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Make a Break for It: How to Get Your Run On

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Vivian Manning-Schaffel: I absolutely adore running. When I don my iPod and hit the road/elliptical/treadmill, the whole world falls behind -- even if it's just for a half hour.

woman running

Care to join me? In honor of this week's National Running Day, I got in touch with author/blogger Vickie Leff, a.k.a. RunnerMom, to find out just what gear you'll need to hit the dusty trail.

The Shoes

First off, you'll need a great pair of kicks. And you can't just grab 'em at Target. You'll need legit running shoes to avoid damaging your feet, knees, and legs. "Without the proper support, you can develop shin splints, hurt your calves, and hurt the arch of your foot," says Leff. To score just the right pair, she says it's important to block out a half hour and hit a sporting goods shop, ideally one with a serious running department, turning a blind eye to shiny, pretty styles. "You can't shop for a brand when you're shopping for running shoes," says Leff.

And if the sales person doesn't ask you to walk in your bare feet, shop somewhere else. Why? They need to check the pronation (whether you walk on the blades, center, or inside) of your feet to recommend the right shoe for you.

The Bra

Men may get giddy at the sight of a female runner in an ill-fitting bra, but we gals just wince. To jet at your best, as Leff says, "You've got to keep your girls from hitting you in the chin!" Pick up a bra with enough compression to keep your breastesses in check.

Got that? Check in next week, when RunnerMom will help us figure out how to plot our course and set realistic running goals.

next: Shave Your Legs for a Year -- for Free!
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