The H&F team reveals the kit they couldn’t do without
THE MARATHON RUNNER
‘I’ll be running theVirgin LondonMarathon for thesecond time in April.My training has beentough, and runningthrough the winter ispunishing on yourbody and your spirit,but having the rightsportswear hashelped my progression. Tried and tested kitcan mean the difference between yourunning, hobbling or crawling overthe finish line!’
1.Panache Sports Bra, £35; figleaves.com/uk
I have a big bust, so it’s vital I keep my bosom on lockdown. Wearing a sports bra not only prevents irreversible damage to the breasts’ fragile structure, but will also help energy efficiency during your run. I love the Panache Sports bra, designed for DD+ sizes. In trials it reduced bounce by up to 83 per cent. It’s the most comfortable bra I’ve worn, thanks to its padded straps and moulded cups.
Best Running Kit Photo Gallery
2. Asics Balance Tights, £65; asics.co.uk
On runs over 10 miles, I become lazy with myform and struggle to pick my feet up, whichshortens my stride and slows me down. Doinghigh-knee intervals has helped, but wearingmy Asics Balance Tights also helps to engagemy glutes and core more. They’re designed tosupport your lower back, waist and legs andare made with compression technology tospeed up post-run recovery too.
3.Polar RCX3 GPS, £259.50; polar.com
After being advised to use one last timeround, but not bothering, I’ve invested in thisPolar watch – sorry, training computer! It hasa stride sensor to attach to your foot, to givethe most accurate information on your route,pace, cadence and distance. By inputting all my data (height, weight and activity level), I can guarantee I’m working in the right heart-rate zone and push myself a little harder each time.
THE CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNER
‘I’m competitive, sowhen I’m doing anevent, I only wearitems that havestood the test oftime in previousraces. After all, withplenty of rain, hillsand dirt to contendwith, the right gearwill determinewhether I run well or skulk around the coursewith a ton of mud attached to my clothing!’
1.Compressport Full Socks, £35; compressport.uk.com
I’m the girl in miniscule shorts with long socks! I may look ridiculous but I don’t care. These compression socks from Compressport stop my calf muscles from seizing up post-race and keep them warm mid-event. Simple.
2. Gore Air 2.0 Lady Shorts, £39.99; goreapparel.co.uk
I always team a pair of ‘boy shorts’ with myclub vest, whatever the weather, becauseshorts don’t collect the mud that weighs medown mid-run, and my inner thermostat is sooff kilter that I always feel hot anyway. TheseGore shorts are my favourite – technical andtraditional, but with a feminine edge.
3. Adidas XCS 3 Trainers, £55; wiggle. co.uk
I always wear my Adidas XCS spikes. Shoes with metal spikes provide better lightweight traction on mud than other types of running shoe, and these are great for gruelling courses.
THE PERFORMANCE RUNNER
‘I’ve completed 15marathons, theHimalayan 100 MileRace and manyothers in my time,and there are somethings I wouldn’tdo without.’
1.Garmin Forerunner 610, £359 with chest strap; garmin.com/uk
GPS lets me monitor and review my distance,speed and pace consistency so I can see howI’m progressing, and where my strengths andweaknesses are. A heart-rate monitor can beused as well for even more comprehensivefeedback. I love the ‘back to start’ button onthe Garmin Forerunner 610, which gives youdirections back to your start point should youlose your way! I also love the touchscreen soI can ‘flick’ from one screen to another on myrun, easily keeping track of how I’m doing.
2. Gore Mythos Gore-Tex Active Lady Jacket, £219.99; goreapparel.co.uk
Getting the right balance betweenbreathability and waterproofness is alwaystricky when choosing a rain jacket (you tendto have to sacrifice one for the other), butthe Gore-Tex Active fabric used on the GoreMythos jacket is 100% waterproof yetbreathable and windproof too. It’s cut slim,with pre-shaped sleeves and two frontpockets (lack of pockets on running gearis a real bugbear of mine!).
3. Inov-8 Bare-X Lite150 Trainers, £95; inov-8.com
I run with as little as possible on my feet,depending on the conditions, pace anddistance of the run. Sometimes, that meansno shoe at all; at other times a ‘barefoot’ orminimal shoe that offers protection fromthe ground and little or no cushioning, butdoesn’t affect my natural gait. The Bare-XLites are lighter and more flexible than‘traditional’ trainers and don’t have a built-upheel or tapered toe box. They weigh just150g but still have a little cushioning.
THE STYLE- CONCIOUS RUNNER
‘As a fitnessjournalist andpersonal trainer,I spend a lot oftime in sports kit,so I want it tobe fashionable.Wearing brightcolours and boldprints puts a springin my step and helps make me feel moreconfident as I head out on a run. These aremy current favourites.’
1.Next Printed Technical Capris, £24; next.co.uk
As I’m small, I wear capris so my legs don’t look even shorter. I love the thick waistband on these pants, the quick-dry fabric and the textured material. They go with everything, too – I wear them with a bright top.
2. Brooks Ravenna 4 Trainers, £100; brooksrunning.co.uk
Not only do these trainers support my slightover-pronation, the cushioning adapts to mygait as well as the terrain I run on. I love thebright laces and pink flashes, as they make myfeet stand out and keep me visible on darkmorning runs.
3. Velocity Run Jacket, £99; sweatybetty.com
Wet weather is par for the course at thistime of year, which is why this jacket is amust. It’s lightweight and breathable, so Idon’t overheat, yet still has gorgeous femininefeatures, such as the gathering at the sleevesand a streamlined fit. Its media pocket formusic is an important detail for me too, sothis jacket ticks all the right boxes.