Safety Equipment and Clothing for Runners
In a previous article we talked about the importance of having the correct running footwear.
We are now going to look at other safety equipment and clothing for runners that you may find useful.
Now that you've gathered your equipment, gadgets and your running shoes, and you understand how why you're running, it's time to start running.
When running you want to wear something that will not rub your skin. Rubbing can be uncomfortable.
Look for loose running shorts for warm weather conditions and also leggings when the weather is colder. You could also consider compression leggings and shorts. These are said to help support your muscles so you can run with less energy and it takes less time to recover.
It goes without saying that when you run you bounce. Whether you are male or female, there are some parts of your body you just don't want to bounce about. Put on support garments like compression underwear for men and sports bras for ladies.
Like shorts, you ideally want to wear a top that's not going to rub. Some people favour cotton t-shirts while others wear moisture wicking tops.
You might find that you have problems with rubbing on your nipples - this happens to both males and females. A tighter t-shirt might minimize the rubbing. Some runners/joggers have actually been known to tape over their nipples. This normally happens more when when you are endurance running.
Windbreakers and vests help to keep you warm and also keep the wind off of your skin. They work during all months except during the hottest summer season. If you're running in the winter, layers under a windbreaker may be the most effective solution. You can unzip and get rid of layers as you warm up.
* Gloves - Running gloves are terrific for the chilliest days and must both wick away moisture and keep your hands warm.
* Hat/Visor - Get a hat with a brim so it keeps the sunlight out of your eyes. During the summer a baseball hat or visor will be fine. Through the winter you might favour a knitted beanie hat.
* Grip - During the winter if you are running on snow/ice think about buying traction devices. These strap to your footwear and prevent you from slipping. Snow gaiters are great for keeping snow out of the top of your shoes.
Other Gear to Think About
If you run in the dark,dawn or sunset think about adding a little bit of reflective tape to your clothing or equipment.
A reflective vest, head lamp or even a flasher that fixes to your waist can help cars as well as bikes see you.
If you have problems with sweat a lot think about wearing sweat bands on your wrist and/or head. You can also find visors, as well as hats with built-in in sweat bands.
Roadway ID arm bands or Sports Identity Wristbands can include your emergency medical and contact details on them. They're lightweight and very simple to put on and they just might save your life in case of an accident.
Think about using devices like digital pedometers that can track your steps and intensity level.
You might consider a GPS tracker also.
Let's talk about heart rate monitors ...
There are 2 kinds of heart rate monitors. There is the traditional method. This consists of a strap you put around your chest and a receiver for your wrist. The receiver is normally a watch and may include a few other health monitoring features.
It is now very common for heart rate monitors to look like watches. Instead of fitting a strap around your body, you touch a particular area on the watch and it measures your heart rate through your finger.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Some individuals struggle to get accurate readings with the watch design of monitor. Others don't like the feeling of a strap around their chest.
No matter which method you pick, there are definite benefits to using a heart rate monitor. The most important advantage could be that it helps you recognize how hard your body is working. You can also make use of your heart rate monitor to guide your training runs. Her's how:
Step One: Know Your MHR - Maximum Heart Rate.
There are two common ways to compute this number. The first is to subtract your age from 220. So if you're 40 years old then your MHR is 180.
The other way is to use this formula - 205 - (.5 x your age). If you're 40 then it would be 205-20 which is 185. Note that there's very little difference between these two calculations.
Step Two: Your Running Goals
Your target heart rate is normally based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate. For instance, if you're going on loosening up run then your target heart rate would be 65% of your MHR.
Continuing with the example of a 40 year old that target heart rate would be 117.
Target heart rates for a fast run would be 85% of your MHR.
A heart rate monitor can help you recognize if you're working hard enough or over doing it. Furthermore, if you're overweight or having problems with illness your doctor may advise using a heart rate monitor so you don't push your body too hard too quickly. Heart rate monitors aren't that costly and also they can be a really valuable running tool.