Road running and road racing are very simple sports. All you need is a pair of decent shoes, shorts and a vest. For many, road runnng and racing is the purest and simplest form of running; without tricky terrain or big inclines to slow you down, its just you and the tarmac; going as fast as you can.
There are a few bit of kit that will make training and racing go a little smoother though.
UP Race Number Magnets - Forget fiddly pins, these magnets hold your number securely in place without risking skewering your thumb or chest.
Salomon Prolog Kit Bag - Having a proper kit bag to organise & carry your stuff makes life a lot easier. If you know where everything is, it saves those race day panics in the carpark, desperately searching for a sock.
UP Nipple Protectors - Need we say more? Many a race has been ruined by chafing.
Ronhill Race number Belt - Like the magnets, this allows you to display your number without needing pins, it can also carry a few gels for longer races.
Asics Runner's Belt - This allows you to carry some water plus a few essentials. Great for longer training runs and races.
Inov-8 Race Elite Peak - Keep hair, sweat and sun out of your eyes with a peaked cap. Lighweight and breathable, these offer protection from the sun and absorb some of the sweat.
Ronhill Convertible Glove - Ideal for early morning training runs or winter races, switch from dextrous gloves while tying your laces to warm mitt once you start running and feel the breeze!
Nike Fury Headband - Keeps flyaway hairs at bay, absorbs sweat and keeps the wind off your ears, a year round essential.
Waistpouch - Keep keys, phone, cash, card and gels close at hand without bulk.
Body Glide - Lets you move naturally without uncomfortable rubbing on long runs. Especially handy if its warm.
Vest - Unless you're flying team colours and already wearing a vest, you're going to want a decent running vest of your own. Look for lightweight materials and a close but not tight fit. There are numerous options but don't just go for the colour you like, make sure the fit and features suit.
Helly Hansen Baselayer - A thermal layer (short or long sleeve) can make a big difference on cold runs or if wearing a club vest in winter. Pop it on under your vest and you'll be toasty all through the run. Look for wicking, fast drying fibres that will move sweat away as your body works hard while keeping you warm as you set off and warm down.
Shorts - An obvious one this but a good pair of shorts can make or break a run. Go for a comfortable liner and a length you are comfortable with, though if you're racing you should really be wearing a short pair...its tradition!
Leggings or crop tights - A pair of lycra leggings or 3/4 are great for cooler runs and having a pair in your bag means if you arrive at the start line and its colder than expected, you have a choice of what to wear.
Shoes - Check out or Road Shoe Buyer's Guide for an in depth look at choosing a road shoe. If you plan on running plenty of races, it is worth having more than one pair of shoes; a training pair and a racing pair. Just make sure you do the odd training run in your race pair so that your feet and body get used to them!
Socks - Look for lightweight, wicking and a good fit. Too tight and you'll lose feeling in your toes, too loose and they'll bunch up and give you blisters.
OMM Sonic Smock - A lightweight, water- or at least showerproof jacket will let you train in wet conditions without getting cold. Ditch it on race day (unless its really cold!) as you'll be working plenty hard enough not to worry about a bit of drizzle.
Gels & Shotbloks - Carrying a gel or two on a longer race may just give you the perk you need for the final home straight. Make sure you try them out in training to see what works for you (everyone will have a favourite flavour). The Shotbloks are a more palatable option for those who struggle with the texture of gels.