to the body to reduce wind resistance, while athletic fabrics help wick sweat away to keep you dry. It's important that runners dress in layers and keep the weather in mind for safe and comfortable exercise -- you might require some trial and error before you find the ideal clothing for your run.
After shoes, your safety gear is the next most important component of your running equipment. Runners must remain visible at all times, which includes clothing with reflective surfaces and headlamps if running at night. The more visible you are to motorists, the safer your run will be.
When running in the sun, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests choosing clothes with UVA and UVB protection as well as head and eye gear to protect yourself from the sun.
High tech running gear definitely isn't a necessary component for the average runner, but it may be worth a look if you're training for a specific event or you want to improve your running times. Interval timers, running timers and heart rate monitors can also be added to your running arsenal to improve your runs. While a pair of running shoes is all you need to start, various tech gadgets can make things like timing and training schedules easier to track via apps.