The Ultimate Spring Running Gear Guide


THE ULTIMATE SPRING RUNNING GEAR GUIDE

Daffodils are blooming and the evenings are getting longer, after the seemingly never-ending winter, spring is finally here.

Whether you've been running all winter, whatever the weather, or retreated inside to the treadmill our spring running guide has everything you need from tips to the best gear to hydration to make the transition to warmer weather smooth and injury free.


Shoes

Your running shoes are always your most important piece of kit. While the biting cold of winter may be over there's still the ever-changing weather to think about; from April showers to unexpected heatwaves.

Look for trainers with a GORE-Tex upper; many brands release waterproof versions of their most popular running shoes around autumn and winter.

Make sure your running shoes are made from breathable fabrics, with mesh vents on the upper to boost airflow to allow any moisture to escape your shoes, reducing your risk of blisters as well as wet, soggy feet.

Well-fitting trainers will go a long way to preventing blisters, so make sure you choose the best running shoes for you. Get your free gait analysis at your local Runners Need store. Using video technology to analyse how your feet respond to every step, our expert fitters can assess your biomechanics and running style to ensure you're running in the perfect trainers.

If you're heading for the blossoming trails, ensure you're wearing a proper trail running shoe rather than a road running shoe. Trail shoes are usually constructed from a no-sew, sock like, full piece upper to help protect your foot. They're also specially designed with deeper lugs and a more aggressive tread pattern to grip rugged terrain giving you more stability on slippery surfaces. They're also made from tougher stuff with hidden plates and toe protectors to help protect your feet from bruising from rocks and roots.

Socks

Hot and sweaty feet usually mean blisters as the moisture in your shoe causes friction. While breathable trainers are vital, wearing the appropriate socks will reduce your risk of soreness and rubbing.

Invest in a good pair of technical run socks to keep your feet cool and wick the moisture away from your skin. Features to look out for are technical and sweat-wicking fabrics. mesh ventilation under your arch, as well asfat seams and a snug fit.

Clothing

When it comes to running clothing always select sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable gear to keep you cool and running comfortably.

The changing spring temperatures can make it difficult to know how to dress, so the key to staying dry and comfortable, whatever the weather, is layering.

 

Layering the right fabrics will keep the moisture continually moving away from your body, keeping you the perfect temperature. Always select sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable gear to help keep you cool and running comfortably. Look for mesh ventilation panels for airflow and seamless construction to avoid nasty rubbing and UV protection to shield your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

 

The ultimate benefit to layers is that if you start to feel uncomfortably hot you can easily remove a layer and tie it around your waist.

 

Steer clear of anything cotton; not only does it trap the heat but it soaks up sweat keeping the moisture against your skin increasing your chance of chafing.

TOPS

  • Base layers and mid-layers make up your two main top layers giving you great versatility whatever the weather.
  • On warmer but dry spring days wear only a base layer or mid layer. For those lighter but wet days easily team a base layer with a light running jacket to stay cool and dry.

Although it sounds counterintuitive look for wool layers that are designed to keep you cooler. Wool is naturaly sweat-wicking and quick-drying. It's also naturally antibacterial so perfect for running on those hotter days.

Similarly, long-sleeved base layers designed for colder winter days are great for spring running. Although we immediately think of short sleeves or vests to keep cool, tight long-sleeved layers that wick away moisture will keep you cool and have the added advantage of shielding your skin from the emerging sun.

JACKETS

  • Clear blue skies one minute and pouring rain the next, spring is known for its unpredictable weather so don't get caught out and left with wet, uncomfortable fabric. Try a water-resistant yet breathable jacket to keep rain out without trapping sweat in.

 

UNDERWEAR

  • Your underwear on a spring run can make all the difference, and we're not just talking bras, this goes for men too. Avoid cotton to reduce your risk of chafing and an uncomfortable run. 
  • Ladies, when choosing your perfect sports bra look for added mesh ventilation to keep cool.

 

BOTTOMS

  • Spring is all about the start of shorts weather, unless you tend to get very cold. If you're worried about chafing, go for a 2-in-1 short with a tight inner short and a looser layer over the top for extra coverage. Good running shorts will have either a mesh liner or built in underwear.
  • If shorts aren't your thing, then full-length or 3/4 length running tights can help keep you cool, choose lightweight or thinner fabrics that are quick-drying and breathable. It's safe to say you can pack your thermals away until next winter

Accessories

HYDRATION 

  • Staying hydrated on a spring run is vital, especially if you're heading out on a long run. With the rise in temperature you're more likely to become unknowingly dehydrated. 
  • From handheld water bottles to hydration belts that sit comfortably around your waist to hydration bladders there's no excuse for not taking water with you. All ergonomically designed, these products are perfect whatever your distance. 

To help maintain proper hydration and balanced electrolyte levels during, and after your run, drinking diluted sports drinks or using hydration tablets will provide your body with the best combination of electrolyte replacement and rehydration to stay cool, and run easy.

CAP OR HAT

  • A good cap or visor will keep the sun (and rain) off your face, the sweat out your eyes; look out for loose-fitting, mesh panels at the back.
  • If you run in the early morning or late at night when it's still cooler try a hat or headband to keep your ears warm as it gets cooler. Go for technical fabrics like fleece to ensure your hat is sweat-wicking and breathable.

 

SUN CREAM

  • Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays is vital whether you're out for a short run or a marathon. Ensure your sun cream or sun block protects against UVA and UVB rays as well as a high SPF. 
  • It also needs to be waterproof, and ideally windproof. Sweating off your sun cream is not only likely to give you stinging and watering eyes but it doesn't do your skin much good. Sport sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide to provide extra protection regardless of how much you sweat.
  • Don't forget to apply it to your lips too.

 

SUNGLASSES

  • Like your sun cream your sunglasses need UV protection. 
  • Go for sunglasses with grip on the nose to ensure they don't slide down your face.

 

HEAD TORCH

  • If you're running in poorly lit areas at night or early morning such as out on trails or through parks, consider a lightweight running head torch to not only safely see the route ahead but be seen by other road and trail users.

 

DON'T FORGET...!

HAYFEVER 

  • Don't let hayfever get in the way of enjoying your run.
  • If you suddenly find yourself struggling more than usual mid-run, it could be hayfever hitting hard. Hayfever can affect your breathing, both from your chest and through your nose, impacting on your cardiovascular performance. When your immune system is working overtime your body is often more tired and your concentration can be lacking.
  • If you're a sufferer stay away from areas of high air pollution and high vegetation like parks and trails.

 

VISIBILITY

  • Although the clocks have gone back and the days are getting longer it's still important to stay visible to stay safe when running in low light. High visibility is a must whether it's reflective detail on your jacket and shoes or reflective bibs and strips to flashing LED lights.
  • Choose the option you're most comfortable to make the most out of your spring run.

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