What running kit do you need?
While you can run in your vintage 1985 Live Aid T-shirt and baggy rugby shorts, most people soon find that a few essentials will make training – and Event Day itself – an easier and altogether more comfortable experience.
If you’re used to training in a damp cotton tee, your first run in a technical T-shirt will be a revelation. Modern synthetic fibres are designed to wick sweat away from your skin to keep you cool and comfortable no matter how hot the weather – they also often feature extra ventilation, such as lighter weight mesh fabric, in key areas.
Our partner New Balance offers an enormous range of running apparel, from long tights for training through a variety of shorts to T-shirts and vests. Check out its selection online.
Shoes and socks
Trainers are the most important piece of kit, and you don’t want to be trying out new ones on Event Day. As with all your kit, make sure you’re comfortable running in them and have trained in them several times before Event Day.
If you’re buying new trainers, visit a specialist running shop, where the staff will be able to advise you on your foot type and what sort of shoe will suit your running style. Avoid buying a running shoe simply because you like the look of it, as the wrong shoe could increase your injury risk.
It is also a good idea to give your socks a dress rehearsal before Event Day to ensure they don’t cause blisters or keep slipping down inside your shoe (extremely annoying!).
Women should always wear a high-impact sports bra when running to protect the ligaments around the breasts. If these ligaments stretch there is no way to reverse it, which can cause discomfort or even soft tissue damage. A good sports bra can reduce breast movement by around 60 per cent, as opposed to just 35 per cent for a regular bra, so it is worth the investment. Sports bras can also reduce how much you sweat and help to regulate the temperature of your body.
Even though you’ll be running a relatively short distance in the Vitality Westminster Mile, if it’s cold or wet on Event Day a lightweight running jacket can help to keep you comfortable. Avoid overheating by wearing a quick-drying, showerproof shell rather than a heavier weight fully waterproof jacket, which may prevent sweat escaping, unless you opt for a pricier model.
An unlined jacket with built-in vents for breathability is ideal, while high-visibility panels will also ensure you’re seen when training in the evenings or in the darker winter months.