Essential Running Gear?

I interrupt your regularly scheduled weekend to rant….

Maybe I’m stubborn and unteachable.

Or maybe I’m a minimalist.

Either way, I’ve been seriously underwhelmed with the blogs and articles I’ve seen lately that list essentials that you (or I) MUST run with. Really?

Seems to me that part of running’s appeal has always been how little gear you need. Feet. Shoes. Everything else is, in my opinion, optional.

Barefoot Ted and Abebe Bikila might argue that all you need are feet. Even shoes are optional.

Want shorts for a hot day? Go for it. Don’t mind the heat? Don’t worry. (But try not to get heatstroke. That’ll slow you down.)

Breathable running shirt? Fine if you like that kind of thing. (Honestly, I do.) But a t shirt will work if you have one that you prefer.

And don’t get me started on running outfits. Outfits? Really? I’m not out here to look beautiful. I’m here to sweat and work and sometimes even hurt. One of my favorite running sayings of all time…


A quick search of Pinterest lists pages and pages and pages of pre-run, mid-run, and post-run essentials. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. But mostly I just ignore the lists and hope they don’t discourage anybody from getting started.

To start… go outside. Walk down the block. Then run one. How does that feel? Are you tired? Walk a block and then try again. Not tired? Run another block. Take a day off and then do it again.

Remember Phidippides? I don’t think he ran with a garmin. Or music. Or special runderwear. Really. It’s a thing.

Of course I believe that gear has its place.

In my running life that place is as a motivator. When I feel like quitting, hanging up the old Brooks, I go out and buy something I’ve been admiring at the running store. Shoes? Shirt? Hydration vest was my latest. Then I refuse to quit until I’ve gotten my money’s worth. So far that’s never happened.

And a race entry works just as well. Maybe even better. That’s serious motivation.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled life. Gotta go run.


3 thoughts on “Essential Running Gear?

  1. Great post! I believe that non of the “essential” cra…uh gear makes anyone a better runner or more of a runner for that matter. It’s a bunch of crafty marketing to make us rank and file runners think we need it. Or at least make is want it. Sadly it’s about them taking our hard earned money when like you said all we really need is shoes and some clothes so we don’t get arrested. And it doesn’t matter which shoes or clothes we wear. However running naked could actually improve a runners time cuz no one wants to get caught by the cops! I’d definitley get my hustle on being chased by cops. So maybe the minimalist to the max idea could work! 😅😅😅😅

    Liked by 1 person

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