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Good Equipment for a Good Run

The sun is already with us and now that you know how to prepare your pre-run routine, you have decided to go for it, with your running shoes on. Whether you just started or you’re back on track, here are a few tips to help you make the right decisions and choose your equipment well, in order to make maximise your pleasure and performance.

WHERE TO RUN?

There are several websites to find (new) places to tread on. But you should first ask yourself some questions:

  • Do I want to train near my place or my office, or would I rather get away and get some fresh air?
  • Do I want to work on my speed, performance, or do I want to focus on terrain, track and effort variety?
  • Am I running for a trail or marathon-type race or simply to get fit?
  • Do I want to run in the city or in the countryside?
  • What is my running level? How is my overall health?

These questions may sound simplistic, but answering them will help you determine the time you will devote to running, and more importantly, the type of equipment you will need, from shoes, to mobile apps and hydration methods.

Those who choose to run outside can find detailed track ideas, according to difficulty level and type of effort needed, on the website of the Société des espaces plein air du Québec (Quebec outdoor spaces society): (SEPAQ)

SHOES

There are several elements to take into account when choosing your running shoes, and you should not take it lightly: your health depends on it! To avoid exhaustion and injuries, make sure to visit several shops and ask sales assistants for advice.

Here are some tips to guide your decision:

- Determine your type of stride: neutral, pronation or supination? Depending on your points of support, different shoes must be chosen. To identify what suits you, you can look at the wear marks on your soles, or use the wet foot test. Find out more on this in an informative article by Sport Expert.

- Determine your running style:

Winter or summer? Like tires, different shoes are suitable for different climate requirements, whether to keep your feet warm and dry, or to keep them cool. There are all-purpose shoes, like all-season tires, but if you are serious about running, investing in season-specific pairs is a sensible idea.

Indoor or outdoor? Obviously, if you prefer indoor tracks or treadmills, no need for several pairs. Ground type is a crucial factor to determine which type of sole you will need, particularly in terms of shock absorption, ankle support, etc.

- Track running or road running?

This is an important question, especially for shoes. Trail tracks and race tracks involve different types of technicality, and different types of constraints for the runner. Do you know what you want? Paths offer you a variety of landscapes, obstacles, and a beautiful community. Roads give you a consistent ground, which helps you work on your performances.

Do you find trails enticing? If you’re already a regular runner, no need to invest for the first times, according to MEC: your dry track equipment should be enough to try, providing you follow a few guidelines.

Note that there’s no need to be an advanced road runner to try track running, it’s mostly about taste and pleasure!

BOTTLES AND DRINKS

For bottle equipment, you also need to know whether you’ll be mostly running on tracks or roads.

- bottles you can hold in your hand or with a lanyard: water access is easy but holding the bottle during effort can prove unpleasant

- belts with one or more bottles: our advice is to choose an elastic belt with as few loops as possible, and choose several bottles. You will need to switch drinks and keep your hydration level at its optimal level: electrolyte drinks and water to spray on yourself for instance.

- hydration vests aren’t really necessary on roads, but they can be really useful on tracks. Like for belts, take your time and try different products before buying them, close all loops and mime the movements when striding.

WHAT ABOUT AN APP?

With smart phones and watches, the number of available apps has grown fast. Some choices need to be made as to which app suits you best:

  • Do you need an app? Not necessarily. But it’s an interesting tool to track your progress, rhythm, and on some apps, a lot more information to improve your running experience and performance.
  • Do you have a smart watch? If so, it can already help you track numerous metrics, but you might want to optimise it with a GPS feature for example, using an app.
  • Do you have to pay to get a good app? Not necessarily, but like all apps, premium versions offer more detailed features, and extra tools. It’s up to you to decide if you want to invest, and if the price is worth it.
  • What about the app community? Some apps record your results, others let you share them, or find nearby users to go for a run together, for example. To increase motivation, people turn to what suits them best. There is no absolute best choice.

Coup de Pouce offers a well-summarized selection of 6 apps for runners, men and women.

Runnersworld offers a more exhaustive panorama depending on your level, terrain type etc., and Travelandleisure explores another app for running travellers.

MOTIVATION

A major factor in any field, regardless of your level, so you’d better maintain it as much as your health!

Whether you need an app showing your progress, friends and colleagues to run with, or the mere pleasure of feeling better, it is important to enjoy yourself.

Make sure you read documentation, meet people with common interests, and set yourself goals, in order to ensure durable, happy, and successful commitment.

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IN SHORT:

- Start running on the right foot: choose your shoes carefully, according to your stride and running terrain.

- Take care of yourself: hydration is a key factor for runners, and is often poorly anticipated, particularly during the summer. To avoid cramps, dehydration, fatigue and headaches, electrolytes are the best ally for runners, regardless of terrain, level or effort. Make sure to check our article on the sudation process among athletes.

- Take your performance into account: take secure, incremental steps

- Take whatever time you need: Stretch before and after each session (see the exercises prepared by our athlete and fitness trainer JP Moisan here).

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If you have any questions, feel free to pick our ambassador athletes’ brains! They’re devoted to keeping our fitness community alive around healthy values, sharing useful information for all on #teampowerrunenergy!


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