“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.” ~Lee Mildon
When I started running and hitting the gym I found myself thinking so many times that I was not good enough, or didn’t have expensive fancy schmancy enough gear, or I was not as “athletic” looking as I needed to be in order to enter a race or show my face in the weight room. I would look around at the expensive shoes and brightly colored wicking shirts and feel extremely intimidated when I first started to race. I will never forget the first time I saw an older man in cotton cargo shorts, a pair of old shoes, and what appeared to be his wife’s cotton t-shirt at the start line of a marathon. I was horrified that he was going to run in such attire, but then I really started to think that it is not about the clothes or the gear or how much you money you spent on your shoes. Fitness, racing, and workouts are about heart and attitude. Period. If you haven’t made the investment in your training and mental fortitude… well, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for your new compression shorts.
You need a few basic items to workout:
- comfortable shorts or pants
- a decent shirt- cotton will work, but wicking is better if you can afford one
- ladies- get a good sports bra. Your ta-tas will appreciate it. Sports bras should be replaced after 75 washes or if you lose a significant amount of weight
- running / athletic shoes (some will disagree you need these and that is okay too- barefoot running is huge trending change in the sport)
… now let me say a few things about running shoes…
This article by Runner’s World provides some insight into one of the most commonly made mistakes by new runners – get the glittery fun colorful shoes and pay no attention whatsoever to body mechanics. I completely understand the draw of fancy shoes. As a pronator, I require stability running shoes and until recently there was very little to choose from in terms of color and style in a functional motion control shoe. The neutral runners had greater choice in their footwear, but I was relegated to simple boring shoes. This is no longer the case, but the danger still exists to go for the sparkly or neon shoes. Go to a running store. Get fitted and get shoes that are right for you. Your knees and hips will thank you.
If you want to read a humorous additional take on the subject of what kind of gear you need to get a good workout in, check out Hamilton Nolan’s article here.