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What Every Runner Should Know

running, shoes, clothes
CBS/The Early Show
Running is more popular than ever in the United States right now, with nearly 25 million Americans who are considered active participants, according to the most recent survey by the National Sporting Goods Association.

But before you lace up your running shoes, David Willey, editor-in-chief of Runner's World magazine, visits The Early Show to talk about what every runner, or runner-to-be needs to know.

[Find Willey's tips on What to Wear on this page and Setting Goals on page 2.]

WHAT TO WEAR

Make sure you have the right shoes - Running in the wrong shoes can lead to discomfort (discouraging you from continuing) or, worse, injury. It's important that you choose the shoe that best fits you and corresponds to your foot (high arch, low arch, flat foot) and your gait (whether you're a pronator, a heavy heel-striker, etc.).

The best way to tell what kind of foot you have is by taking the "wet test:"
Stick your foot in a tub or bucket of water, than place it on a blank piece of paper. The imprint will give you your foot "profile." Then go to your local specialty retailer and have them check your gait; they'll be able to give you the right options for the type of shoe you'll need (stability, cushioning, motion control and performance training).

Wear the right gear - In the heat of summer, make sure you wear clothes that will not only keep you cool, but will keep the moisture from sweat away from your body (so don't wear cotton, which absorbs and clings).

There are many great new options available on the market, and depending on the manufacturer the names will vary (Clima Cool, Play Dri, Dri-Fit, etc.). Basically these are engineered fabrics that are lightweight and designed to wick the moisture away from your body.

Hydrate properly - Now it's more important than ever to keep your body hydrated properly, since you'll be losing fluids by sweating (even more than you might normally).

Depending on the length of your run, be sure to drink enough fluids about an hour before your run. If you're going for a longer run (say, five miles or more), then, that might be a combination of water and sports drink. Sports drinks contain sodium and carbohydrates, and the sodium is particularly important since you'll lose a lot of it through sweat.

A good rule of thumb for properly hydrating is to drink about three ounces (sports drink or water) for every 20 minutes of running. Using that example, a fast runner going 10 miles would drink less than a slow runner going the same distance, which is as it should be.