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Even if you are in the mid-range category, there is still no avoiding the wear and tear that requires regular replacement, which racks up quite an amount. This is where maintenance comes in. As you would your favourite potted plant, your house, or even your body, so too, should you attend to your running gear to maximise its longevity. Here are a few tips.
Clearly, a necessity whenever you hit the pavement, your running shoes are consequently more susceptible to the punishment that results from all that pounding and friction. Perhaps the most basic way to keep them in good condition is only to wear them when you are actually running.
Modern running shoes are so fashionable and sleek that they look just as good on a night out in town. However, this also means more frequent usage, resulting in unnecessary deterioration. It is more advisable to have another pair of shoes for your non-running activities.
Similarly, you may also want to keep another pair of running shoes that you can alternate with. This gives each pair more time to dry out and decompress, allowing for better cushioning the next time you wear them. If you are prone to running-related injuries or often run in wet conditions, this tip suits you best.
Additionally, if you find yourself doing the latter, you may also want to consider properly drying your shoes after a wet, muddy run. Do avoid the washing machine and dryer, as they tend to break down the materials in your shoes. Instead, gently rinse the grime off and use a brush to scrape off troublesome spots. Then, towel them dry.
Eventually, however, you will have to replace them. Try not to hold too much sentimental value to your running shoes and risk injuries because you insist on running on an old pair that is no longer able to give your feet the necessary support they need, or simply because you want to save money. That doctor’s bill is way costlier, mind you.
What is That Smell?!
Have you ever stopped running only to turn your nose up at that foul smell that seems to come from around you? You pray that you are not the culprit, but sometimes it is just your unlucky day, or perhaps it is time to pay better attention to how you are washing your dri-fit running clothes. The most common mistake is that we often dump our sweat-drenched clothes into the laundry basket right after a run, only to wash them a few days later. This causes the garments to deteriorate more quickly. Instead, wash them as soon as possible.
The next step is to read the tags on your clothes. It is recommended that you either machine-wash on cold, or if the tag demands it, hand-wash them. We sometimes forget that the tags are more important than just itches to be cut; they are essentially our clothing’s instruction manuals. This also applies to running shorts, socks, and bras.
If you have a washing machine at home, avoid using fabric softeners. Instead, use fragrance-free detergents. This prevents the fibres of your clothes from clogging and therefore limiting its sweat-absorbing abilities.
Apart from keeping your apparels in good shape, hygiene should also be a key consideration during your maintenance. For instance, you may want to give your running watch a quick rinse after every run to prevent your sweat from coagulating and sticking onto the surfaces as dirt. Do not try this if your watch is not water-resistant.
If so, use a wet tissue instead. If you own a hydration/running pouch or a running cap, ensure that it is clipped and that your Velcro patches (if any) are stuck together before throwing them into a washing machine.
Use a mesh bag, so they do not get caught with other clothing. If you have other apparels that require cleaning, invest in alcohol swabs to maximise germ-killing.
"We sometimes forget that tags are essentially our clothing’s instruction manuals."
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