The gear.

One of the truly great things about being a runner is the freedom. Emphasis on free. You really don’t need to spend a lot of money to start (or continue!) but I challenge you to find a runner who is not obsessed with their kit. I am. Mr. Neon is too. So, instead of the more traditional first post introduction I am going to give you a run down of some of the gear I use on a day to day basis.

First, without doubt the most important thing a runner has is what they put, or don’t put, on their feet. I have three pairs of trainers that I run with:
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Yes, that’s three pairs of trainers. The first pair, the ones that I run in the most, are Nike Structure 15s:
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I overpronate and the support that these have make them a great all around shoe for me. From long slow runs to painful hill sessions, they are great. It goes without saying (though I am obviously going to say it anyway) that the other two pairs do not get as much run-time as these. I’ll start with the pretty awesome Nike Lunarglide 4s:
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Any runners who use Nike+ might remember a few months ago Nike UK put on a night time run from Covent Garden to celebrate the (then) impending release of this shoe. Sixty runners were invited down and each were given a pair of these shoes pre-release to complete the 5km run. Well, I was lucky enough to be one of those sixty runners. The Lunarglides are super-light, very bouncy and have a great response. As such, I am most likely to wear them on long runs, and all of my more recent 10km plus runs have happened in these shoes. The last pair are the Nike Free Run 3s (with a 5.0 sole, meaning they have a 50% ‘barefoot feel’):
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I’ve had these shoes the shortest amount of time, but I absolutely adore them.  In fact, I think my next trainer purchase will be a pairof these with a 3.0 (70% barefoot feel) sole. I am still getting used to them, which for ‘normal’ trainers would be a death-sentence, but they are my first foray into minimalist running shoes, so I am taking it slow. These are, as I’m sure you can imagine, super light. As such, they are great for shorter, tempo and faster runs.

The next thing that runners will obviously look at is a way to track their runs.  A lot of runners seem to be highly motivated by numbers and I am certainly one of those.  I mean, look at my post-run wrist:

The big watch is the Nike+ Sportwatch.  I have the regular version (though, I would dearly love to buy the new limited edition white version).  I know a lot of people have whinged and moaned about this watch, but I really like it.  It does what I need it to do and I personally have never had problems.  The little band is a Nike+ FuelBand.  It’s not a strictly running thing – I wear it all day and, again using the motivation-by-numbers, use it to push myself further.  And sometimes, I use it to make sure I’m resting when my training says I should be resting.  I will most likely say a lot more about these two bits of kit in coming posts.  I’m sure you’ve guessed that I use Nike+, and if you do to you can friend me either though my profile or by searching elliemackin.

The only other major bit of kit that I use is the newest thing I have.  In fact, it is literally only days old (to me, though I bought it second-hand):

It’s the Maclaren Mac3 running pram.  I’ve taken it out on two serious runs (and one getting used to it/being very excited about it run) and so far I think it’s going really well.  It’s allowing me to run during the day, which I prefer.  The biggest issue I’m having, surprisingly, is adjusting my pace expectation.  Suddenly a run that’s written down as slow becomes 15 seconds per kilometre slower.  I’m not worried about the pace, I’m more worried about pushing myself too hard on the runs that are meant to be the easier ones.  I’m sure it will all come together soon enough.

There is more – a lot more – to say.  About everything, not just kit.  But, for now, this is the first in a series of introductory posts.  The next step, I think, will be a run-down of my short and long term running goals so you can see where I’m at as a runner.

But, until then: happy running!

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