What Do You Need to Start Running? – (Geek Fitness Health Hacks – 003)

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What Do You Need to Start Running?

  • As a new runner, you don’t need much to start. Technically, all you need are feet. But if you want some gear, the most important purchase you can make is (obviously) a decent pair of running shoes.
    • As long as the shoes don’t hurt your feet, you’re fine. It doesn’t matter what brand or how expensive they are. For your first pair, all you need to worry about is comfort. Once you’re more established, then you can start tweaking your shoe preferences.
    • I prefer the Asics Gel-Nimbus and the Altra Olympus, personally. And my wife loves Saucony Kinvaras.
  • You should invest in a smartphone with earbuds that won’t fall out of your ears. Again, don’t worry about mega-expensive tech. You just want something that can blast sound into your ears while pounding the pavement.
    • Download Runkeeper and Spotify, and you’re good to go.
    • I have used Nike+ Vapor headphones as well as the Bose Soundsport earbuds, and while the Nike and Bose ones are better (the Soundsports are phenomenal and easily the best earbuds I’ve used so far), they’re not *that much* better–especially if you’re not sure if running is your thing. I still have 2 pairs of the $10 Philips ones on my desk as spares and carry them on trips.
  • Tech clothing is super important. You don’t want to run in cotton for more than a little while (and never, ever run in denim; you’re just asking for blisters and chafing in the most uncomfortable places imaginable).
    • To start with, though, run in anything you have around the house. Old t-shirts are fine, as are normal underwear and shorts.
    • But as you add miles, it’s a good idea to get some sweat-wicking tech fabrics to avoid bloody nipples and nether-region chafing. PROTIP: If you can feel the weave of the fabric with your fingers, you can feel it wth the more sensitive areas, too.
    • Go for running shorts that have built-in briefs. Not trunks. They’re much more comfortable for longer runs, and I’ve yet to chafe in them.
  • Running Socks are super important, too. You don’t want to run in normal cotton socks unless you want your feet to be soggy, wrinkly, painful toe-burritos by the end of your run. Shell out the ten bucks and grab a few pairs of seamless running socks from a specialty shop.
  • For the ladies, you absolutely need a good sports bra. Your primary concern is stability, which means most of the bras you find in stores aren’t actually made for running. Yoga bras can be a decent start, but they’re not the best. And your everyday bras are just not made for the kind of compression and stability you need.
    • To test and see if a bra is good enough to run in, go to a store, try on the bra, and jump up and down. If you don’t move and hurt, then it may be okay to run in. If you find there’s a lot of movement, find a sports bra that is made more to a runner’s standards. Running is high-impact, and the last thing you want is for that impact to be anywhere but your feet and legs.
    • My wife recommends either the Moving Comfort Jubralee.
  • In the end, though, the main thing you need are running shoes. Everything else can wait until you’re established. You can pick up an entire week’s worth of running gear for under $50 (excluding shoes) at Walmart or Target, so grab a few pieces here and there as you start your program. But more than anything, get a decent pair of shoes. Invest in something that doesn’t hurt your feet, and you’re good to go.


  • Went to my first Yoga class this week. It was fun. It wasn’t a normal yoga class (I had never heard of ball yoga, but it was awesome!). I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I’ll be going back.
  • Memorial Day was not a good day for me in terms of staying on the straight and narrow.
    • Funyuns, hamburger, two hot dogs, two ice cream cones, and a bowl of ice cream (of the most delicious homemade ice cream ever. Oreogasm? Seriously. Yes. It was serious business.) Plus miscellaneous leftover Oreos and sugar cookies.
  • Getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. Also set up an editorial calendar with exercise/free time built in.
    • Treating the podcasts like my job for the summer. Even with my books, my motto has always been “treat them like the job you want it to be.” The same thing applies to podcasts.

Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!

Geek Fitness Health Hacks is part of the Geek to Geek Podcast Network. Check out our other podcasts and bask in the awesomeness! (And never miss an update! Sign up for the Geek to Geek Network email list!)

Music by CarboHydroM

B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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  1. Pau Whitaker

    I’d throw out that new runners shoes should be supportive, not any of the zero drop or minimalist shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers. Leave those for the pros (not me) 🙂

    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s a very good point. The Vibram Five Fingers have their crowd, but as a newbie, I’d have definitely injured myself if I had thrown them on. Though I do think that if they’re running in zero drops like Altra, where they’re built like traditional running shoes except there’s 0-1mm heel/toe drop, newbies would be fine because their mileage wouldn’t be high enough to injure their Achilles.


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