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Running Basics - The Gear Guide

Sarah is looking towards the camera giving a peace sign. she is dressed for running and is wearing a black hat, green sunglasses and a pink top. You can see headphones around her neck

Starting Out - What You Need

You don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money when you first start running. If you have a pair of trainers then you’re good to go!

A pair of Primark workout leggings will see you through your first few months of running, you can always invest later down the line if you find that you enjoy running and want to continue.

When I first started running, I had a pair of ASICS trainers I’d bought for about £20 in the sale and a pair of £8 Primark leggings – which were always falling down!

I continued with these for the first few weeks of the Couch to 5K, only treating myself to some newer leggings/tops from ASDA once I knew running was something I wanted to continue with.

All of the running gear I own was either bought from Primark, ASDA, a charity shop, Depop, online or from a proper running shop.

The two most expensive items are my trainers (£120) and my sunglasses (£25) – for me these were both investments well worth making and ones which will hopefully last me a long time.

Proper Trainers Are A Must!

If you’re going to take running seriously and are finding you’re going out a few times a week then I would highly recommend getting a gait analysis done. This will assess the way you run in your old trainers vs the ones you’re trying on in the shop.

Obviously you’ll be able to tell which ones are the most comfortable (& are easy to get on/off!) when trying them on, but it’s always worth getting your gait professionally analysed so that your future runs will be easy ones!

Choosing The Right Sport Tops

Making the right choice of tops is essential if you want to stay cool and dry whilst out running. You want to look for tops that are moisture-wicking and lightweight.

You can always add an extra running jacket over the top if the weather’s inclement – if you’re like me you’ll go out without one more often than not because you get really warm (& sweaty!) during your run!

(I’d recommend getting one which is high viz preferably, so you can ensure that you’re seen during your runs. More important when running in the evening/early morning/bad weather/winter/autumn!)

Sarah is looking towards the camera she is dressed for running and has a number attached to her high viz top. She is wearing a black hat and green sunglasses
Sarah is walking towards the camera, she is dressed for running in blue leggings, a multicoloured black blue and red top, green sunglasses and black hat. She has black trainers on

The Other Essentials

Waist Belt

You don’t want to run whilst holding your phone, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen, so save yourself the pain and invest in a waist belt.

I got mine from Primark so there’s definitely no need to spend a lot on this – so long as your phone fits and there’s room for perhaps some lip balm and a pack of tissues you’re all set!


The sunglasses are self-explanatory if I’m honest but it’s well worth investing in a pair of shades that are designed to be worn whilst running. The ones I have are from Goodr and are the absolute best when I’m sweating up a storm on a run!

They’re designed to stay put whilst this is happening and so give you peace of mind to just be able to run without worrying that your shades will fall off!


The hat I use was one I won in a competition but works perfectly for keeping the sun out of eyes and the rain off of my face.

I didn’t used to run in one but then I did a guided run with Coach Bennett from the Nike Run Club app, who told me I should be wearing one when it’s sunny/raining, so now I never run without it.

Sports Bra

OK, so if you’re a woman, or someone who has breasts, and you want to run, you’ll need a decent sports bra. When I first started out I used the ones I already had, but knew I needed to get measured again and then invest in one suitable for the job.

You can pick up sports bras from pretty much anywhere these days, so this needn’t be a huge expense, but you want to make sure that it’s suitable for running and will protect your girls!

I love M&S for this but I’ve also got one in the sale from Pour Moi.

Sarah is stood in front of the mirror and is dressed for running. She is wearing black shorts, a pink waist belt, a grey jacket and a pink top.

Something else I’d like to add here are proper running socks. Prior to getting my new running shoes, I didn’t know I would need them, but they’re designed to be worn with your trainers and will help keep your feet fresh and prevent blisters.

Worth the extra spend for sure – plus it means your other socks will be kept fresh for you to wear after you’ve finished! (I got mine on offer – 3 for £15)


Another addition would be a pair of headphones. When I first started out I used my wired ones but the more runs I did the more annoying the wires became so I went back to good ol’ Primark and picked up a pair of wireless, bluetooth enabled headphones for £8.

Probably not the best but they do the job and allow me to run without getting caught up in wires. Perhaps one day I’ll invest in some Aftershocks, but for now I’m happy !

Sports Watch

I also purchased (with a gift card) a cheap sports watch from Amazon which counts my steps, my heart rate shows the time, date and allows me to track my runs if I so want it to.

I mainly use it for the steps, as it’s useful to know how many I’m doing in a day, especially when I run! This needn’t be something you have to purchase, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Sarah is looking towards the camera, she is dressed for running and you can see her black, blue and red top, black hat and green sunglasses.

So there you have it, a quick overview of the products and bits of kit I use when I run. They needn’t bankrupt you when you’re starting out, but if you leave here with just one item from this list, let it be a pair of running shoes which are designed for the job.

That’s my number one top tip for anyone wishing to start out. Your runs will be more comfortable because of it!

Running is hands down, the best sport I’ve ever participated in – aside from horse riding of course! The fact that you don’t need anything fancy or even a gym membership to be able to do it, makes it accessible to everyone.

The running community is one I’m very happy to be a part of and I hope that by writing this post (and documenting my journey with the Couch to 5K) that I can inspire someone else to join us and the fantastic sport of running!



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A 30 something woman navigating life, sharing posts focussing on mental health, midsize fashion, self-care routines and life as a vegan.

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