Orla Kerbey blogs at www.graciesbakes.com and gave me heaps of advice when I first gave running a go. She’s training for the Dublin City Marathon this year (and running in aid of www.ispcc.ie) , so I’ve asked her to share her top running essentials with us.
Running is the cheapest sport you could ever start. But it can also become the most expensive one too. There are endless amounts of kit, runners that help you run faster and further, and watches that can tell if you are the next Sonia O Sullivan. And all of these bits and pieces can really add up.
I have been running for about 7 years, and it is highly addictive. Whether you are training for your first 5 km, or your 5th marathon (yours truly) you will soon realise that other runners don’t care what you are wearing, or whether your trainers are “this season” or not.
However, there are some pieces of equipment that I think every runner should have and should invest in. But beware – running is highly addictive and soon words like performance, wicking and compression will soon work their way into your vocabulary!
First things first – taming your ta-tas! Yes – a sports bra!!! If you only invest in one piece of running gear this year, make it a good sports bra. According to Oprah, about 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. So ladies, do yourself a favour and get yourself into your local department or lingerie store and get measured properly. If you are wearing the wrong size bra day today, you will end up wearing the wrong size sports bra.
I popped into Arnotts a while back and the wonderful ladies there measured me and I was wearing the wrong size. I have been wearing the Shock Absorber Run (€47.50 nationwide) for a while now and it is by far the most comfortable, and secure bra I have ever worn – no more movement.
Next on my list, I would recommend a good pair of running socks. Trainer liners are my particular favourite as I can’t stand the feeling of anything around my ankles when I run. These literally line your runners but there are plenty of other options. I would recommend though that which ever ones you buy are fitted around the arch and top of your foot with not much looseness around the toes or ankle. If there is any loose fabric, it could cause rubbing or gathering in your runners resulting in a dreaded blister!
I wear the Hilly Twin Skin Socklets (€14) which have 2 layers in them. They are available on the Irish Fit webstore – a little pricey but totally worth it. Your lack of blisters will speak for itself!
Next up on the list is trainers. As you get more into running and your mileage increases, it is worth investing in a good, structured pair of trainers. Pop into your local running store and ask them for gait analysis. Now this isn’t secret code something kinky runners do – it is simply when you are filmed running on a treamill from the back in your bare feet. It is then played back in slow motion to see how your feet land. It will let you know if you have a neutral footstrike, or if you over or under pronate. That is whether you land on the inside or outside of your feet. They will then recommend a suitable pair of trainers for you. You shouldn’t pay for this service but you also shouldn’t be pressured into a purchase. I had my gait checked a couple of years back and I know what suits me.
I head to Kildare Village where there is a great Nike, Reebok and most recently Asics stores. I wear Asics GT 2150 and buy them in Kildare Village for less than €60 a pair. They usually retail at €120 so they are amazing value!
Your kit and running gear is completely a personal choice. Look around the sales – again Kildare Village is excellent for bargains. TK Maxx is also super for picking up running specific shirts, shorts and capri pants. Try to stick to non cotton fabrics – cotton will only hold moisture causing chafing and rubbing which leads to blisters and soreness. Look for key words like Dry Fit and Wicking on swing labels.
From the beauty side of things, the one thing I never leave the house without is sunscreen. Your face is out there exposed to the elements, wind and UV rays. Look for one that is designed for sports. Boots have a number of different choices that are reasonably priced. I can’t recommend one for your skin type so use your best judgement. I wear SPF 25 Anti Ageing Moisturiser from Clinique. It stays still for me during a run – but others may find it greasy.
Now that you are all decked out for your run with your fancy new trainers, and non jiggly boobs, and as you work towards your training goal your mileage will increase consistently. As you stretch carefully after your run, you will have little aches and niggles in your calves, quads and glutes (that’s your bum!) and it is lovely to be able to treat yourself – not with chocolate – but with some lovely De stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil, followed up with some De Stress Muscle Gel from Aromatherapy Associates (available from Pink Beauty Emporium Dundrum and aromatherapyassociates.com).
I am particularly taken with the gel (150ml, £21) which contains Rosemary, Black Pepper and Ginger. When massaged into aching muscles it cools and relaxes releasing tension in aching muscles and joints. One sniff and I am instantly calmed.
Running is my therapy. It clears my head and makes me feel good. I feel that I can achieve anything I want. This autumn I will run my 5th marathon in Dublin City. But after that, I will continue to run because it makes me feel good. I hope you keep running too – whether it’s a mile or 26.2.
Orla Kerbey has been running for 7 years and blogs at www.graciesbakes.com – which is the very reason that she runs. She will be running her 5th marathon, the Dublin City Marathon in October this year in aid of the ISPCC. If you would like to run any distance in aid of the ISPCC, visit www.ispcc.ie and sign up!Tweet