T here are a number of running products in the next chapter which make running easier. More important than these helpful tools is your mental preparation. Be sure to read carefully the chapter above on "Primary And Secondary Goals" Above all, focus on the enjoyment of running. Virtually everyone can feel great after and during a run, and that becomes a greater reward than anything you can buy for yourself.
One of the liberating feelings you get from running comes from its simplicity-the minimal requirements. You can run from your house or office in most cases, using public streets or pedestrian walkways. Ordinary clothing works well most of the time and you don't need to join a country club or invest in expensive exercise equipment. While running with another person can be motivating, you don't have to have a partner, and most runners run alone on most of their runs. It helps, however, to have a "support team" as you go through the training (running companions, doctors, running shoe experts) but you will probably meet these folks through the running grapevine.
Check with your doctor's office before you start a strenuous training program. And keep the doctor informed of any irregularities in your cardiovascular system or aches and pains that could be injuries. At first, just tell the Doctor or head nurse how much running you plan to be doing over the next year. Almost every person will be given the green light. If your doc recommends against your running plans, ask why. Since there are so few people who cannot train even for strenuous goals if they use a liberal run-walk-run tm formula, I suggest that you get a second opinion if your doctor tells you not to run. Certainly the tiny number of people who should not run have good reasons. But the best medical advisor is one who wants you to get the type of physical activity that engages you-unless there are significant reasons not to do so.
Note: the information in this book is offered as advice from one runner to another, and not meant to be medical advice. Having a doctor/advisor will not only help you through some problems more quickly. A responsive and supportive medical advisor will improve confidence and motivation, while reducing anxiety.
Choosing a doctor
The running grapevine can help
Shoes: the primary investment:
usually less than $100 and more than $65
Most runners decide, wisely, to spend a little time on the choice of a good running shoe. After all, shoes are the only real equipment needed. The shoe that is a good match for your feet can make running easier, while reducing blisters, foot fatigue and injuries.
Because there are so many different brands and many different models, shoe shopping can be confusing. The best advice....is to get the best advice. Going to a good running store, staffed by helpful and knowledgeable runners, can cut the time required and can usually lead you to a better shoe choice than you would find for yourself. For more information on this see Galloways Book On Running, 2nd Edition , and the back section of this book.
Buy the training shoe first
Go to the running store in your area with the most experienced staff. First you'll need a pair for long runs and easy running days. You may want to get a racing shoe (or light weight training shoe) later.
Bring along your most worn pair of shoes (any shoes), and a pair of running shoes that has worked well for you. Wait until you are several weeks into your training before you decide to get a racing shoe if you feel you need one.
Do I need a racing shoe?
In most cases, racing shoes only speed you up by a few seconds a mile-but this may be what you need to reach your goal.