The Beginner’s Guide to Running

The hardest part about starting something new, is just-getting-started.

Looking to start running but, the last thing you ran for was a bus?

No problem.

In the next 5 minutes, we’ll cover everything you need to know not just to start running, but to maintain motivation to keep on going.

In part 1, we’ll look at the essential kit you’ll need to start running, or you can choose a section using the links below.

Let’s go…

The Essential Running Kit List

I know your first question. What kit do I need to start running? Here’s your list of essentials:

#1 – A Quality Pair Of Running Shoes

Cost expectation: $70-125

Sure, you can use a pair of normal sneakers, but that’s not going to offer you the stability and comfort you really need.

This is probably the biggest and most important purchase you’ll be making. Not only are you after comfort and support, but durability.

A few of the best running shoes include:

  • Adidas Supernova
  • Asics GT-2000 4
  • Asics Dynaflyte

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a guide on The Best Running Shoes here.

#2 – Technical T-Shirts

Cost Expectation: $25-50

So-called “technical t-shirts” are used in a range of sports and outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking and climbing.

Technical t-shirts incorporate what’s known as a wicking material.

Naturally, you’ll expect to sweat when you’re running. Instead of getting completely drenched, a technical t-shirt will shift moisture to the exterior of the fabric, allowing it to dry.

When looking for a technical t-shirt for running, look for trademark logos for wicking materials such as:

  • Dri-Fit
  • Climalite
  • Coolmax

See our picks for the best technical t-shirts for running.

#3 – Sports Bra

Cost Expectation: $25-50

Ladies, this needs no explanation.

If you are not comfortable when you run, there’s a good chance your motivation is going to dwindle over time.

#4 – Running Apps

Cost Expectation: $0-15 per month

There’s no doubt that tracking apps have boosted the profile of outdoor activities such as running and cycling.

When you are putting time and energy into something, it’s nice to know how you are getting on.

Running apps like Runkeeper, Strava and Under Armour MapMyRun will all help to determine suitable routes, and the ability to look at stats once you’ve completed those runs; excellent motivation!

#5 – Hydration Unit

Cost Expectation: $30-150

If you’re planning to run long distances, a suitable hydration unit is going to be important.

And, I’ll tell you right now, running with a water bottle in your hand isn’t comfortable at all. So, what are your options?

  • Hydration backpacks
  • Hydration waist packs
  • Hydration vests

Leading brands such as Patagonia, Salomon, Nathan, Camel Bak and Ultimate Direction all produce a vast range of hydration units for runners.

Check out our guide to the best hydration packs for runners.

#6 – Light Water-Resistant Jacket

Cost Expectation: $30-150

Let’s face it, the weather isn’t always going to be perfect when you run.

If you want to protect yourself when the weather turns bad, you’ll need a lightweight and water-resistant jacket.

Why water-resistant and not water-proof?

Unfortunately, water-proof jackets are just too thick for running; you’ll overheat in no time!

We run through the best jackets for running here.

#7 – Running Socks

Cost Expectation: $6-25

Unless you want blisters and sweaty running shoes, you’ll want to invest in some decent running socks.

Like technical t-shirts, brands that create running socks aim to integrate wicking properties which means sweat can dry as you run.

A typical example is the SmartWool sock from PHD.

Of all the running gear you need, this is by far the item that offers the most comfort per $ spent.

#8 – Shorts

If you combine a technical t-shirt with running socks and shorts that all have breathable and moisture wicking properties, you’re on your way to having an extremely comfortable run.

An example of shorts that incorporate these properties are the Climacool range from Adidas.

See our guide to the best shorts for running.

The Non-Essential Running Kit List

#1 – Compression Clothing

Cost Expectation: $15-75

Compression clothing is known to help distribute blood around the body much better than regular clothing.

This leads to:

  • Reduction in cramp
  • Reduction in pain, especially around the knee
  • Increased stamina
  • Better regulated body temperature

Many runners use compression base layers, shorts, socks and even knee supports.

#2 – Expandable Waist & Wrist Packs

Cost Expectation: $25-65

We all want to run light. So, what do we do with our phones, keys, wallets/purses and any other wonders we want to take with us on our travels?


Invest in a small pack, designed specifically for runners.

If you carry just one or two small items, then a small wrist pack with work.

On the flip side, if you’re carrying a handful of items or more, you are going to need an expandable waist pack which will offer slightly more capacity.

Next: Creating A Running Plan Using Goals

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