Equipment & Preparation

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I realized, that before I could undertake a task such as running a marathon I would need to be prepared and have the right gear.

Please note that for someone just starting to run, the only thing you really need is a good pair of running shoes.  The first thing you should do before buying anything or running anywhere is to get checked out by your Doctor. 

As far as equipment goes, running is one of the cheapest sports to start in.  Between what I already knew from my previous attempts at running and my goal this time, I came up with this list of equipment needed:

1) Running Shoes – I had an old pair that had done quite a few miles as they were about 15 years old!  I decided that given that I was training to run a Marathon – I would need a good pair of shoes that would like after my slightly aging joints.  The last thing I wanted was a silly injury that prevented me from taking this journey!

My first stop was at JackRabbit Sports Shop in Park Slope.  I ventured upstairs to the shoe section where I was presented with a myriad of options.  A nice young lady probably saw the look of confusion on my face and kindly lent me a hand.  She asked me what my plan was and what kind of shoes I had used in the past.  I explained that it had been a long time since my last pair of running shoes and that they were purchased more on looks than anything else!  She took pity on me, gave me a pair to try on and then set me off running on the treadmill that they have in the store.  I repeated this with 3 different pairs of shoes after they had determined that I could benefit from shoes that would provide added stability.

I settled on the Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 12 Running Shoe and I love them so far.  It really does help to go to a specialist store to try a few pairs of shoes on.  The added benefit of them filming your feet while you are on the treadmill just solidifies the feeling that you are been looked after.

2) GPS (already owned) – I had a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor from a previous venture into running a few years ago.  Although I would not necessarily recommend one now with the prevalence of iPhones that have GPS functionality – I do like the accuracy and versatility of the ForeRunner for tracking my pace during the run and analyzing after.  The Heart Rate monitor is also helpful to demonstrate exactly how unfit I am! Try one of the many iPhone apps first, and if you like the additional information the GPS can provide, look into one of these.  I have heard that the 305 is still the GPS of choice for many runners even though it is not the latest model.

3) Tracking Software – This is related to the GPS.  After each run, I will be uploading the data to a piece of software called TrailRunner.  You will see some of the data I will get from using this software and I hope that it will help provide me with information of the progress I am making in my quest.

4) Arm Band & Headphones for iPhone – Invaluable – some people may say that listening to your iPod or iPhone while running is dangerous but I am willing to take the chance as I would get incredibly bored otherwise!  I went with the Tuneband for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S as the reviews for it were great.  I was very impressed with it when it arrived and I now use the case pretty much 24/7.

In my previous attempts at running regularly, I had always struggled to keep my ear buds in place without suffering pain!  A friend who just ran the Boston Marathon highly recommended the Polk Audio UltraFit 3000 Headphones.  Although they were pricy, I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket so decided to go for them.  It was a great decision – they are very comfortable, secure and you can barely tell you are wearing them.  The model I went with comes with a remote as standard, which is hugely important to me due to the amount of Music Together tracks and other assorted horrible music that I encounter on shuffle.  One day I will make a playlist!

5) Running Socks – One last but important thing.  I purchased a couple of pairs of Balega Hidden Comfort Socks, having suffered the irritation of regular atletic socks slipping down below the heel, or the embarrassment of wearing black ankle socks when running I decided it was worth the $10 to run in comfort and dignity!

I will keep updating the list, but this will enough to get me running in comfort and style.

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