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Distance Running: Tools of the Trade
Appropriate running attire will help ensure that the hazards of running won't get to your body—at least externally.
Kicking off this part of the article will be running shorts. Runners can opt for either traditional running shorts—the kind that tends to be short and isn't very loose—and compression shorts—what we commonly refer to as cycling shorts. Traditional running shorts will provide excellent cooling and comfort. Most advanced shorts won't come cheap, especially those specially designed to direct cooling towards certain areas. Modern running shorts already have microfiber plus wicking briefs to ensure total comfort for every distance run.
Compression shorts, on the other hand, make sure that there won't be any chafing on your thigh areas because there isn't anything loose that will create friction against your thighs. The drawback, however, lies in the appearance, as most people might be deterred by the unflattering snugness of the shorts. After all, people don't like certain things poking out—especially if it's thigh flab.
Now we go to tops. Singlets, short sleeves, and long sleeves are all good, and it will depend largely on the weather and your personal preferences to see which one you wear. However, it is important to note that cotton should be avoided. There are running tops that are labeled dri-fit and such. These are polyester shirts that are designed to wick sweat towards the surface of the fabric, so that the sweat (or other moisture substances) will be able to dry and keep you cool and comfortable. To close, it is also good to have sports jackets that you can wear in adverse weather.
Running shoes are undoubtedly important, as they contribute largely to the comfort level of your runs. You need to pick a pair that suits the type of your foot, as this will shape the manner you run and that's how you can identify what kind of shoe will best go with your feet.
Running accessories can both be functional and stylish, as in the case of hats, headbands, wristbands, and others. Other accessories you can go for are hydration packs to keep your thirst and hydration levels at optimal levels throughout your run.
You can also go for speed/distance monitors. These little devices pack quite the punch. They can measure the distance that you travel on your pre-plotted running course, and they can also keep track of the time it takes you to cover the entire distance.
Remember the old-school way of measuring course distance? It involves taking your car along the route and using the odometer to measure the mileage. Not only is it costly, it's also quite inconvenient and you won't be able to do it for woodlands and gravel tracks that can't accommodate vehicles. This hassle is eliminated by speed/distance monitors.
Overall, running gear contributes in all sorts of ways to make your run more comfortable and more convenient. There are new things being developed all the time, but getting a gist of the basic stuff should already help make your distance running activities generally better.
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