Thursday 13 November 2014

Winter Running Essentials Haul

It turns out that winter brings a whole new set of challenges for a runner. I only started running back in April and while I did a bit of night running before the days drew longer, there was definitely a spring like feel to the weather so the joys of dark and cold weather running are a rather new experience.

Inevitably a few additions were due to my running wardrobe and I've been picking up a few bits and pieces that are going to make a difference to the winter running experience.

First up was this very subtle long sleeve running top from perhaps a surprising source - It's from the TU range at Sainsbury's.

It's made from a breathable, technical fabric that wicks moisture from the skin to the surrounding air so it keeps me nice and dry and warm. It's a great stretchy material that fits nice and snugly. It's also clearly of the high-vis persuasion - perfect for staying seen on dark mornings or evenings. 

Next up is a technical jacket also from Sainsbury's. The electric blue colour is gorgeous but not quite as visible but it does have reflective dots and hi-vis accents.

Again it's nice and stretchy so fits nice and snug, there's nothing worse than a jacket that flaps about as you run! It was thumb holes which is a runner's-favourite - perfect for keeping the blood vessels in your wrists covered - one of the ways you can best regulate your heat! Its stretchy nature means I can roll them back over my Garmin if I need to cool down or check out my pace!

I'd say the only downside is the hood - while this is a nice feature to have, it's too small to come far enough forward on my face, and with no drawstring it definitely won't stay up. The hood is handy for keeping warm during a walking warm up or cool down but not much else. I'm still a fan of the jacket though. I really like a lot of Sainsbury's running gear - two of my favourite vest tops are also from this store - so it's well worth keeping a look out for, especially during their regular 25% off promotions.

Talking of keeping warm, I picked up these Nike Technical Running Gloves recently. 

As well as reflective accents they have some clever features - firstly they are a technical fabric so won't get all sweaty inside, they also have a touchscreen responsive fabric on the thumbs of the glove and a slot on the palm for a key if this is something you need.

Next up is another weapon in my battle to stay seen during the hours of darkness. This mesh piece is a super-lightweight over vest that you'd barely know you were wearing. It certainly does the job and as it's just £3 right now at Sports Direct it's really a no-brainer! 

Also from Sports Direct - I picked up a new pair of my current running shoes - I've been really happy with the Nike Anodyne DS2 so when my first pair wore out it seemed sensible to replace them. The model has a good amount of tread and so while I may well be looking out for something with a lower profile as well soon, these have supported my feet well and make me feel secure in my grip - perfect for the wet weather and slippy terrain. 

While my first pair were mainly grey with some pink accents, these bad boys are full on hi-vis pink!  They definitely help me to be seen and feel great to run in too. 

Last up is another pair of shoes - these aren't going to be used in winter weather, but the winter weather has definitely inspired the purchase. I've pledged to start doing some more strength training including some classes at the local sports centre (I've started with Body Pump which I love!). Running shoes - especially those that pound the wet and dirty streets definitely won't cut it so a pair of cross-training shoes was the order of the day.

These are my new Nike Flex 4 Trainers - they're nice and light and I'm loving them for classes and also for using my static bike. I also can't deny I rather like the coral-pink shade!

I've still got my eye on some more night-time running apparel - perhaps some LED's and maybe a head torch for the rural village streets that I sometimes like to travel. Keep tuned for more soon!

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