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Help kit me out - first time runner

(41 Posts)
365ThingsToDo Thu 05-Feb-15 10:33:52

I need to start exercising. I'm going to be 40 at the end of the year and have always loathed getting hot and sweaty (in public), but I've decided to bit the bullet and do the 0-5km NHS programme.

But I think I'd be very motivated if I had the right outfit, rather than ancient joggers and an old T-shirt. My trainers are 20 years old.

Where can I start? I don't want to spend a fortune, and last time I contemplated this my DH insisted I go to some specialised running shop where they'd observe me running on a running machine before declaring which vastly expensive trainers they should sell me. My enthusiasm instantly fizzled.

I'm size 14-16, I've had three children, and I want long tops which would hide my enormous bottom and tummy. I just want to look the part so I can stop feeling humiliated about being beetroot-faced in public and start concentrating on the getting fit bit.

Where should i start?

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 10:42:29

It is extremely important to wear good shoes, and actually a gait analysis is instrumental in choosing the right shoes for you. I work in a sports shop and we always recommend that people spend to the very top of whatever budget they're comfortable with. Or spend less on the shoes and pay for moulded foot balance insoles which will customise any shoe specifically to your foot. They're expensive but well worth it in terms of cushioning, foot alignment and hopefully prevention of injury. Just make sure it's a proper running shoe. I'd recommend the newer style running shoe (Nike free, Skechers, etc) with a flatter stance rather than the big thick heel of the traditional style, because I feel they're better for your feet and your running gait and your body and joints in general. If you prefer a chunkier heel the Adidas boost is very good and very comfortable - the sole and heel are more 'squishy' than for ex the Asics. Ultimately it's up to you, though - if it feels 'right' on your foot it's a good bet to start out with.

Now is a good time to buy because there are lots of sales about.

Clothing wise, I'd say go for whatever running or fitness gear makes you feel good. Have a look in your local sportswear shop and take it from there. Make sure it's breathable and wicks moisture away.

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 10:44:30

If you can find a shop that sells foot balance insoles you will be happy to hear that their analysis is done by photos of your feet rather than running on the spot, so you won't have to put up with being observed if you don't feel comfortable with that.

CMOTDibbler Thu 05-Feb-15 10:47:30

I'm afraid that the shoe bit is unavoidable, but people are always really nice to new runners.

My fave top at the moment is this which is a lovely length, and frankly you can't go wrong with the Karrimor running tights for the price

jeee Thu 05-Feb-15 10:47:37

DH is right about your running shoes - a running shop's with a machine-thingy is your best bet. FWIW, when I have to visit our local running shop (not for me, you understand, my children run) there are always novice runners being tortured assessed.

Sports Direct have good, cheap running clothes.

jeee Thu 05-Feb-15 10:48:15

I have no idea why I included a random 's at the end of shop.

365ThingsToDo Thu 05-Feb-15 10:51:21

Thanks, HolgerDanske. I was thinking I couldn't get injured jogging gently at the start, then if I get into this I can buy expensive customised ones later.

I'd prefer to buy stuff online really.

lurkerspeaks Thu 05-Feb-15 10:52:49

Brave the treadmill. I didn't for my second pair of shoes - just bought the new model if my first pair and they really hurt.

That was a fairly expensive lesson!

Otherwise I say good sports bra, nice socks (I like phd smartwool) and Lycra capris or tights. Top wise I wear a thin icebreaker.

I have gloves for when it is cold and a buff to keep my hair out of the way...

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 10:54:44

On another note, just wanted to recommend you follow a running plan like c25k as it's vital you don't overload yourself too quickly. Running is addictive and you will quickly start to feel fab and with this comes a tendency to want to do too much too quickly. If you follow a plan it's more likely you will avoid the pitfalls of injury. Take it from someone who didn't know the first thing about running back when I started - you do not want to develop chronic plantar fasciitis or other such problems. Slow and easy smile

There was a really inspiring article from a guest on MN just recently, can't remember what it was called though, about running even when you don't consider yourself a 'proper runner' and the amazing things she'd achieved. I hope you can find it and read it smile

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 10:56:40

Don't buy online unless you're prepared to send them back if you need to. Honestly you need to try them on and make sure they're right. Be aware that many, many people run in shoes that are too small for them by at least half a size.

Fair enough if you really don't want to spend a lot, but please spend as much as you can reasonably afford. Good luck on starting out running!!

365ThingsToDo Thu 05-Feb-15 10:58:28

Thank you everyone! I'm loving the idea I could become "addicted".

That top in the SportsDirect link is properly cheap!

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 11:03:22

Argh sorry just re-read your OP and it says right there that you're doing c25k! I get all excited and just want to get stuck in grin

365ThingsToDo Thu 05-Feb-15 11:07:22

No worries Holger - I'm such a novice I can't even get the terms right! Your help is really appreciated.

PeachandBlack Thu 05-Feb-15 11:08:57

I echo getting gait analysis and properly fitted trainers. I did C25k a couple of years ago and had to buy new trainers in week 2 as my old ones weren't supportive enough and gave me knee pain. After that sort out your sports bra.

These are the foundations, the rest of what you wear will come down to preference. Good luck as well. I'm a fairweather runneray but I usually enjoy it.

princessdave Thu 05-Feb-15 11:09:46

Regular runner and I was going to suggest Sports Direct as well. It's old season stock so they shift it really cheap. Definitely agree with HolgerDrankse about gait analysis and well fitting running shoes.

Matalan have some nice fitness clothes in at the moment.

Once you reach the end of you C25K have a look for a parkrun near you. There are hundreds all over the UK now. It's a free timed 5k run on Saturday morning and children are allowed to run too. I push my LOs around in a buggy sometimes.

Don't worry about what anyone else thinks - if anything we are all thinking, good on her, another runner getting up and out in winter, that's the hardest time to start smile

Oh and the addicted bit... it's possible. Since 2009 I've run 210 parkruns (had two children in that time as well!)

Good luck!

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Thu 05-Feb-15 11:11:35

The karrimor stuff at sportsdirect I fab, I have several pairs of the running tights and I buy the tops a size bigger as i don't like having them too clingy. The running jacket is great too, as you can tie it around your waist if you get too hot.

I started running about 2 years ago, well I say running, I run now I started walking fast blush I brought plain black leggings and a huge oversized t-shirt, but then moved onto the karrimor and other sports direct bargains. My trainers have always been from sports direct, I now have new balance ones,

but these were the same as the first ones I ever brought. they had a nice springy sole, but firm support for my foot and were recommended by several friends. I've never had a gait anaylis and have ran a couple of half marathons now and do park run every weekend and frequent 5k and 10k runs. I run most nights as well. buy the earphones like this and they stay in.

I now really like gap for fitness wear, the tights there are great and often o into the sale.

the only thing I have spent a lot of money on is a sports bra, but that wasn't through choice, I just couldn't find a cheap one that provided enough support.

Tisiphone Thu 05-Feb-15 11:18:43

Throw on any old horrors to run in, but pay attention to shoes and sports bra, which are the only important bit, for me. I also recommend going to a shop where trained staff watch you run and judge pronation etc. The one I always used when we lived in London was Run and Become in Victoria, where you always knew you were in the right place because of people wearing business suits or elaborate dresses jogging up and down outside, watched by impassive assistants.

Spend your money on shoes and a good bra, and kit up cheaply from Sports Direct for everything else.

Addiction is definitely possible - watch yourself!

Shop Thu 05-Feb-15 11:22:34

Please get measured/analysed for proper running shoes.
My friend started c25k with me and refused. She ended up in pot. 6 months later we tried again and she still didn't get proper shoes, she ended up needing an operation and can't run as a hobby now.

This is an extreme example and she clearly needed good shoes but this happened to her at the 3 week mark both times.

Please get proper shoes

365ThingsToDo Thu 05-Feb-15 11:28:57

Fabulous, thanks so much for all those links.

I have just put in a £64 order at Sports Direct (which was surprisingly bargainatious), so I can't change my mind. I'm afraid I've ordered HelpMeGetOutOfHere's running shoes instead of finding a running shop (coward), but promise to return them if they're not entirely comfortable, and get myself to some specialists.

Now I'm off to find the C25k app thingy...

Get me! I'll be joining those hardcore Park Runners with three children in tow by the end of the summer...

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Thu 05-Feb-15 11:36:25

The trouble is, some people can go without gait analysis because they run neutral. But you have little way of knowing how you run without gait analysis. They probably will feel comfortable, but you could end up injured with the wrong shoes. I speak from experience!

Of course, if you're just starting out, then you're not going to be running any sort of distance for a little while, so my suggestion would be to start in those ones if they are comfortable, but go for gait analysis when you really start running. Perhaps a proper pair of shoes could be your reward for getting up to 5k?

tootiredtobeinspired Thu 05-Feb-15 11:43:06

Definitely go to a proper shop for trainers, I am a novice and felt silly on the treadmill but the staff in the shop were really nice and the shoes dont have to be extortionate (think mine were about £75).
I started running in normal old trainers and quickly got sore knees because I need shoes that stop me rolling my feet. Proper running shoes make a massive difference to me and I am not even doing a lot - just 5K two or three times a week.

gingerfluffball Thu 05-Feb-15 11:45:54

I forked out for decent running shoes after a good year of running in old ones, went and did the gait analysis and everything. Glad I didn't do it at the start as it's expensive and a bit intimidating and I wasn't sure if I was going to stick at it. But if you do, and end up enjoying running, good shoes are definitely worth it.

Sweaty Betty do good running gear too, can order online.

Enjoy it! Remember absolutely no one is judging you, or how fast you are, or what you look like, most are just glad to see another runner out!

HelpMeGetOutOfHere Thu 05-Feb-15 11:49:04

in an ideal world you an just try loads on and jog up and down in the shop, but we can't always get to the shops so sometimes take a risk. If they feel wrong at all then return them and try different ones. i'm hoping im not tempting fate now but I have been running for a couple of years now and just found my trainers myself.

A dad of one of dd's friends runs marathons and has never had his gait analysed either, hes in training for the London marathon currently. Some people are susceptible to injury and it may not be the shoes, that of course could be a factor for some, but for many its not, its more about the way they run or a plain old accident, stumbling/tripping/uneven ground etc.

Re park run, I swore blind I wouldn't get involved and now I do every Saturday, its nice to have a bit of company occasionally. I run mainly on my own during the week. ds2 will sometimes join me but he usually runs ahead (oh the joys of being 13 and fast) after a while as i'm too slow for him.
Good luck 365, let us know how you get on. I hope you find the trainers comfortable and supportive enough.

funchum8am Thu 05-Feb-15 11:51:14

I got totally addicted while doing c25k! Try the Get Running app - it is the same running plan as c25k but I liked the app better. Good lck!

HolgerDanske Thu 05-Feb-15 12:06:49

If the shoes feel good keep them and look up where you can get foot balance insoles fitted - they can go into any running shoe and will do a far better job than targeted shoes anyway, so for £45 you will get absolutely perfect trainers for your feet. The insoles will last a good long while and will add further cushioning and prevent over-pronation if you're that way inclined.

You can skip the analysis altogether if you know you want the insoles as they're moulded specifically to your foot and the analysis is for visual information only and is not directly linked to fitting the insoles. We get lots and lots of people into our shops who have been recommended these insoles by their GP, podiatrist or chiropodist. Even if you're a neutral runner they're a good idea because they will keep your feet supported along the arch and ensure that you continue to maintain good alignment.

The reason why I recommend you do this sooner rather than later is that it's very easy to build bad habits when starting running and you're really better off going in with your best foot forward (har har). And if you have it, £45 is not much to pay to ensure your feet and joints are as well cared for as possible. You also get a 30 day money back guarantee on them, so you can get a refund if you don't find they suit.

Again, good luck! You're a runner now! Or you will be once you've done your first session smile

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