I ran my very first race this weekend. A new 5K here in Madrid through the beautiful Casa del Campo. I know 5 km isn't much to people who've been running for years, but for me it was a major accomplishment. Words cannot describe how excited and proud I felt to participate, and finish, and with a much better time than I'd anticipated too! So in honor of small goals and huge achievements, I dedicate this post to the runners out there, beginning and advanced. Go on, get your run on.
Some running essentials...
For running outfits, I like to go either loose on top or loose on the bottom. Still can't quite bring myself to get out there in just a sports bra and leggings, but maybe eventually I will, if for no other reason than it is 100º here. For now, here are a few ways you can stick to the rule of One Tight, One Loose:
1. Lululemon workout clothes are extremely expensive, and honestly I find their whole uber-friendly sales staff horribly grating, but their stuff is superb. I got one of their high tech tanks and I'm in love with it. So once in a while, reward yourself with something luxurious like their Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank to work out in.
2. Pair your slinky tank with some roomier pants like these from Nike. I tend to prefer woven fabrics for looser workout gear because then it won't cling to you as much.
3. Another option is a loose t-shirt up top with some little capri leggings underneath. I absolutely love Under Armour Heat Gear, and my absolute favorite is the Men's UA Tech T-Shirt. I cut the neck wide and roll up the sleeves, but that fabric floats and wicks and breathes like nobody's business.
4. Pair the oversized t-shirt some great sports leggings like these. You'll want to invest in some leggings designed specifically for exercise because they breathe and wick sweat so much better, and also these have a little hidden pocket inside for your keys or ipod shuffle.
Regardless of your preferred running style, here are some essentials that everyone needs:
5. My absolute favorite sports bras are actually from Target. They are supportive enough without being too substantial, come in all kinds of bright and happy colors, and are super affordable.
6. Unless you're sporting a super short pixie, you'll need to keep your hair out of your face. These magical rubber bands stay put forever and don't pull any hair out or get tangled when you take them out.
7. & 8. You'll need good sunscreen, both for your body and your face. Don't skip this, even if you're avoiding peak sun hours. But you would never go out without sunscreen, right?
9. I used to just run in whatever shortie socks I picked up at H&M, but once I started running longer and harder I also started getting blisters. I recently invested in a pair of these Nike anti-blister socks and I am a total convert. They feel a little weird at first, not nearly as stretchy as normal socks and ridiculously thin, but once they're on your awareness of them completely disappears and your feet feel joyously free and dry.
10. Last, but definitely not least, you need a good pair of running shoes. You should go to a specialized running store and have them do a gait analysis and make sure you're getting the right ones for your particular body. I had a lot of fun finding my shoes, and a year later they are still going strong.
So, now you're ready, get out there and hit the pavement!
Do you run? Have you done a race before?