Starting something new can feel intimidating. But having the right tools to help you succeed can make a huge difference. Luckily, when it comes to running, there are very few items that are considered absolutely essential to have before you hit the open road (or the treadmill). Of course, there’s also an endless number of additional odds and ends that you can pick up to make your jogs feel easier or more comfortable. As someone who has been running since she was 12 and is currently training for her third marathon, I’ve tried everything on this list at one time or another. Some I use every once in a while, some I use on every single run, but all of them have proved to be incredibly useful at at least one point in my running journey.
Here you’ll find the ultimate guide to everything you need—or might want to have on hand—before you start running on the regular, from a good sports bra to anti-chafe gels and a whole lot of spandex.