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Go the Extra Mile with This Running Gear for Beginners

A woman wearing a cell phone armband, an anti-chafe stick next to a dumbbell, and a man boxes wearing wireless headphones.
FIT4YOU/Gold Bond/Mpow

If you’ve just started running, you’ve probably realized this workout is way different than going to the gym. Fortunately, you can ease into a running routine far more easily when you have the essential gear.

Whether you’re looking to relieve stress, increase your heart rate, or get outside more, there are plenty of reasons to take up running. While some folks can just lace up an old pair of tennis shoes and hit the road, not all of us are this blessed.

It can take your body a while to adjust to running regularly. If you’re a newbie, check out the necessary items below—they’ll help you take your running game from miserable to enjoyable far more quickly.

Running Belt

Someone puts their cellphone in a green running belt.

Unless you’re content running in complete silence, you need a good way to hold onto your phone so you can listen to music or audiobooks during your workout. To keep your stuff from moving around and distracting you, slip on this running belt.

It fits snugly around your waist so your phone and keys won’t bounce around. The waistband-like design feels natural and ensures the weight of whatever you’re storing can be evenly displaced.

The FlipBelt is wide enough to hold almost any smartphone with enough room for your keys, wallet, and snacks, too. You can even fit a small water bottle inside if you want. It’s one of the most popular athletic belts on the market for good reason.

Cell Phone Armband

Three people working out while wearing a cell phone armband.

If you don’t like running belts, this cell phone armband loops around your arm for a different way to keep your stuff secure. It fits most smartphone sizes and has a clear touchscreen cover that allows you to change your music or answer calls without removing your phone from the band.

The arm strap is adjustable and should fit most people. It also includes a key pocket, but that’s about it, so if you need to carry more than that, go with a belt or backpack. The phone compartment is also waterproof, so you can jog in the rain without worrying about damaging your device.

Running Insoles

Product photos of Dr. Scholl's running insoles.
Dr. Scholl’s

One of the first things you’ll notice as a newbie runner is how tired your feet are after a jog. This should eventually get better, but you can fight back with these running insoles. They’re designed to target running injuries, like plantar fasciitis and shin splints, by absorbing a percentage of the shock you feel in every step.

The triple-zone protection offers reinforced arch support, padding on the ball of the foot, and a deep heel cup to absorb impact. They can be slipped into your running shoes on top of the existing soles or as a replacement.

These also come in a size range with the option to cut them to fit your exact shoe size, which is super easy with the size guide included on the bottom of each insert.

How to Make Yourself Poop by Meghan Kita

A blue book cover titled "How to Make Yourself Poop" and an illustration of a man running by a car.
Rodale Books


Running opens up a whole world of jokes, funny moments, and struggles. How to Make Yourself Poop by Meghan Kita was written with the help of Runner’s World, one of the top running publications in the world. It’s perfect for anyone looking for running advice mixed with a little humor.

You’ll find guidance on virtually any problem a runner can face, from how to get up hills to increasing your mileage and, yes, how to make yourself poop after a long run. Humor aside, it’s extremely helpful for both new and longtime runners.

Men’s Shorts

A man puts a phone in the pocket of his shorts and he is running.

Minimalistic runners who don’t need anything more than their phones will love these athletic shorts. They contain built-in compression shorts with pockets. Your phone will sit snugly against your leg and your headphones can reach through the headphone jack for easy access.

In addition to larger pockets on both sides of the compression layer, these shorts also feature a small zip pocket on the outer mesh layer. It’s perfect for valuables, like your keys or credit card. The shorts are great on their own but these little bonus features make them a runner’s dream.

Women’s Shorts

Two photos of a woman wearing a pair of black running shorts.

If you’re constantly on the hunt for a good pair of ladies’ athletic shorts that aren’t too tight, don’t ride up, and are actually flattering, Nike’s tempo track shorts fit the bill.

These popular shorts are incredibly comfortable and great for any type of workout. They won’t bunch or ride up even during long runs. They also come in a million different colors (well, at least a dozen), so you can get as many pairs as you want.

Unfortunately, they don’t feature a large cell phone pocket like the men’s shorts above, but they do have a small pocket for your keys.

Energy Gum

A box of caffeinated gum and five pieces of blue gum.

If you’re prone to muscle cramps and side aches, it can be tricky to get an energy boost before going on a run. Many people experience side stitches if they eat or drink within an hour of running. However, many people also can’t make it through a run without an energy boost.

One solution is energy gum, which packs 100mg of caffeine into each piece. Originally designed for military use, it was later made available to the public. You’ll get enough energy to power through every mile without any of the side effects of drinking or eating beforehand.

Anti-Chafe Balm

A stick of anti-chafe balm sits on a gym floor.
Gold Bond

If you’re one of the many people whose thighs rub together when you move, you probably don’t notice it during regular activities. But on a five-mile run in shorts? That chafing becomes real noticeable real fast.

This balm is a lifesaver for anyone dealing with discomfort from any chafing or rubbing. Just swipe it on your thighs, feet, underarms, or anywhere else that could benefit from some smooth sailing.

Oh, and it’s not just for running—you can also use it after walking around in a cute dress on a hot day.

True Wireless Headphones

Tiksounds True Wireless Earbuds and case, and a man wearing them.

Everyone has a headphone preference. If you hate feeling a cord bounce around while you’re working out (we see you), you need to get your hands on a pair of true wireless headphones. They lock securely into your ears with no cords or wires attached at all.

True wireless headphones can easily run you hundreds of dollars, but this pair from Tiksounds is a great dupe for more expensive brands. They’re rated really well and only cost a fraction of the price you’ll see with many others.

With a 150-hour playtime and waterproof design, these will last through any run in any weather.

Protein Bars

A protein bar sits next to a water bottle on the grass.
Pure Protein

Another side effect of running you might be surprised to experience is the snack attacks. Running burns a lot of calories, so even if you aren’t hungry right after a run, you will be within a few hours.

Munching on a protein bar within a half-hour after your workout will satisfy your grumbling tummy. The protein will also fuel your muscles and stave off that extra-hungry feeling you might get later on that makes you want to eat everything in the fridge. Each bar has 20 grams of protein, only 200 calories, and a mere 2 grams of sugar.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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