April Runs

… hikes, kickbikes, skis and more

Thoughts on running gear

Back in the eighties, when I was a teenager, for running I needed a pair of sneakers, old sweatpants and a shirt. As a biathlon runner, I only used long pants and long sleeves to cover my knees and elbows. The shoe choice was limited by what the local store (or any Czech store) had to offer: there was virtually only one company (BOTAS) that produced something that distantly looked like a running shoe – and we were all happy to use it.

No discussions about pronation, supination, cushioning what so ever – as there was no point to discuss something that could not be helped by changing the gear. If you needed something and it was not available, you found your way around – either lived your life without it or made it yourself. I am sure my friends remember the times of sewing our own cycling bags, rebuilding the famous Favorit ‘racing’ bikes, gluing an entire epoxy canoe or tailoring our guns by hand-carved stocks made of prefab wooden thresholds.

Throughout the years, somehow I lost track of the developments in the running business. I should have known better as I witnessed other sports developing quickly as well. So when I picked up running a couple of months ago, the impressive list of necessities hit me straight away:

Training shoes for running on the road, training shoes for unpaved trails, running socks high and low, compression socks, winter pants, summer pants, running bra’s of all kinds, drinks and gels, drinks and gel belts, tech T-shirts of all kinds, reflex jackets, summer and winter underwear, softshell, coolmax, H2Port, running gloves and a beanie, iPod, wireless headset, sport testers…. The list seems never ending.

The thing is I love gear and gadgets and frankly, sometimes I do buy more than I need simply to have it and to enjoy the fact that in 2012, the technology (and our attempts to sustain the free market economy) enables us to use so many interesting tools. Having a choice feels great. But deep down, I am a simple girl. Next time, you might see me running in a pair of old sneakers, old sweatpants and a 500+ times washed cotton T-shirt with fading colors of my old sport club, smiling and enjoying the road.

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts on running gear

  1. I’m the same with running gear and like you, my list is ever growing!
    I’ve also got my eye on some of those barefoot shoes, just to make things even more difficult for myself of course! When’s your next big run planned? x

  2. Barefoot running is a bit too much of an adventure for me at the moment, I am afraid. First my knee needs to heal fully and I need to shave off the last couple of pounds (although V. just said I looked sexy ‘just the way I was’). I’d like to do a longer run every other weekend or so. Don’t know if that is realistic, though. What do you think and what are your plans?

    • I’ve seen a couple of people now with their barefoot running shoes and I’m hooked on the idea! There’s a few local park areas where I think I’ll give it a whirl, I’ve been waiting for it to warm up a bit first though 😉
      Does V come with you on any of the runs?
      I’m planning to keep running my usual 6 miles on Saturdays and then upping on Sundays when we’re off exploring somewhere new. Planning a trip to Holland next month too, got my sights set on running around the town where I was born 🙂
      You out this weekend?

      • V. does run, too. But her priority is her tennis competition. Besides, she struggles with some muscle ache these days. This weekend we are in Seattle. Not sure if running will be possible. Are you coming to Holland? When? Where?

      • Ahh that’s a shame you won’t be able to run this weekend. Wow, in Seattle! That’s sounds like a rather nice getaway! We’ll looking to come over at the end of March, we’ll visit a few places but in particular Amersfoort where I was born 🙂

  3. 12Honzade on said:

    You would not believe, but my father worked at that company [BOTANA] producing the shoes you have mentioned. 🙂
    I do not use barefoot running excessively, however it is interesting to have it like one day a week for relaxing runs. I really enjoy it, but start slowly with low number of miles. Be ready you will feel muscles you do not think you have:)..
    Good Luck and cheers, 12:)

  4. I started running cross-country in Great Smoky mountains of western North Carolina when I was at high school as an exchange student. I was proud of being the member of the team and got myself an extra T-shirt in our team colors (maroon&white) with a school mascot (devil) and gigantic CROSS COUNTRY sign on my back. I was 16 back then … now, 17 years later I still have the T-shirt and I have been running and racing in it until quite recently. The maroon faded to something pinkish and most of the letters on the back are gone, with only the rests of the glue staying on and making the sign readable. I usually get quite some looks and always take pride passing others who wear the most modern technical T-shirts with logos of famous companies while I am running in my beat-up gear 😉 … anyway, in my mind it’s totally OK if somebody loves and follows the newest running fashion trends and buys all the gadgets, but at the end it is not about what you wear, but about your attitude. Keep running!

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