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    If You’re New To Running, Here Are 28 Things You’ll Probably Find Helpful

    You'll be ~running~ to check out calf compression sleeves, wireless headphones, and more amazing gear.

    by ,

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    1. Start with a good warm up (*not* static stretching) before hitting the pavement. You can do a few reps of front leg swings, knee hugs, lunges, and squats to help boost blood flow and lubricate your joints. Once you're done, you'll be ready for a cardio session.

    Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

    You may be wondering why static stretching (aka lengthening a muscle until you feel a pull or minor discomfort) is not recommended before running.

    These movements, including reaching for your toes, could actually increase your risk of an injury, because they don't help you warm up properly. A good warmup involves increasing blood flow, heart rate, and muscle temperature *and* lubricating joints.

    You can learn about more amazing warmup moves in 16 Warm-Up Moves You Should Do Before Every Workout.

    2. Wear a high-impact sports bra that's comfortable and provides amazing support if you have DD+ breasts. This sports bra is perfect for runs because it has two-way stretch, quick-drying fabric, and wireless cups to help reduce bouncing. Topping it off are wide and padded straps that won't dig into your shoulders. 👏

    Amazon / Via amazon.com, Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've been on a sports bra search for years and years and I've finally found one I'm happy with. I usually wear a 42–44DDD bra and I ordered the 42F, which fits perfectly. I could literally do jumping jacks. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER ONLY HAD TO WEAR ONE BRA! YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! I even did a 10K in this thing with no problem." —RW

    Get it from Amazon for $22+ (available in band sizes 34–50, cup sizes C–L, and 11 colors).

    3. Don't push yourself too hard if you're starting a new running routine. Gradually work your way up to a desirable pace by jogging lightly and taking short breaks, like running for a minute and then walking for three minutes. You can also wear a stopwatch to track your progress during workouts.

    a chart with running intensity and time examples
    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Promising review (for the stopwatch): "When I first got this, I thought that the face was too large, larger than I was used to. However, because it is a large display, the information is large and easy to read. When running, I do not wear my glasses which is mostly for reading so seeing my elapsed time is super easy. The band is more comfortable than the last one I had, which always seemed too tight or too loose." —J. Reynolds

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (available in three colors).

    To learn more, check out "9 Running Workouts You Can Do In 30 Minutes Or Less."

    And if you're still unsure what RPE means, here's a handy chart that breaks down what it is:

    a chart explaining rate of perceived exertion
    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    To learn more about RPEs and how to apply them to your running sessions, check out "9 Running Workouts You Can Do In 30 Minutes Or Less."

    4. Look for two things when shopping for running shorts: Do they cover your thigh enough to prevent painful chafing? And do they have a high-waisted design that'll help them stay up? Basically you want a pair that won't cause painful rubbing or sliding when you're running indoors or outdoors.

    Girlfriend Collective

    These soft shorts, which are made from recycled plastic bottles (RPET), are squat-proof, moisture-wicking (buh-bye sweat), and provide a hint of compression that's not too tight on your legs.

    Get them from Girlfriend Collective for $48 (available in sizes XXS–6XL and seven colors).

    5. Or! Wear a pair of anti-chafing bands underneath your running shorts to protect yourself from skin rubbing issues. These bands, which comfortably fit around your thighs, are designed to help minimize chafing and perspiration while you're on the move.

    Amazon / Via amazon.com, Amazon / Via amazon.com, Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Promising review: "I have a pair of the lace ones that I've loved wearing underneath my dresses and skirts. I just purchased the non-lace ones to wear when I run, because the seams of my shorts rub in this humid weather! These worked freaking fabulous for my run, and stayed in perfect place (I ordered size C!) They were so much cooler than compression shorts or spandex, and kept the sticky thighs away from each other! Definitely give them a try! I know I appreciated not having to be constantly readjusting my shorts!" —Michaela

    Get them from Amazon for $18.95 (available in eight sizes and 15 styles).

    6. Find the right pair of running sneakers for your routine with Nike's Running Footwear Guide. It's important to provide your feet with proper cushioning and support to minimize foot discomfort. If you're feeling achy or frequently getting blisters, it may be time to buy a new pair of shoes.

    Nike

    Nike will recommend sneakers based on a couple of factors: how often you run, how many miles you cover, and your preferred running location (for example, pavement, track course, treadmill, etc.)

    Read more of Nike's Running Footwear Guide to learn what kind of sneakers are best for you!

    Need help? These Nike running sneakers are adored by runners and have many positive reviews. Designed for everyday runs, they have breathable fabric, high foam heights for comfort and responsiveness, and a cool colorway that'll go with activewear outfits.

    pink, black, and neon yellow Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 sneakers
    Nike

    Promising review: "I loved the feel of the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 on the soles of my feet. It felt like the shoes were actively aiding my feet as they interacted with the ground, minimizing any jarring impact. With each step, it felt as though each foot was literally popping off the pavement, which is definitely my favorite part of the design. I also love that the widest part of the sole matched the widest part of my foot. My feet felt very supported in every aspect of my stride, from heel to toe." —Nike Customer

    Get them from Nike for $160 (available in sizes 5–12 and nine colors).

    Not ready to splurge? You can try these comfortable sneakers ($37.99+ on Amazon; available in sizes 5.5–13 and 25 colors) that are perfect for new runners. They have ~breathable mesh~ material, non-slip rubber soles, and an arch support insole, so your feet will feel like they're in a soft cocoon when you exercise.

    Or! These Nike sneakers designed for wide feet, so your toes won't feel too cramped on runs. A breathable shape lets your feet flex comfortably, while a soft foam midsole provides great cushioning and stability when you're hitting the pavement.

    Nike

    Promising review: "These shoes are the first pair I have ever bought in wide. I came to the conclusion that maybe I have just been doing it wrong the last 25 years because these shoes are so comfortable. My arches feel supported, I can wear them all day, and my feet feel comfortable and no toes are squished. I am generally a big fan of these shoes!" —Nike Customer

    Get them from Nike for $48.97+ (originally $65, available in sizes 5–12, two widths, and two colors).

    7. Focus on an object on your running path if you're feeling less energetic during a workout. It could be a park bench, tree, or stop sign, and when you choose it, focus on it and don't stop until you get there. When you reach it, you'll feel great because you worked through those tough couple of minutes!

    BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

    This tip is *so helpful* for me when I go on longer runs. Sometimes it's challenging to stay motivated, especially when I don't get enough sleep and I'm feeling a bit sluggish. Usually I'll pick a bridge or overlook point when I'm running along a scenic path and when I get there, I feel amazing. Was the journey to this area fun? Not necessarily, but I challenged myself anyways. And it gets better every time I run the same route, because I reach the same spot in less time!

    To learn more helpful tips, check out "8 Simple Hacks Every Runner Should Know."

    8. Wear calf compression sleeves that'll help minimize calf tightness and shin splints. Whether you're a new runner or a seasoned marathoner, these sleeves will provide a little extra support for long-distance sessions.

    Amazon / Via amazon.com, Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Promising review: "I wore these compression sleeves during the 2019 Chevron Houston Marathon, and they worked just fine. I ordered a small, and they fit as expected. I never had any issues with shin splints or calf tightness. Good quality and nice material. I highly recommend these for any distance running." —Pon Bath

    Get them from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and 15 colors).

    9. Build a running playlist that you actually like! You'll feel more motivated during your sweat session if you're listening to your favorite tracks and *not* fast-paced music that you can't stand. It also helps if your playlist is ad-free, because you can get through some mileage without interruptions.

    NBC

    If you have a Prime membership, you already have access to Amazon Prime Music for free (it's ad-free and there are 2 million songs available). And if you want to elevate your listening experience, you can get Amazon Prime Music Unlimited ($7.99/month), which includes curated playlists by artists and 50 million songs.

    10. And! Invest in a good pair of wireless headphones, so you can tune out any distractions and avoid tangled wires. These babies are sweat-resistant, have a comfy ear hook to prevent 'em from falling out, and have great sound quality.

    Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

    My colleague Emma McAnaw loves these headphones and said: "These Beats headphones have been a real game-changer for me. The sound quality is SO MUCH better than my cheap headphones, which has actually really improved my experience while working out. I find it easier to stay motivated now that my music is *crystal clear* (and I can't hear myself wheezing).. They can hold a charge for a pretty long time, as long you always store them in their charging case. I usually use them for a full work day without needing to re-charge them." Read more of her Powerbeats Pro Wireless Headphones review (it's number four).

    Get them from Amazon for $169.95+ (available in six colors).

    11. Make sure your feet are protected from sneaker chafing and over-sweating by wearing athletic socks designed to keep your tootsies comfy and dry. They each have a heel tab design (buh-bye blisters) and are made with breathable material. You can ~go the distance~ and not deal with stinky, sweaty, and irritated feet.

    Black, blue, red, and white Saucony athletic socks with heel tabs
    Amazon

    Promising review: "So you know that problem when your running socks slouch below your shoe, and WHAM! Blister. This does not happen with these socks. That little tabby-thing in the back is amazing for preventing sock slippage, and these are awesome. They're not too heavy (which is great—dude, I hate bulky socks!), but they're hefty enough that you don't feel like you're going to put a hole in the sock after the first few runs. I'm crazy prone to blisters, and these are perfect." —Amy

    Get an 8-pack from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in three sizes and in 23 different color packs).

    12. Gradually wake up early if you want to begin a new morning run routine. Take small steps, such as going to bed a little earlier and laying out your gear the night before, so you'll feel better about your morning workout. By the end of week two, you'll actually look *forward* to tackling early jogs and runs 💪.

    illustrated graphic that says "BuzzFeed Morning Person Challenge" above bed
    BuzzFeed

    To complete all the steps, check out "Take The BuzzFeed Morning Person Challenge."

    An extra helpful tip? Buy an extra-loud alarm clock *without* a snooze option, so you won't be tempted to hit snooze, fall back asleep, and wake up to find out that you missed your planned sweat session.

    illustrated graphic with alarm clock that says "try a new alarm"
    BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "OMG. Seriously, I am that person who can sleep through six iPhone alarms and an iPad alarm and never even hear them! So much so that I was worried about losing my job, because I couldn't hear them anymore. Well. There is no worry of that anymore, as long as I set this every night! It is such an 'alarming' alarm! There is no snooze. And you can't physically NOT hear it. If you have a hard time waking up like me, set this and get your booty out of bed when it goes off!" —Rebecca S

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in five colors).

    To learn more tips, check out "Take The BuzzFeed Morning Person Challenge".

    13. Keep thick hair in place (and avoid annoying flyways) while you run with extra-strong hair ties. Designed for curly and heavy strands, these gems will hold up a ponytail and prevent sweaty hair from falling into your face.

    model with thick hair in a ponytail jogging on a beach
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I have very thick hair and I’ve always had problems with hair ties staying in my hair. Even the 'non-slip' ones never stayed put. These are the only hair ties ties I’ve ever used that actually stay, even during a workout. These won’t disappoint!" —Eiffel Y.

    Get a pack of 20 from Amazon for $6.99.

    14. Begin each day with a filling *and* exciting breakfast that'll fuel you up for a run. Overnight oats are delicious, so easy to prepare in the morning, and contain 22 grams of protein. Just mix it with milk or a dairy-free alternative (like almond milk) before you go to bed, place it in the fridge, and enjoy it in the a.m. You're welcome.

    chocolate overnight oats and fruit overnight oats in glass mason jars
    BuzzFeed

    These mocha overnight oats ($29 for an eight-pack on Amazon) will literally taste like dessert, come with 22 grams of protein, and contains approximately 90mg of caffeine. It even comes with a blender bottle, so you don't even need a spoon to enjoy it!

    Promising review: "Overnight Oats are a fantastic breakfast option for people with a busy schedule. I take three minutes to prep them the night before and I'm able to easily grab and go the next morning. The flavor is amazing! This one truly tastes like a mocha latte. It keeps me full all morning, even after a high-intensity workout." —Connor

    Check out "19 Overnight Oats Recipes To Restore Your Faith In Breakfast" to get the full recipes for the overnight oats above.

    15. Safely attach your phone to your arm with an armband to avoid dropping it and damaging the screen (which would *not* be fun when you're in the middle of an intense run). Its non-squeezing design feels comfy on your arm, while silicone grip dots will help it stay in place.

    model stretches leg while wearing purple armband on their arm
    REI

    Get it from REI for $16.73 (originally $24, available in two colors).

    16. Or! Keep *everything* in an accessible spot by attaching a FlipBelt to your hips. It has four pockets that'll securely hold your AirPods case, cards, keys, and phone. You can finally focus on your mileage without losing essential items.

    Amazon, Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Another cool feature of this FlipBelt is that it's reflective, so it'll be helpful if you run in low visibility conditions. Love running on trails with wet branches and mud? No problem, because you can throw the FlipBelt in the washing machine when you're done working out.

    Promising review: "Love my FlipBelt. It fits my iPhone 7 that has an OtterBox on it, and did not budge once during my six-mile run. At the four-mile mark, I even tried adjusting it because I thought there's no way this thing is staying in place so well, and it was still in the exact same spot as when I started my run. I also noticed I was able to run faster than usual and I think it's because I was concentrating on holding my phone with its massive case on it. If you're in between sizes, I suggest going a size down. Can't wait to wear this for my upcoming half-marathons in the fall!" —kel07

    Get it from Amazon for $20.10+ (available in XXS–XXL and 13 colors).

    17. Drink an energizing smoothie before you head out for an early morning run. A heavenly combo of fruit, veggies, and some protein will help you beat early morning blues *and* crush your sweat session. Having a personal blender on hand will also let you clean up with ease and you can take your yummy beverage with you.

    green, brown, yellow, and purple smoothies with fruit, veggies, and protein
    BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "This blender is amazing! I am a yoga teacher and always on the run, which sometimes makes it hard to eat well. I bought this after reviewing quite a few different options and I am SO glad I did. It fits well into my gym bag, is surprisingly quiet when in use, and holds a charge really well. The blades are very efficient and I’ve had no trouble blending up ice or frozen fruit. Seriously cannot recommend it enough." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $36.99+ (available in four colors).

    Need more smoothie recipe inspo? Check out "These 4 Smoothies Are Going To Give You So Much Protein".

    18. Pick workout leggings that'll feel so comfortable for multiple cardio activities, like running, cycling, and more. Slip into these babies that have four-way stretch fabric (buh-bye tightness), a small *hidden* waistband pocket for your essentials, and so many color options to match sports bras, tees, and sneakers.

    Amazon / Via amazon.com, Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Promising review: "I love these leggings! They've held up to every workout I've put them through (running, HIIT, hiking, strength workouts, etc). I've washed and dried them several times with no pilling and no shrinkage. The price is a steal for the quality of these leggings! I'll definitely be buying more!" —Erin l.

    Get them from Amazon for $9.98+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and 49 colors).

    19. Prepare easy and fuel-friendly snacks to avoid a midday energy slump before your nighttime run. A Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is perfect for pre-workout noms, because you can easily whip up a batch hard-boiled eggs and eat 'em later on.

    light blue Dash Rapid Egg Cooker next to plate with deviled eggs
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This thing is NO JOKE the easiest thing I've ever used in my life. Pretty sure it's idiot-proof. And I'm an idiot in the kitchen. I love hard-boiled eggs, but I'm the kind of cooking-illiterate person who can't even boil water right. So I bought this puppy, read the directions carefully, got six eggs, and in 15 minutes, the buzzer went off and VOILÀ! Hard-boiled eggs! They were perfectly cooked, nice and yellow in the centers, and tasted awesome. I'm going to make a bunch more and use them as quick snacks. This appliance is so great and cheap! I couldn't believe how well it worked." —Emily

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in six colors).

    20. Try interval training to gradually increase your speed over time. You can avoid burning out by focusing on your form and controlling your pace, so you can slowly build up to where you want to be on runs. And if you want to monitor your progress, a fitness tracker can provide you with important stats, like heart rate, steps taken, and daily mileage.

    graphic diagram of example running intervals
    Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

    Promising review (for the activity tracker): "I personally use this for the gym as it tracks my heart rate and calories while I train. It also tracks your daily steps and distance that you have walked or ran in a day. It also alerts you when you reach your goal (e.x. 10,000 steps a day). You can also connect the watch to your smart phone and track your sleeping pattern each night. The watch is easily chargeable, as you can pull apart the wrist strap to reveal the USB charging port. It's a great little sports watch for the price." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99 (available in five colors).

    To learn more, check out "9 Running Workouts You Can Do In 30 Minutes Or Less."

    21. Dress in layers when it's chilly outside to avoid feeling too cold or too hot when you exercise. Lightweight outerwear, like this running jacket, will keep you dry and warm, and it looks great over a T-shirt or running tank.

    model wears light orange zip-up running jacket with black leggings
    Adidas

    This stylish jacket is also reflective, in case you're working out when it's dark outside.

    Promising review: "I’m so happy with the design, the fit, the color and the warmth of this jacket. I purchased it to help me beat the cold mornings when going for a run and this has been amazing. It keeps me the perfect temperature without feeling heavily weighted. I would buy this in lots of colors if I could!" —Adidas Customer

    Get it from Adidas for $75 (available in sizes XS–XL).

    22. Make sure to stretch during your post-workout routine! This Stretch-Out strap helps minimize tightness in your calves and hammies after runs. Just slip it around your foot and take deep breaths while you flex your muscles.

    person stretching their right leg by gripping a green fabric strap around their foot
    Amazon / Via amazon.com

    Promising review: "I’m a very inflexible runner and this strap has definitely been very helpful in increasing my mobility, stability, balance. I would recommend for anyone wishing to become more flexible athletes. Stretching regularly has reduced my injuries tenfold." —Mike

    Get it from Amazon for $15.95.

    23. Add in some quick total-body circuits on non-running days to boost your endurance and strength — all you need is yourself and a sturdy mat to get started. Lunges, push-ups, and walkouts will help improve your running time and put your muscles to work.

    Photos by Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed. Design by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed., CultureFit Clothing

    This gorgeous yoga mat from CultureFit Clothing is perfect for total-body workouts and flexibility movements. It has an ultra-absorbent top layer that provides an amazing grip and a cushy base to help you avoid sliding. Check out more activewear and workout gear from CultureFit Clothing here.

    Get it from CultureFit Clothing for $89.99.

    To learn more at-home workouts, check out "The Only 12 Exercises You Need To Get In Shape."

    24. Recover with a muscle roller stick and ~roll away~ all the tightness around your quads, hammies, and calves. Use this massager before or after a run to give your stiff and sore muscles a little love.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I'm a distance runner, and of all the gadgets and accessories I've bought myself, this is hands-down my favorite! Before this stick I had a solid stretching routine and proper diet, but even so, after my weekly long runs I could feel it. I was constantly dealing with tight quads and shin splints. Then I got this thing. I started rolling my legs for about five minutes before and after runs, and it's been a game changer! Stiffness and soreness is gone, and I've seen my pace drop significantly. Also, this thing is lightweight and easily fits in a small gym bag. And at the price point, this is a no-brainer." —Bryan

    Get it from Amazon for $9.89.

    25. Slip on glow-in-the-dark LED bands if you're running or jogging when it's dark outside. Each band can be worn on an arm or ankle for optimal visibility early in the morning and late at night.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I am a runner. I run after work and when it gets dark early I worry about traffic and other pedestrians. These bands are lightweight and extremely visible. The band can either be on with a solid light or flashing. I have found the flashing to be more visible. I like this product so much I have bought several for other family members and I will attach one to my arm and another to my leg. I would highly recommend for anyone running at night. The battery appears easy to change. I say appears because the battery that came with the unit is still going strong." —Siilverback

    Get a pair from Amazon for $12.99 (available in nine colors).

    26. Wear a water bottle waist pack so you can stay hydrated and not have to carry a heavy water bottle while you run or jog. You'll also appreciate extra room for your keys, phone, wallet, and more small essentials.

    hand pulls snack bar out of black and yellow water bottle waist pack
    REI

    Promising review: "I use this bottle/belt on long runs (anywhere from 10 to 30 milers). The belt fits nicely and stays snug...even with a full bottle, there is zero bounce and with the bottle positioned nicely in the small of your back, you won’t even notice you’re carrying 18 ounces of fluid. The zipper pocket is big enough to stash a couple of bars and my phone. I’ve logged over 100 miles with this belt already with no rubbing or chafing from nylon around waist. You won’t be disappointed." —Mike

    Get it from REI for $40.

    27. Stock up on affordable activewear, because you can save money on a workout wardrobe *and* avoid running out of things to wear. Damihow, a small business that sells exercise apparel, has so many cute styles for your fitness routine.

    Damihow

    Get the lilac leggings on the left for $60.86 and the camo sports bra on the right for $40.11 from Damihow.

    28. And end your run with a ~full~filling meal, like chickpea pasta with sauce or lentil Bolognese that's packed with nutrients *and* will help your body re-fuel after a great workout.

    Choosing Chia

    Promising review (for the chickpea pasta): "Banza is an amazing alternative to pasta. I'm currently training for a marathon, so I've been wanting/needing to carbo-load. Banza provides the fiber, carbs, and protein I need to stay fueled for longer runs. I like all the shapes and recommend eating it with marina sauce!" —Francis Manning

    Get the Banza variety pack (six boxes) from Amazon for $25.

    For the full lentil bolognese recipe and more dinner ideas, check out "17 Comforting Recipes For Anyone Trying To Eat Less Meat Or Dairy."

    That feeling when you're on a good run:

    IFC

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

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