Running clothes for beginners

What running clothes should you wear now that you've decided to start running? 

The options for workout clothes are endless when you're just wearing them for lounging. And don't try to tell me you bought that last pair of yoga pants for exercise. I'm right here with you, sitting on the couch in my own comfy pair. ;)


They aren't running clothes, per se. But shoes are the most important thing a runner needs. It isn't as critical if you're training for a 5k, but it is still important. If you're running a 10k or half marathon, you'll need to sit down and think about how you can fit a new pair of running shoes into your budget. The shoe truly will keep you healthy and injury-free. I'm sure that's in your interest!

You don't want to wear shoes that are typically used for other activities such as tennis, basketball, or group fitness classes. My number one recommendation is to head to your local specialty running store to get their help. If you don’t want to feel completely in the dark when you show up, here are a few basic things to know when buying running shoes: Your foot arch - high arch, flat arch, or medium arch; AND Your foot strike - neutral, pronation (an inward roll of the foot and ankle) or supination (outward roll)

If you know you have severe pronation, or have noticed in the past that your shoes have lots of wear and tear on the inside tread (near the ball of your foot), ask for motion control shoes.

If you have mild pronation and a normal arch, look for stability shoes.

If you supinate (roll out), or don’t roll much at all, then a neutral shoe is what you need.  These types of shoes are generally for a medium arch type.


There's only one excuse for not wearing a sports bra when you run, and that's being male.

It may not seem like it when you're running, but the movement can stretch the ligaments in your breasts. And that's never going back to the way it was! A good sports bra reduces breast movement by close to 60 per cent.

Now don't think you can skip this apparel tip if you're small and petite. I'm only a B cup, and I still make sure to wear the right gear. Since I am small, I can get away with crop-top compression styles. Anything larger than a B needs a bra with moulded cups. Either way, look for a bra which has been designed for high-impact activities.


No, you can't just throw on your favorite cotton shirt that you've had since middle school.

In fact, stay away from that thing when you're running! Cotton absorbs moisture and will become heavy and damp. This will chill your skin very quickly. And you'll be running in the winter. Possibly in a place where it snows. Just say no.

To keep you warm and comfortable when you're running, make sure to wear a technical (or "wicking") t-shirt made of breathable materials. This effectively wicks away perspiration while you are exercising, keeping your skin dry.

How can you tell you've chosen a t-shirt made of the right material? The good ones work so well that they're virtually wearable straight out of the washing machine!


Like I said'll be running in the winter. Sure, sometimes you'll be warm and cozy on a treadmill. But I personally think there's nothing better than running outside. Even in cold temperatures.

The key factor for this item is breathability again - how well will the jacket let sweat escape? Other things to look for: vents, easy freedom of movement without excess fabric getting in the way, and a light mesh lining.


Just like your top, it's important to choose pants with some synthetic material. So, again, no cotton pants! Save the sweatpants for when you're relaxing at home after your run.

There are a lot of options when it comes to running pants. Lengths range from petite lengths to extra-long. Flexible materials and elastic waist features mean some can fit any body type. Pants can include reflective patches or stripes for nighttime running. My favorite pair of running pants even have small inside pockets in the front for my keys!


Snap a photo of your new digs and tag me on Instagram!

This post originally appeared on Catholic Women Run, a community to encourage women to be healthy, holy, and happy.

Johnna WilfordComment