Pat Connelly (Running Coach for LA Roadrunners and Valencia High School) gives expert video advice on: Should I wear a hat while running?; Should I wear sunglasses while running?; Do I need a special watch for running? and more...
Should I wear a hat while running?
Wearing a hat during running is really what your style is. However, if you are running in inclement weather, because heat rises through the head, and you want to stay warm, a hat will help. If you are running in very hot weather, then your head is protected from the sun, and your face.
Should I wear sunglasses while running?
I think daylight running with sunglasses is very important. I think the glare and the protection for the eyes will make your running a little easier without that strain.
Do I need a special watch for running?
Every marathon has timing clocks at every mile. So you're going to know what your time is as you go along. But most runners would like just a very simple second-display digital watch that tells you what your time is throughout the race. These watches are very inexpensive, and the price can range anywhere from $20 to $40, and therefore you can read your time as you go.
Do I need a 'water bottle' belt while I'm running?
If you are in training and you are not in a group, you may need a water bottle to carry your water. I would not want you to carry your water in your left or right hand because that's going to throw off your balance and one arm is going to work more than the other. That means the other leg is going to not have the support and you are going to have an injury. So a water bottle on the belt in the small of your back is really the best position to carry hydration replenishment and I would recommend that. But most training groups have water stops along the way. You don't need, if you are in a training group, you don't need a water bottle.
What is a 'pedometer' and do I need one for running?
Not really, because they aren't that accurate. They are more for walking. You can buy a digital measurement GPS now that runs anywhere from $150 to $250, but they'll tell you your pace, and they'll tell you how far you've gone. They will even measure your heartbeat. It depends what you need. Most people know if you run a certain course near your home. Just drive your car over it and get a measurement so that you'll know how far you've gone and are going.
What is a 'heart rate monitor' and do I need one for running?
Not really. A heart rate monitor, for most people, is just another gadget. It gives them some information when they run. If I'm 50 years old, I take the number 220 and subtract 50, so I know my heart max, 100% output, is 170. So marathon runners, some of them like to wear a heart monitor, so if its 150 they know they're at about 85% max of their all out effort. It's quite complicated, but most people do not need a heart monitor.
Should I run with or without music?
It certainly does take the thought out of some of the pain discomfort area, and it does entertain you for that long haul. However, from a safety standpoint I am concerned about wearing earphones and music because you're not aware of the traffic around you and people around you. If you're on the street on a bike trail, you don't hear a siren. If you're in a wooded area by yourself, you don't hear an intruder that might be coming up. So wearing earphones is your decision, but there are some hazards involved.